The businesses featured in our JK Salon Spotlight have achieved success by partnering with tanning and wellness system manufacturer and worldwide industry innovation leader, JK Products & Services. This month, we talked to Nicole Swope, Co-Owner & CEO of Oasis Tans in Gillette, WY. She shared her thoughts about the relationship with Team JK and the ways it benefits her business.
Oasis Tans Co-owners Nicole Swope (L) and her mom Ginny Bain
IST: When and how did you find yourself In the tanning industry?
NS: I was going to college in Denver, CO and I purchased a tanning package at a salon where the Denver Nuggets Cheerleaders tanned. I was like, “Wow! This place is so cool compared to the salons in my hometown!” After college, I moved back home and started working at the coal mine to earn money, since I was broke (like most people after college!) I badly needed some vitamin D and got a tanning package at our local tanning salon thinking they would offer upgraded equipment like the facility in Denver had – not the case at all! I learned that the local bridal shop had three tanning beds in their basement that were for sale. I got the idea to purchase them, since I didn’t want to be a coal miner forever and have to work night shifts. I knew Gillette needed an upscale tanning salon, so it was a no-brainer to research this new business adventure! I approached my mom about opening a salon with me and without hesitation, she said “Yes!” We ran some numbers and knew we could start a brand-new salon for the price the bridal shop wanted for just the beds! We did about 18 months of research traveling all over the U.S. checking out other tanning facilities. My mom and I got started in the tanning industry when we opened our first salon in 2009; we opened our second in 2015.
IST: What do your tanners have to say about the TLT and/or Ergoline Equipment?
NS: They absolutely love the hybrid technology! We have the Ergoline Prestige 1600 Hybrid sunbed and the Sunrise 7200 Hybrid stand-up, as well as the Beauty Angel booth. Local doctors commented about how amazing red-light therapy is and when they found out we offer a pure red-light therapy booth, they said it is one of the best things ever brought to Gillette, WY! We will definitely need to purchase another lay-down hybrid unit very soon, since it is our most popular piece of equipment. The 1600 Hybrid has so many features – it delivers a great tanning experience and a nice, sun-kissed glow. The hybrid units are a great way to educate our tanners on the benefits of the red-light beauty products, as well.
(L-R) Team Oasis Tans includes Tanning Consultants Tatum Brown & Alexis Reimer; Tanning Consultant/Team Lead Raven Demott; Co-Owner/Operator/Manager Nicole Swope, Salon Assistant Peyton Linneman; Tanning Consultants Arianne Roberts & Kaylee Latorre.
IST: How has your partnership with JK/Ergoline helped you grow your business?
NS: The Ergoline team has made recommendations that will help us stay ahead of the competition by offering the industry’s most up-to-date spa and tanning equipment. Eric Matras has always been fabulous at reaching out to our salon informing us of new shows to attend, as well as the latest equipment launching. He has helped us create a great lineup of equipment to offer in our facilities. Eric is always willing to answer any questions we may have and share ideas to help us grow our business.
IST: What is your favorite Ergoline tanning system?
NS: My personal favorite is the Hybrid 7200. I love stand-up tanning since I get pressure points easily and I’m always on the go, so I love the color I get in the nine-minute session. I truly love getting the benefits of red light and a great, natural pop of color at the same time!
IST: What advice would you offer to new salon owners?
NS: Attend the tanning expos! You will find yourself leaving with a boost of confidence and motivation you can share with your team and customers. Get certified in spray-tanning, as well as UV salon operator certification. Maintain the cleanest salon with the most knowledgeable and friendliest staff you can find. Make sure you are a membership (EFT)- based salon – this will help your revenue so much in the slower seasons. Try not to get discouraged in the slower season; it happens to all salon owners, so be financially prepared that your revenue will go down in the “JASON” (July-November) months. Reach out to your product distributors for help if you need it! Network and learn from your peers and share ideas.
IST: Are you excited for Experience JK this June? What did you love most about the 2022 event?
NS: We are always excited to attend shows and visit new cities. We plan to attend this year’s event in Orlando and network with the best people in the industry. Webinars are great, but nothing can beat an in-person tanning event for the hands-on training opportunities. Team JK always makes us feel welcomed and appreciated. The expos are so much fun, we always come home motivated with lots of new ideas!
Since 1997, IST Magazine (formerly known as Island Sun Times) has been committed to the success of salon professionals, while promoting the growth of the tanning industry as a whole.
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