For years, ist Magazine has highlighted the efforts of hard-working salon owners across the country; but, there’s more than one way to get a tan. Currently, there are many “sunless-only” salons whose owners are doing their part to help keep America bronzed and beautiful. In this occasional series, we endeavor to see how “the other half” lives… and goes about the business of delivering tanned skin to those who seek it.
Following a stem cell transplant to treat a medical condition, Brandy Trimborn was advised by her doctor to stop tanning indoors. “A friend who’s a competitive bodybuilder told me about airbrush tanning, and he encouraged me to start a business with it,” said Brandy. “The more I thought about it, the more I knew it was a great idea. Around that time, I ran into my friend Carrie Mackay, who’s a beautician, and we developed the business plan.”
The ladies got their start by spray-tanning bodybuilders at competitions; but, soon began taking on a broader range of clientele. They’ve also added Caalyn Mackay (assistant) to their small but growing enterprise. “We’re also very happy that Samantha Bolet – the current Ms. McHenry County – has joined the Haute Bombshells team as our official spokesmodel,” Brandy added.
These days, the Bombshells implement a host of new promotional offers, including unlimited airbrush tans for $80, and a generous customer referral program. “Helping people prepare for special events is a big part of our business; but in order to grow the company, we need to develop more long-term clients,” Brandy said. “Much of our marketing focuses on increasing this part of our business, while we remain consistent in our brand messaging and offer the quality of service for which we’re known and loved.”
Thanks for taking the time to meet Brandy Trimborn and Carrie Mackay. In the months to come, we’ll introduce many more sunless-only entrepreneurs and highlight their unique takes on the tanning biz. After all, we’re all in this together!
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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