You could call hers a Cinderella story—if Cinderella traded in her tiara for a branded line of glass slippers, five spas and a clothing boutique. Gretta Monahan, a self-made style maven, is harnessing the fashion world by its stilettos and reinventing the concept of style and pampering for everyone from Hollywood superstars to the mom next door. Offering fashion and beauty tips and treatments to people of all ages and income levels is a philosophy that Gretta stands behind.
Gretta’s award winning collection of sleek boutiques and spa emporiums stretches from Boston to Connecticut, while her regular television appearances on The Rachael Ray Show brings her down-to-earth and friendly approach into the homes of fashion-hungry viewers across the country. With her award-winning G Spa in the $700-million MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Gretta’s expertise is now available to the masses.
GRETTA GETS BUSINESS
Raised by her grandmother and aunt in Boston, Gretta attended New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and trained to become a hair stylist before leaving to sate her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened her first salon at the age of 24, and within 10 years the sales of her multi-faceted beauty and fashion empire topped $10 million.
A graduate of Harvard Business School’s three-year Owners and Presidents Management Program and a chosen case study subject for Harvard Business School, Gretta’s business acuity lead her to be a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year contest . With a how-to book in the works, Gretta continues to be the source women can trust on all aspects of style.
GRETTA GETS BEAUTY: Grettacole, G Spa, and beyond
Gretta opened her first salon in Wellesley in 1994; it would become her first Grettacole Salon and Day Spa, a head-to-toe high-end salon and spa, followed up a second outpost in Chestnut Hill in 1998 and a third in downtown Boston’s Copley Place by 2001. Gretta and her team of highly trained experts (each staffer trains at Gretta You for up to two years) focus on listening to clients’ needs, advising them on how to meet these needs, and teach them how to attain them. “It’s less about the beauty and more about the care, and teaching people,” she says.
Catering to women (and men) on the go, Gretta’s first G Spa opened on the famed Newbury Street, the Madison Avenue of Boston in 2003. The location offers mini treatments with full VIP services in a sleek, chic setting. Her second G Spa, a sparkling 21,000 square foot oasis at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods opened in May 2008 and quickly became a success, recently acknowledged with Connecticut Magazine’s esteemed, “Best of Connecticut” award. This stunning facility provides guests with a full menu of massage, hair, and body treatments, several of which were inspired by Native American traditions and rituals incorporating ingredients like red clay, maize, and mountain laurel. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Pamela Anderson and Gloria Estefan are huge fans.
In addition to her Grettacole and G Spa concepts, Gretta has consulted for Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, a testament to her efforts to help everyday women look and feel better about themselves.
GRETTA GETS FASHION: Gretta Luxe and Gretta Style
Known for fashion as much as she is for beauty, Gretta jets off to Milan, New York City, and Paris every season to go to all the shows as well as visit designers in their ateliers to hand pick the items offered in her clothing boutiques. Gretta Luxe, Gretta’s Boston-based boutique, showcases the hottest trends from top designers like Balenciaga, Chloe, and Zac Posen. Each client receives personalized guidance from expert stylists who assist with picking out the perfect frock or stems. “Every customer gets a celebrity experience from highly skilled expert,” says Gretta.
GRETTA GETS IT: TV AND MORE...
Gretta’s first national show was TLC’s A Makeover Story. Now, she is the style guru on The Rachael Ray Show where she has done over one thousand style makeovers. Gretta also appeared as Tim Gunn’s “fashion accomplice” and co-host on the second season of Bravo’s Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style and was a regular style contributor on the national morning show, “The Early Show.” As the resident expert at Every Day With Rachael Ray and Boston Herald, Gretta offers fashion and beauty tips in her monthly columns and blog.
Gretta has been profiled numerous times in a range of publications including Shape, Marie Claire, Boston Globe, Financial Times, New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens and more. Grettacole salons and Gretta Luxe boutiques have been awarded eight “Best of Boston” awards by Boston Magazine.
In addition to her salons, spas, designer clothing boutiques, Gretta is involved with community outreach and fundraisers for The Liver Foundation