Now that I have your attention…it’s not what you think. As a previous tanning salon owner, I was always looking for ways to generate more revenue for my business. In 2003 I was the first salon and only tanning salon in town to bring in The Mystic Tan Spray Booth. I’m sure you’ve all seen the Famous Friend’s episode with Ross. After the word got out that you could get a tan without the UV rays the phone never stopped ringing. A few years later I decided to add airbrush spray tanning to our service menu. I wasn’t sure if airbrush tanning would go over well since we already had a spray tanning booth…boy was I wrong!
I had no clue where I was going to put airbrush tanning, since every square inch of my salon was taken. I put my creative mind to work and decided to convert the men’s bathroom into an airbrush room. The bathroom wasn’t being used that often and wasn’t making me any money, so it made sense. After the renovations were done, I did some online training to learn how to spray people. I asked a few friends if they would mind being my models so I could practice spray tanning them. Once I felt comfortable and confident enough to spray tan a real paying customer I started advertising that we offered custom airbrush spray tanning. That’s where it all began!
I realized after I started airbrush spray tanning that there was a whole different market of sunless/uvfree business that I was missing out on. Airbrush spray tanning gave a tan that a booth couldn’t give. It was customized for each client. There were people that trusted a human spraying them more than a booth. Then came the clients that had bad tan lines and needed them fixed, something a booth couldn’t do. The clients loved the fact that it was customized to suit their needs. Some clients wanted their body sprayed but not their face. There were those women that just wanted their legs tanned. Then there were the men that had a farmer’s tan or golfers tan, we were able to fix all of their tanning problems with airbrush spray tanning.
The fitness industry was a huge part of my airbrush business. All I needed to do was spray tan 1 or 2 fitness competitors and that was it. They loved their spray tans so much they posted their pictures on social media and tagged us. Immediately after that other competitors started calling and wanting to book their competition spray tans with us. Then we started getting the fitness models that needed an airbrush tan for their photoshoot. I got lucky one day and spray tanned a model for her photoshoot. Rita Catolino wasn’t sure if her pictures would make it into this international fitness magazine. Not only were her pictures chosen for the magazine she made the cover of it, and so did my airbrush spray tan!
January to April was a busy time for airbrush because people were getting sprayed before they went away. Clients would get a spray tan because they just felt pale and needed a boost of color. Fitness competitions were busy all throughout the year. April to September was like Christmas in the airbrush tanning business. There were graduations, proms, weddings, and summer parties. During these months’ people wore less clothing and showed more skin which needed to be tanned. October to December brought us Halloween and Christmas parties and of course getting spray tanned for New Years! There were so many reasons to get an airbrush spray tan.
My airbrush clients were a walking billboard for my business. You can bet your life that after they got sprayed they would take selfies, send their girlfriends a text telling them how much they loved their tan and where they got it from. I made sure to ask our clients to write a review for us online telling about their experience and how happy they were with their airbrush spray tan. It’s amazing how many people read reviews online before they get a service done. Airbrush tanning was no different.
Years and thousands of spray tans later I look back at what was once a men’s bathroom and what is now an airbrush spray tanning room that is making over $100,000.00 a year in sales. The only thing that went down the toilet (pun intended) was how much more money that I could’ve been making if I had an Evolv Heated Airbrush System.
Evolv Sales & Training Manager