As indoor tanning professionals, there are so many positive things in our beloved industry to enjoy. For example, more and more people are following their dreams of becoming their own bosses by opening and operating tanning salons. Since these “newbies” continue to strengthen our industry, ist Magazine wishes to recognize them with this monthly “Welcome Wagon” series. We invite you, our loyal readers, to join us in giving them the friendly greeting they deserve!
When Chris Hindo noticed a need for an upscale tanning spa in his area, Dark Tan of West Bloomfield, MI was created.
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Chris Hindo was involved in many business ventures in Los Angeles and Dallas. When he returned to Michigan, he missed tanning at the kind of high-end salons he frequented on the West Coast. “People thought I was crazy for wanting to open an upscale salon when so many other salons were closing,” said Chris. “When I analyzed the market, I noticed that the salons going out of business were older facilities with outdated tanning units. Since I’m the type of owner who will reinvest in his businesses, I knew my salon concept would succeed.” Chris opened Dark Tan in a West Bloomfield shopping plaza, and the 3,000-square-foot salon features a modern, industrial décor. Its UV tanning options are exclusively high-pressure, and there’s also a sunless spray booth and water massage unit to complete its spa-like service menu.
What makes Dark Tan interesting is the balance Chris strikes between being a high-end tanning spa and the value the business provides his clients. “When I was planning the salon, I thought about what I could do to make it stand out, and the idea of offering value came to mind,” he said. “Whether someone purchases a membership or single session, they’re allowed to use all of our services in the same visit. After being in business for about eight months, we already have 1,400 clients in our database and serve about 100 guests per day.” While opening Dark Tan was costly, the return on investment Chris is enjoying has inspired some growth plans. “I’d like to open a second location in Ann Arbor,” he said, “and eventually have eight salons in the next five years. Working on ways to expand my business is what I love most.”
Thanks for helping us welcome Chris Hindo to the indoor tanning community – we’re sure he’ll like it here! In the meantime, look forward to meeting many more new faces and salon places in the months to come. Until then… stay sunny!
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
articles for IST Magazine and, as Director of Editorial Content, has also
helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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