Aside from being the tanning industry’s premier training and certification program, Sun is Life® offers a fantastic reward to salon operators who educate themselves and their teams, either in our classroom format or interactively with the internet version. Those who invest in SIL get the chance to be featured in IST Magazine as our Salon of Distinction! It always brings a smile to my face when I contact someone to tell them their salon has been selected – although, I usually have to explain that I’m not selling anything – as in this case with new Florida salon pro, Briana Roman. We had a great chat … after I told her that I didn’t need a credit card to continue.
IST: As a resident of the Metro-Atlanta area, I like the connection of your start in the tan biz. Give our readers a bit of backstory.
BR: I started in the tanning industry nine years ago in Atlanta and instantly fell in love with the job and the business. Over the years, tanning has become my passion. My mother Lora and I have always wanted to open our own salon and we were so thrilled to finally achieve that goal! She found this established facility in St. Petersburg and it was just perfect for us. It has been in business for seven years, but we bought it in May of 2021.
IST: Operating a tanning facility in a sunny area like beautiful St. Pete must be challenging. How do you overcome this?
BR: It IS a challenge! At times, it can be a little trying because it is always sunny here and the beach is right down the street. But we offer our guests more than just tanning. We consider them to be family and make sure we give the best service and education on products to help them achieve the best tanning results while caring for their skin. Plus, most people who live here don’t have time to lay in the sun! If you’re on vacation in Florida, you want to go home with a tan and if it rains or is really cloudy during your visit, that could be impossible. We can make it happen!
IST: You’ve taken Sun is Life training and also make sure that your staff does. How important is it to have a team fully trained with Sun is Life?
BR: It is extremely important. I need them to be able to properly educate guests about indoor tanning and moderation. Sun is Life has all the tools we need and I loved taking the course!
IST: The COVID crisis has certainly impacted many small businesses and clearly, indoor tanning salons. As you just took over the salon, how will you adjust?
BR: The Sun is Life training has an excellent module that addresses sanitizing and salon hygiene. Of course, we will go the extra mile and wipe down all handles, buttons and high-traffic areas – just about anything that our customers may come into contact with.
IST: While we were chatting on the phone, I listened to you engage with a salon guest and was really impressed by your technique. Great job up-selling her to a top level tanning lotion! I typically despise being sold something that I may not have an interest in. What is your key to selling products and services?
BR: The key is educating guests on the benefits of using an indoor tanning lotion and listening to what they want in a product. I also try to build first-name relationships with our guests.
BR: Of course, we want to be the best salon in the St. Pete/Clearwater area! But as relative newbies to the business, we really just want to establish our facility by providing great customer service.
Briana, all the best to you and Lola for the rest of 2021 and the future!
A 26-year industry veteran, Joe has taught certified salon operator training for the last 15 years, as well as advocating indoor tanning in many capacities. Joe is a sought-after speaker and presenter at both national & regional trade events, also interacting with the FDA, state & local regulatory agencies. During his most recent tenure with the ITA, he served as director of membership.
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