As indoor tanning professionals, there are so many positive things happening in our beloved industry for us to enjoy. For example, there seems to be a large number of people opening tanning salons these days. Perhaps they didn’t pay attention to all the “doom and gloom” that some have been preaching – instead, these entrepreneurs are choosing to follow their instincts and pursue the American Dream, which continues to make our industry stronger. ist Magazine wishes to recognize these tanning “newbies” with this monthly “Welcome Wagon” series, and we invite you, our loyal readers, to join us in giving them the friendly greeting they deserve!
A long-time tanner who likes looking and feeling good, Jay Shelby opened Cali Sun to find a fulfilling professional life. “I have five older sisters and they got me interested in indoor tanning when I was a teenager and, ever since then, I wanted to own a tanning salon,” said Jay. “When I got older, I decided to open a thrift store, instead, and the business made me money, but it didn’t make me happy. When the opportunity to purchase an existing tanning salon came up, I jumped at the chance before I knew what I was getting into.” The business Jay purchased had fallen into disrepair; but he did not allow this to deter him. Instead, he leased the space next door, changed the name to Cali Sun and contacted all the former clients to inform them he would honor their existing packages. “This changed our business dramatically and now everyone loves coming here!” he exclaimed.
While Jay’s mother, Sherri Shelby-Mager, handles the salon’s books, he works behind the counter. He believes this is the key to Cali Sun’s success. “No one values a business and its clients more than the owner because it’s how he or she supports their family,” he said. “This is why I make sure that I’m here as much as possible to take care of everyone who walks through our doors. This also makes our clients feel special, and that’s what we’re all about!” As he heads into the future, Jay says he would like to open two or even three more Cali Sun salons. “I would like to provide my mom with the same type of career that has made me so happy,” he said.
Thanks for helping us welcome Jay Shelby and Sherry Shelby-Mager to the indoor tanning community – we’re sure they’ll like it here! We’ll meet 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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