This month’s Salon of Distinction operates in a small town located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Co-owners Tim and Ashley Decker were among the group of salon operators who completed the Sun is Life® Salon Operator Training & Certification classroom session offered at the National Tanning Expo in October 2023. We asked Tim a few questions about the salon and the couple’s goals for the future of Coco Beach Tan.
IST: How/when did you get started in the tanning business?
TD: My interest in the tanning business was sparked in 1996. I played baseball at Texas A&M and the team had a ritual of getting a workout and then tanning at the local salon in College Town, TX. After a year of tanning there, I met the owner who was kind enough to answer my questions about how he ran the salon. It was interesting to learn how a successful business could be run without the owner having to spend much time “at the office.”
With many avenues to pursue after college, the dream of owning and operating a tanning salon went to the back burner. At the beginning of 2022, I decided to invest in a small business and began looking for locations to open a tanning salon. Toward the end of 2022, an opportunity arose to obtain ownership of a local facility, which included tanning beds, a spray-tan booth and a red-light therapy unit. This opportunity allowed me to pursue my dream of owning a tanning salon!
IST: What challenges have you faced as a new salon owner?
TD: Like so many businesses in the last few years, one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is high staff turnover. → Since day one, we’ve been fortunate to have our office manager be a part of the team. Another challenge has been pricing for our services. It has not been easy to gauge pricing on tanning packages based on our demographics. Third, keeping overhead to a minimum has been challenging, as well.
IST: What do you feel sets your salon apart from your competitors?
TD: The level of customer service our staff provides to our guests definitely sets us apart from competition. Even though we have a high turnover rate, our staff is trained to educate our guests about tanning and make the experience all about them. Our dedication to cleanliness also sets us apart from other local tanning salons. We strive to keep everything as sterilized as it can be.
IST: How would you describe the atmosphere at your salon?
TD: The atmosphere at our salon is classy, bubbly and welcoming. We love interacting with our guests and meeting new people every day.
IST: You and Ashley completed your Sun is Life Training at the 2023 National Tanning Expo hosted by Four Seasons. What was your biggest takeaway from the class?
TD: The Sun is Life training taught us how important it is to train and educate our team! We can now share the knowledge we gained with our staff members and enable them to provide our guests with the best tanning plan customized to them, and answer any questions they have.
IST: What are your goals for Coco Beach Tan in the next 1-3 years?
TD: We aim to expand Coco Beach Tan from one location to a three-store chain.
Best of luck, Tim & Ashley!
As ist Magazine’s managing editor, Sherron edits all articles written by staff writers and the publication’s illustrious group of editorial contributors, as well as writing occasional content. She has been with the magazine since its inception in 1997.
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