JK Salon Spotlight features highlight businesses that have achieved success by partnering with the team of professionals at tanning and wellness system manufacturer and worldwide industry innovation leader, JK Products & Services. This month, we talked to Richard Samuel, Owner of seven Maximum Tan facilities in the Rochester, NY area. At the time of this writing, Maximum Tan had just installed two Vitality TLT3 (Total Light Technology) tanning systems and was awaiting delivery of three more this month! Richard had high praise for the many outstanding features of the Ergoline tanning and wellness systems he offers at his salons, for his company’s relationship with Team JK and the ways it benefits his business.
IST: What led you to pursue a business in the tanning industry?
RS: I was fresh out of high school in 1997 when a local salon right down the road from where I lived closed its doors. At the time, I was a competitive bodybuilder; I had frequented many salons and was familiar with how they work. I knew that I wanted to own my own business and thought this may be a good opportunity to get started at a lower investment, since the buildout was already done. Admittedly, I was young, inexperienced, and really didn’t know what I was doing! But, I did have a good instinct for business and the tanning industry was still young at the time so I was able to survive and eventually thrive. The timing actually worked out well, and as the industry evolved and became more advanced, I did, as well.
IST: How have your tanners responded to the Vitality TLT3 and other Ergoline systems you offer at Maximum Tan?
RS: We purchased our first Vitality TLT3 in March of this year. Since then, it has become the most popular bed in our salon by far. Aesthetically, the design attracts a lot of attention and overall, it delivers a much better experience than any other bed in our salon! People love the fact that the technology combines red, blue and UV light. It is easy to use, yet has a ton of features people love. The LED facial tanners are a hit! Some of our customers love the fact that you can turn off all the UV light on your face and expose your face to just red and blue light, if you wish. Climate control keeps the session at just the right temperature.
We strive to offer quality facilities with the best equipment around, so Ergoline has always been our first choice. The Vitality TLT3 has been so popular, we had to buy another for this store and have purchased five more in total for the other salons!
IST: What is your favorite JK system?
RS: My personal favorite is the Wellsystem Wave hydromassage table – it is incredibly relaxing! Since I work out all the time, the hydromassage is really enjoyable and loosens up my tense muscles. I am excited to add another Wave unit to my equipment lineup this month.
IST: What challenges have you faced in the salon business and how did you overcome them?
RS: Over the years, Maximum Tan’s biggest challenge has been competition. At times, our market has been oversaturated with salons and highly competitive – but that competition has brought out the best in Maximum Tan! Our business model is based on offering the best equipment, modern and upscale facilities, and a super-clean environment with top-notch customer service. Ergoline equipment has been one of the major keys to winning with this strategy. Having the very best tanning equipment gives you an advantage over your competitors and for me, it has been well worth the extra investment.
IST: How has Team JK helped you grow your business?
RS: JK has been a major factor in growing my business. Hans (Hans Both, Director Distributor Sales) has always given us solid advice and kept us in the loop with industry trends. He has helped me network with some of the most successful salon operators in the country, which is invaluable. Owners can learn a lot from each other and it’s great that Ergoline has helped facilitate this. The products JK provides have always been top-notch and tech support has been great, as well, keeping our equipment up and running. We are not always the cheapest salon in town, but we do consistently deliver a quality product and Ergoline has been instrumental in providing quality, reliable equipment. The look, performance and reliability has always been there and we have built a successful business on that.
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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