Whether you’re an industry newbie or a sunshine-slinging veteran, it’s good to know about all of the companies that are here to meet your tanning product needs.
From providers of tanning equipment, sunlamps and lotions to makers of myriad accessory products, there is a host of companies whose staff are dedicated to helping your salon succeed. They do this not just through sales of their products and services, but also by offering training, education and customer assistance. And, since they’ve built their livelihoods in this industry, they have a vested interest in its continued health and longevity… just like you do!
This feature is a veritable tanning industry “Who’s Who” and is designed to give you, our loyal readers, an idea of what these companies are all about, and what they have planned for the future. Perhaps after reading their stories, you’ll be inspired to pick up the phone and give them a call!
So, without any further ado, it’s time to…
After 30 successful years, lotion-maker John Abaté International continues to create innovative tanning lotion products.
John Abaté International was founded in 1982 by John Abaté, a New York City tanning salon owner who wanted to produce tanning lotions. The result was a line of high-quality, all-natural products that also provided skincare benefits. Along the way, the company also created a tanning-industry standard – tingle lotions. “We’ve always been a small, family-based company that began as salon owners, and this continues to be our greatest strength,” said owner, Frank Abaté. “We understand the needs of today’s salon operator, and our experience allows us to personally help whenever our clients have questions.”
Everyone at John Abaté International is excited about the company’s latest product – Tanaholixxx – with XXX bronzers and Moroccan Argan Oil. “This is a truly addictive lotion that takes your clients’ tanning experiences to a whole new level,” Abate said. “Not only does it deliver a deep dark tan, it’s also infused with natural ingredients that help detoxify the skin. The most unique feature, though, is its mobile tanning app.” By using their iPhones and the Tanaholixx app, tanners can scan a picture of their skin before and after each session and the app will track their progress with shade-by-shade comparisons. The app also has many other unique features. “It’s revolutionizing the way we tan!” Abaté exclaimed.
Though John Abaté International is a small, family-owned company, Frank’s plans for its future are big, indeed. “We plan to offer more sunless sprays and innovative tanning lotions that specialize in skincare,” Abaté said. “We’re also working on a platform to assist salon owners with social media optimization, which will allow better relations with their current tanners and will get more people into their salons.”
At the crossroads of scientific innovation, formulation and fun, you’ll find Aviva Labs.
A spin-off of a bio-tech company, Aviva Labs was founded by a team whose members hold a PhD in biochemistry, a medical degree and a science degree. Their understanding of the science and chemistry behind sunless spray-tanning allowed them to create the company’s trademark oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free solution. “It’s not easy to create a formula like this, and some people may not think that’s a big deal,” says Mitch Bloom, president. “It is to us, however. When you see the look of happiness in your clients’ eyes as their tan dries in seconds, has no odor and looks amazing – with solution that is completely free of alcohol – it’s easy to see why we took the time to make that possible.”
From their groundbreaking, 30-minute “super express” tans to a DHA-infused body wash, the team at Aviva Labs has always maintained the position that consistent innovation is a requirement. Because of that innovation, clients now can shower 30 minutes after a spray-tan. “They can get sprayed, shower and go about their day, completely stress-free,” Bloom said. “No more worrying about rain, heat and exercise, or even doing the dishes. Your clients will be free to do what they want with their day.” Aviva Labs offers its sunless solution in three different shades: Miami, Hollywood and Vegas.
“With our strict dedication to creating perfectly precise formulations, it’s easy for one to think we’re just science nerds in a lab,” said Bloom. “But whether you see us participating in charity mud runs, or know that our Sunless Training Academy is always full of smiles and laughter, it’s pretty apparent that even nerdy scientists can bring the fun, too.”
Heading into the future, Bloom says Aviva Labs will continue their unique approach to producing high-quality solutions at affordable prices to help salon owners offer a premium sunless experience and be more profitable.
AYU Sunless gets its name from the word “Ayurveda”, which means “the science of life” – a fitting moniker for this sunless tanning solution maker.
In 2003, AYU Sunless was born from owner Vibha Makwana’s passion to combine sunless tanning with highly-effective skincare and cosmetic ingredients. “After attending an indoor tanning expo in 2002, I was inspired to use my expertise in cosmetics and skincare formulation to create innovative sunless tanning products with skincare benefits that help to achieve a beautiful tan,” said Makwana. “Naturally grown ingredients from suppliers in the USA and international distributors are the lifeblood that sustains AYU Sunless. These materials, combined with cosmetic ingredients, allow us to create products that are environmentally-friendly and gentle on the skin.”
“The most important thing, we believe, is the relationships we have with our customers.We consider them as our partners, and value their opinions and suggestions. We make sure to service all of our accounts, both large and small, with the same respect, courtesy and professionalism.”
Vibha Makwana, Owner
AYU’s products are designed, tested and manufactured in the company’s 5,000 square-foot office and manufacturing facility in Ooltewah, TN. These sunless solutions are designed for use in airbrush and spray-booth systems. “Our most unique product is still our VINO Bronzing mist, which utilizes the many antioxidant, moisturizing and hydrating benefits offered by grape seed and grape skin powder,” Vibha said. “It is gaining popularity, and we have created a whole product range that can be used with it to further extend the great results. For example, our Scrub Away tan-removing gel is specially formulated to effectively remove sunless solution build-up often experienced by frequent tanners, such as bodybuilders and performers, and can also be used to lighten a recently-applied tan. It also contains nourishing and gentle exfoliating ingredients that are kind to the skin.”
While Makwana is proud of the products she creates for AYU, she takes an even greater pride in her company’s customer service philosophy. “The most important thing, we believe, is the relationships we have with our customers,” she said. “We consider them as our partners, and value their opinions and suggestions. We make sure to service all of our accounts, both large and small, with the same respect, courtesy and professionalism. We also offer stable and consistent products, and our knowledgeable staff provides accurate advice and guidance on all aspects of tanning and skincare, as well as how best to build a customized product line.”
Heading into the future, everyone at AYU Sunless will continue their dedication to maintaining the synergy between sunless tanning and skincare through the company’s innovative pre-tanning, post-tanning and spa offerings. “Our products will continue to offer the ultimate in sunless tanning application and color range backed by our technical competence and superior customer service,” Makwana added
Client-focused and quality-driven, Biddiscombe International, LLC continues to bring its history, innovation and evolution to the sunless tanning products it designs and manufacturers.
Biddiscombe International, LLC was founded during the late 1970s as a skincare product maker; today, the company focuses on the design and manufacture of high-quality sunless tanning solutions. “We’ve maintained very close, personal relationships with our salon and mobile spray-tan clients throughout the years, and we’re well known for making quality lotions, innovative sunless products and for our private label programs as well,” said John Melville, President. “First and foremost, we’re a skincare company – everything we make comes from a skincare perspective first – then we add specific attributes such as anti-aging or bronzing qualities. In other words, we live sunless!”
From how they respond to customers to the way their products are made, integrity is important to everyone at Biddiscombe International. “We focus on what we do well, and that is making great products and offering custom solutions,” Melville said. “Salon owners can expect their product needs to be met because of our consistency, innovation and performance. For those in the industry with an entrepreneurial spirit, we’re also a one-stop shop for creating and manufacturing exclusive-branded products.” Melville says he’s especially proud of Biddiscombe’s latest products, including a rapid-tanning solution, a Certified Organic lip protection for spray-tanners and a new barrier cream. “Our Revelation and Revive Naturals sunless solution lines continue to be favorites among sunless tanning professionals and their clients,” he added.
As a Certified Organic Manufacturer under U.S. and French standards, every member of “Team Biddiscombe” is working on a variety of new, natural and organic formulations. “We’ve always operated by the motto, ‘Our customers’ success is our success,’ and that continues to be our motivation as we head into the upcoming season and beyond,” Melville added.
Even after 13 years, BreeZe Products Inc. continues to be a young, vibrant company!
Now more than ever, BreeZe Products is a company driven by both creativity and sound business decisions. The sole owner and president since 2009, Sandy Akl has a background in design and fashion. Her daughter Tania is the CFO and driving financial force moving BreeZe in the right direction. Creative fashion sense coupled with progressive business solutions creates a dynamic environment for success and innovation that is leading the company to explore new horizons.
Private brand manufacturing is a large part of BreeZe Products’ operating philosophy. “With our help, any salon owner can offer a private label product,” Akl said. “We offer thousands of formulas to choose from – tanning operators can order as few as 50 bottles of private label lotion or five gallons of solution – and have it customized to meet their needs. We also stock dozens of bottle options and over 100 fragrances.” Akl added that BreeZe can produce small runs and has fast delivery times. “Often, we ship a custom product in less than two weeks!” she added. In addition to a strong presence in the tanning industry, BreeZe is broadening its clientele to hair care, skin care, anti-aging, and men’s grooming (Roam-ny.com).
This month BreeZe Products is launching a new line of sunless tanning products. “The line is called Bronzing Enchantments™, and it showcases an accelerator, three sunless bronzers and a twinkling bronzer,” Akl said. “It is completely Paraben-free, has the latest anti-aging ingredients such as Rare Swiss Apple Stem Cells, botanical extracts and True Bronzing Complex™, which is our newest innovation in sunless tanning.” BreeZe will continue to set trends when it launches a new sunless solution line called the Skyscraper Series™, which will deliver results beyond today’s accepted standards. Stay tuned for the details concerning the launch of this new line!
Finally, BreeZe is happy to announce an addition to the family, as Tania recently married Kain Lentine, who is not only family, but also a manufacturing engineer who keeps BreeZe Products running lean and professional.
Founded during the indoor tanning industry’s infancy, Cosmedico Light, Inc. continues to be a leader in sunlamp innovation and manufacturing today.
Cosmedico Light Inc. has the unique distinction of being established by one of the men credited with founding the indoor tanning industry itself. “Jörg Wolff was an innovator, and he was inspired by the possibility of the positive bio-effects of UV light,” said Kevin Apgar. “His interest and ingenuity in UV production lead to the development of top-quality lamps that helped to start the tanning industry as a whole.” Wolff established Kosmedico Licht GmbH in 1976 in Stuttgart, Germany and, as indoor tanning units were introduced in the U.S., built an American presence in 1979. The company’s former President, Jerry Frank, helped found the Indoor Tanning Association, and served on its Board of Directors until his retirement.
Apgar says that Cosmedico’s dependability, reliability and predictability are its greatest strengths. “When a salon owner receives their Cosmedico lamps, they know they’re getting a reliable lamp with great performance, long life and quality output,” he said. “With Cosmedico, the tanning experience is always exceptional. As a company, we strive to maintain our reputation as the industry leader in innovation by developing products of high quality, value and performance.” Apgar added that sunlamp brands such as CosmoLux, CosmoStar and HI-TAN continue to be synonymous with tanning industry excellence.
These days, the team at Cosmedico continues to develop innovative products to introduce to the market while also improving their current offerings. “Our biggest R&D department continues to be the salon owners themselves,” Apgar said. “We encourage them to share their ideas and suggestions, and we answer their concerns with product improvements and innovation. We believe this interaction with our clients is a big reason why our CosmoLux VHR 9K90 has been the winner of multiple IST Magazine Industry Choice Awards, and we’re very proud of that honor!”
Cutting-edge tanning formulations and strong salon partnerships help define tanning product maker Devoted Creations, Inc.
In 2004, Devoted Creations was founded to produce high-quality tanning products that feature innovative ingredients, packaging and fragrances. These products, which are made at the company’s Florida manufacturing facility, continue to be popular with salon professionals and tanners around the world. “Each season, everyone here is driven to improve upon what we did the year before,” said Lewis Henry, President. “This is the true secret behind our growth. While we know it’s difficult to achieve absolute perfection, our entire team continues to strive for it.”
As a product creator, Devoted Creations is known for many innovations. “While our many IST Magazine Industry Choice Awards attest to how much salon operators rave about our products, I truly believe this year’s line is our most innovative and creative, yet!” exclaimed Henry. “For example, the new bottle used for our Color Rush Collection™ has been very well received. It’s a custom design, and the first to offer chrome packaging, which gives the products amazing shelf appeal. They will literally gleam on your lotion counter!”
For Team Devoted Creations, having their own manufacturing facility gives them the ability to provide a superior tanning experience to people around the world. “Since the beginning, we’ve worked with our salon customers and listened to their wants and needs,” Henry said. “We have a huge advantage, because we control our manufacturing and research and development, as well as our marketing and package design. Our distributors and salons receive only the most effective products, because the staff in our facilities is making the highest quality lotions every day.”
Salon pros can expect more great things from their friends at Devoted Creations as the industry heads into another peak season. “Our staff strives for constant improvement, and it’s that drive and fortitude, along with a family atmosphere, that will take us into the future,” Henry said.
With JK Ergoline, tanning salon owners have a solid business partner they can trust to help them be profitable.
As a company, JK Ergoline is among the tanning industry’s oldest – Joseph Kratz, Sr. founded what would become JK-Holding in 1927 as a wheelwright business. “While manufacturing saunas, Joseph’s sons, Joseph Kratz, Jr. and Walter Kratz, saw an opportunity in the tanning bed market,” said Brigitte Kratz, Director of Key Accounts. “They began building superior tanning units that employed the latest UV technology and ergonomic designs.” In the mid-seventies, the Kratz family started building professional tanning equipment for their home market, expanding quickly to service many other markets outside of Germany.
Today, with its Ergoline brand, JK is a leading producer of professional tanning systems, and also a “one-stop shop” for salon professionals. “We provide everything from education (Webinars, free salon business analysis and marketing brochures) to UV and sunless products, salon software, and equipment financing, as well as parts, sunlamps, service and anything else a business owner needs,” Kratz said. “We also host the West Coast Tanning Expo in Las Vegas – one of the largest tanning expos in the world – as well as many successful regional trade events.”
As it heads into another peak tanning season, JK Ergoline does so with many new and exciting products to offer. “Our SUN ANGEL DUO S52 sunbed uses advanced, sensor-controlled tanning technology with a variable UV spectrum to provide an excellent tan, while virtually eliminating overexposure,” Kratz said. “For sunless, the Ergoline SUNSTYLE Spray Booth is engineered to be the most advanced unit on the market. It’s flexible, durable and made of premium quality, industria-grade materials. Lastly, the Body IQ: Intelligent Skin Care products, developed by dermatology specialist Dr. Peter Bjerring, are a revolutionary, anti-aging skincare line with roots in photodynamic therapy that focuses on enhancing the regenerative properties of light exposure and decreasing any deleterious effects.”
Looking ahead, Kratz says that salon professionals can rely on JK Ergoline to continue leading the tanning industry with revolutionary and innovative products.
FIT Bodywrap® is an infrared body wrap system that’s affordable, easy to use and designed to add revenue to your salon’s bottom line.
As tanning salon owners, Faraje Kharsa and Michael Mikse knew the type of spa service that would be successful in their business model. “Tanning salons require services that are self administered by the client, much in the same way they utilize tanning units and sunless booths,” said Kharsa, FIT Co-Owner. “We created a bodywrap system that not only provides weight loss, body contouring and a reduction in the appearance of cellulite, it’s also self-administered, which means it’s easy for their customers to operate, and it’s TMAX-ready.”
The folks at FIT are happy to help salon owners realize the highest revenues possible. “Our greatest asset is our tanning clients, who’ve helped us establish our reputation as the infrared body wrap leader,” Kharsa said. “This is why we developed our system to address their needs and help them increase revenue. Today, hundreds of salon owners across the country benefit tremendously from owning a FIT Bodywrap system because of our extraordinary customer experience and level of comfort, and because their clients continue to ask for it by name.”
Kharsa says that he’s excited about the introduction of the company’s new FIT Booster™ spray product. “It’s our latest in cellulite prevention and slimming infusion with triple-firming action!” he exclaimed. “This spray, which is dispersed even when the client holds the can upside down, helps enhance microcirculation, reduces cellulite and stimulates breakdown of fat, while also acting to inhibit accumulation of new fat, stimulate skin detoxification and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
FIT Bodywrap is a company with a firm eye on the future, and its current products are only the beginning. “We are constantly working on ways to improve the customer experience and provide additional benefits with systems that are the most effective and the easiest to use on today’s market,” Kharsa said.
Supplying everything you need to operate a successful tanning salon is what Four Seasons Sales & Service is all about!
Four Seasons Sales & Service was founded in 1984 by twin brothers Ronnie and Johnny Allen. “That year, Ronnie’s employer closed its doors at the same time that his wife, Ann, wanted to begin offering tanning at her beauty salon,” said Melissa Gallion, Vice President of Sales. “To make that happen, Ronnie and Johnny traveled to Jonesboro, AR and purchased a tanning unit from Porter Hurt, the owner of Sun Industries. A few weeks after the sunbed was installed, Ronnie came home to find his yard packed full of vehicles driven by ladies who were waiting to try it.” Seeing the excitement indoor tanning caused in their small community, Ronnie and Johnny started what soon became their full-service tanning distribution company – Four Seasons Sales & Service.
As the winner of the ist Magazine Industry Choice Award for Favorite Distributor and Best Customer Service for two consecutive years, Four Seasons is known for providing salons with the products and services they need to be successful. “We care, and we want our salon clients to succeed,” Gallion said. “We partner with them to help drive customers into their salons and move products off their shelves. We do this by providing sales training, which nurtures confidence in salon staff, and by sharing what we’ve learned over the years to encourage positive action. We also offer services that assist salons with advertising and geo-demographic solutions.”
The folks at Four Seasons are passionate about their commitment to offering everything salon professionals need. “Our partnerships have helped bring to market through distribution new products like Body IQ: Intelligent Skincare for UV and Red Light, and have made us a distributor of top-of-the-line Ergoline tanning units, as well as SunStyle, a new sunless system that’s built to last with industrial grade components. We also offer many lines of complementary products, such as Catwalk and Runway Sunless Solutions, that can help take any salon’s image to the next level.”
Four Seasons is a proud sponsor of ist Magazine’s Sun Is Life® Training and Certification programs, and the company supports the program’s goal to strengthen the industry through education and the promotion of a unified voice. “We will continue to join forces with Sun Is Life to further collaborate and expand our own cooperative training extension,” Gallion said. “We are committed to the future success of salons, and will research and implement innovative products and services that bring us closer together with our clients.”
Interlectric Corp. has built a reputation on producing sunlamps that deliver quality and value, and they’re all made in the U.S.A.
Lighting maker Interlectric Corp. was founded in 1940 by Stuart Myers, and is now owned by his four daughters Sharon, Sandy, Pamela and Jennifer. “During the mid-1980s, members of the indoor tanning community approached Interlectric about producing tanning lamps, and the company was intrigued by the new, emerging market,” said Bob Brown, Marketing Coordinator. “With its long history of producing fluorescent lamps, the entry into indoor tanning was a natural progression. Now, with more than 25 years of experience, Interlectric is proud to be an American sunlamp manufacturer.”
Interlectric offers factory-direct pricing, which continues to be a value to salon owners. “Our ability to produce lamps here in the U.S. keeps our costs low and assures quality control of our premium products, which translates to higher profits for salons,” Brown said. “We’re also the only company that offers sunlamp delivery on trucks specially designed for transporting fragile lighting products. Our company-designed, UPS-approved packaging is virtually indestructible – in fact, it’s so good, UPS guarantees safe delivery or they’ll pay to have the items replaced.”
“We’re proud to say that we use the highest quality materials and the finest phosphors available to produce our unique blends, and we’ve made many updates and improvements at the factory level,” Brown said. “For example, the Panther 10-minute lamp continues to be one of our most popular brands because it offers immediate results that take even an avid tanner to the next level. Salon owners also love our other brands such as Absolute Sun and Super Sun, which include lamps like the Panther, Phoenix, Phoenix Extreme, X-Series and our premium lamp, Sun Celeste HP9.”
Interlectric’s lamps are compatible with more than 250 brands, giving salon owners cost-effective options when it comes to lamp replacement. “We’ll continue to be the company poised for a bright future in the American indoor tanning industry,” Brown said.
Great products, affordable prices and superior customer service – it’s no wonder Norvell Skin Solutions, LLC is synonymous with sunless tanning!
A tanning lotion pioneer with more than 30 years of experience, Norvell Skin Solutions, LLC is known for producing top-quality sunless spray solutions, bodycare products and sunless spray systems, as well as a full line of accessories. With its Norvell University, it is also an industry leader in airbrush tanning education and certification. “We made our switch to sunless tanning manufacturing in 2000 because it was obvious that salon owners needed a service that was compatible with UV tanning, yet had the potential to bring in additional revenue,” said Rick Norvell, Founder. “We recognized sunless tanning as having that potential, and we fought the early battles to help establish sunless as a sector within the industry.”
We’ve designed our product system to treat the skin before, during and after a spray-tanning session, and everything we make is loaded with ingredients that offer beneficial skincare results. This is why salon owners and tanners love our products!
Rick Norvell, Founder
“It has always been our philosophy that healthy skin tans best, and we’ve applied this to sunless tanning since 2000,” said Rick Norvell, Founder. “We’ve designed our product system to treat the skin before, during and after a spray-tanning session, and everything we make is loaded with ingredients that offer beneficial skincare results. This is why salon owners and tanners love our products!”
As the leaders in sunless tanning, it’s Norvell’s job to remain on the cutting edge of sunless technology, and it appears that the company has done so with its latest solution, Venetian. “Venetian was developed to create the most natural color ever sprayed on a body. We invite all salon owners to give us a call to sample this amazing new sunless shade!” Venetian, like all Norvell products, is made at the company’s 60,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Alexandria, TN.
Everyone at Team Norvell wants salon pros to be “sunless experts,” and the company’s Norvell University offers them a method for achieving that level of knowledge. “Our Basic Certification teaches proper spray-tanning techniques, the fundamentals of skincare and the steps required to provide optimal results, as well as marketing strategies and other information,” Norvell said. “Our Master Certification is more intensive, allowing salon pros to work side-by-side with a Certified Norvell Educator to help build their skills as a Sunless Technician.”
Norvell Skin Solutions, LLC is home to a dynamic group of talented sunless tanning professionals, and the industry can expect them to continue providing innovative products and cutting-edge training designed to place sunless technicians at the forefront of the industry.
Thanks to a strong set of core values and its commitment to upholding them, Palm Beach Tan is one of the largest-growing salon franchises in the U.S.
Founded in 1990, Palm Beach Tan created a new business model in the indoor tanning business. With more than 300 salons in 27 states, it would appear that this model remains relevant and successful. “We wanted the business to provide members with convenience, choices and state-of-the-art tanning services with consistency and superior standards,” said Diane Lucas, President/COO. “Our idea focuses on creating tanning ‘superstores’ – salons operating in larger spaces, located in Class A shopping centers and offering 20-25 tanning units. Each of these facilities offers the best selection of state-of-the-art sunbeds, sunless systems, lotions and skincare products.” All of this, Lucas says, is backed by Palm Beach Tan’s loyalty program, which she describes as an “industry-first.”
“Our professional staff is trained to guide clients to make the right choices to achieve the perfect color by learning their specific tanning goals, recommending the appropriate tanning program for their skin type and ensuring the most responsible delivery of services.”
Diane Lucas, President/COO
Palm Beach Tan’s success, Lucas says, is rooted in the company’s dedication to providing the ultimate tanning experience to everyone who comes through its salons’ doors. “Building long-term customer relationships with a foundation in service, quality and value is our company standard,” she said. “Our professional staff is trained to guide clients toward the right choices to achieve the perfect color by learning their specific tanning goals, recommending the appropriate tanning program for their skin type and ensuring the most responsible delivery of services. In addition to convenience, we also offer our clients value with our unlimited sunbed or spray-tanning memberships, which are valid at any Palm Beach Tan salon nationwide, with no contracts or commitments.”
By offering owners the benefit of their experience, Palm Beach Tan has become one of the largest salon chains in the U.S., both by salon count and revenue. “We’re able to offer powerful brand recognition, an experienced and trained franchise support team and professional real estate and construction guidance,” Lucas said. “We also provide comprehensive, Web-based training, cutting-edge operating systems and unsurpassed marketing expertise, along with our advanced performance reporting and IT support. In addition, our national agreements and preferred pricing with leading equipment manufacturers, sunlamp suppliers, lotion providers and other key vendors benefit our franchisees by increasing our margins.”
As salon chains/franchises go, Palm Beach Tan is big… and so are the company’s plans for the future. “We’re predicting continued growth, refinement of our brand values and consumer offers, as well as proactive affirmation of the value and benefits of the indoor tanning industry,” Lucas said.
With a full selection of equipment and accessories and a culture of superior service, PC Tan, Inc. is the right distribution company for the entire indoor tanning industry.
PC Tan was founded in 1986 as PC Marketing, Inc. by Susan Miller, and has been serving the needs of tanning salon professionals for nearly three decades. The company began as a distributor of sunbeds, sunlamps, and parts, and a few years later, added lotions and accessories. In 1994, Miller purchased Montego Bay Wolff, and entered the manufacturing side of the business.
“From the beginning, our goal has been to serve the entire industry, from large salons to smalls ones, and from big, metropolitan markets to tiny towns. Each salon business has its own unique personality, and our dedicated staff uses its years of experience to help these business owners remain profitable and successful.”
Susan Miller, Founder
While Miller is proud of PC Tan’s myriad offerings, she says the company’s dedication to servicing and building relationships with its salon clients is its defining factor. “From the beginning, our goal has been to serve the entire industry, from large salons to smalls ones, and from big, metropolitan markets to tiny towns,” Miller said. “Each salon business has its own unique needs and personality, and our dedicated staff of industry veterans continues to use its years of experience to help these business owners remain profitable and successful.”
Today, the PC Tan brand positioning statement – “Everything but the Sun” – truly says it all. In addition to the lotions, lamps and accessories it carries, the company is the exclusive North American importer of uwe and KBL luxury tanning equipment. “Our team stays on top of the ever-changing categories of products and industry issues; we work directly with salon owners to help them build and grow a successful business,” Miller said. “And we do this one salon at a time. In addition to products, we also offer financing options on equipment, and our exclusive Preferred Customer Card that offers zero percent financing on lamps and lotions to qualified clients. Salon owners don’t need to look elsewhere for a business partner because PC Tan is a one-stop shop!”
In January, PC Tan became the exclusive North American importer of tanning units made by Italian tanning equipment manufacturer Sportarredo. “We’re very excited to add this new high-pressure equipment to our existing lineup of world-class uwe, KBL and Montego Bay tanning units,” Miller said. “Each tanning salon has its own unique visions and goals, and Sportarredo equipment provides us with yet another option to offer our clients. We look forward to working hand-in-hand with Sportarredo customers.”
PC Tan has always explored new ways to serve its customers, and they will pursue this work ethic as the company heads into the future. “We will nurture our passion for this industry with enthusiasm for advancements, positive press and, most of all, by building a culture of superior service and support for all PC Tan clients,” Miller said. “We’re also constantly looking to find new products and services that will enhance, protect and grow the industry.”
Offering everything a salon owner needs to succeed, Suntan Supply puts the value in value-added service.
Officially founded in 1991, Suntan Supply’s indoor tanning roots run a bit deeper than that. “In the 1980s, my brother Marty worked for a lighting distribution company,” said Bill Gallagher, President. “One day, a customer placed a large order for some specialty lamps to be used in a tanning bed, and Marty become interested in this emerging market.” Suntan Supply was born when Bill joined his brother’s company as president and co-owner.
While Suntan Supply is a distributor of tanning equipment, sunlamps and lotions, the company offers so much more than products. “Our ability to provide a complete package of resources for any salon is our greatest strength,” Bill said. “We also offer a wide selection of modular walls, custom countertops and displays, as well as salon start-up and construction services and tanning training/certification.” To further assist their salon clients, the Suntan Supply team also hosts two educational symposiums each year.
The key to salon profitability, according to folks at Suntan Supply, is keeping up with tanners’ buying habits. “Salon owners need to offer a variety of goods and services to keep clients coming back. We’ve recently added TanShot, an innovative and invigorating energy drink, to our offerings. These two-ounce drinks are popular in the market and they can be the perfect impulse-purchase item on any tanning salon’s counter.”
Going forward, Suntan Supply will continue to be on the lookout for additional products and services that salon operators can offer to generate revenue and create client loyalty. “You’re either green and growing, or ripe and rotting,” Bill added.
A veteran lotion maker whose products embody cutting edge results, Supre Tan is also passionate about defending the industry it serves.
Supre Tan was founded 26 years ago by a forward-looking, outdoor-loving business professional. “Whether I was playing sports, camping or working, I was always outside,” said Bruce West Jr., Supre Tan Founder. “I loved being in the hot sun, and I always had a great tan to show for it.” After graduating from college, West began working with a skincare company to develop, manufacture and market a new brand of indoor tanning lotions that also offered skincare benefits, and today, that company and its products are known as Supre Tan.
“Each of our formulas is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of indoor tanners, and to combine advanced manufacturing technology with natural skincare ingredients. We make all of our own products in one of the finest state-of-the-art facilities in the U.S., utilizing the highest quality-control and manufacturing standards. We never test on animals, we are truly cruelty free, and we’re huge supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness.”
Bruce West, Jr., Founder
Supre Tan is known for producing high-quality, high-performance tanning formulas that address every customer niche. “Each of our formulas is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of indoor tanners, and to combine advanced manufacturing technology with natural skincare ingredients,” West said. “We make all of our own products in one of the finest state-of-the-art facilities in the U.S., utilizing the highest quality-control and manufacturing standards. We never test on animals – we are truly cruelty free – and we’re huge supporters of Breast Cancer Awareness efforts.”
The folks at Supre Tan are proud of their successful Snooki product line and their always-popular and award-winning Hempz moisturizer. What the company will be releasing this fall has them even more excited. “We’ve created the most powerful, effective body-moisturizing technology available today,” West said. “We’ve also developed a unique way to deliver extremely powerful bronzing results while nurturing the skin. Our new product developments are… well, you’ll just have to wait and see!”
While aiming to continue producing the highest-quality, best-performing tanning lotions available, West says that he and Team Supre Tan also plan to elevate their efforts to support the fight against legislation that negatively affects the tanning industry.
By becoming a part of Markel, the insurance provider with a solid history of serving indoor tanning professionals just got better.
We have continued to develop our program to specifically meet the needs of tanning salon owners. We are known for our customer service, and we work hard to build relationships with our customers.”
John Clark, Managing Director
Over seven years ago, the folks at THOMCO decided to begin offering coverage to indoor tanning salons. Given the company’s experience in specialty markets, it seemed like a natural fit. “We acquired an existing agency that had more than 20 years of experience writing insurance for tanning salons,” said John Clark, Managing Director. “We have continued to develop our program to specifically meet the needs of tanning salon owners. We are known for our customer service, and we work hard to build relationships with our customers.”
The latest transformation of THOMCO occurred last year when it was acquired by Markel Insurance Company. This made Thomco its own insurance carrier, which means plenty of benefits for its tanning salon clients. “Our customers are now dealing directly with the company writing their insurance,” Clark said. “Previously, THOMCO wrote the coverage as a program administrator for another insurance carrier. We now have our own claims service department, which means our claims agents are more responsive and experienced, and they’ll be able to handle things immediately.”
The folks at THOMCO are confident that the company will retain its status as the insurance provider that knows and understands the tanning industry. “Our underwriters have over six years of experience with this program, and our customers appreciate being able to talk to the same person every time,” Clark said. “Our underwriting team works exclusively in the tanning and spa industry, and this dedication to your industry helps us serve you better!”
As THOMCO heads into the future, the company’s main goal is the transition to Markel paper. “This brings many aspects of the program in-house,” Clark said. “For example, claims handling is something we will have more control over, allowing us to provide even better customer service to our clients.”
A veteran product provider with a wide array of offerings, Tanning Supplies Unlimited continues to thrive by delivering top-notch customer service.
TSU was founded in 2003 by Michael and Christina Gilley through the acquisition of Tan-U-Tanning and Indiana Beauty Labs, for a combined 22 years in the industry. The couple was attracted to the venture because both knew their calling was to operate a service-related business. “Our focus is providing superior service,” said Mike Gilley, President. “Exceeding customer expectations helps us better manage the business. Our greatest assets are our staff and their vast industry knowledge, and we help guide our salon clients in the right direction.”
A good example of TSU’s customer service concept is its Annual Symposium. Held for the past six years, the event provides salon pros with an in-depth look at the products they’ll offer in the upcoming season. Last year’s event attracted 60 veteran and newbie attendees who were eager to learn. “At our symposiums, salon owners and their staff get training and knowledge they need to be successful,” Gilley said. “They learn about all the new tanning lotions and any new technology they offer, as well as key points needed to sell the lotions to their clients.”
Providing tanning systems and parts, lamps, lotions and accessories, TSU offers all the essentials for profitable salon operation. The company is very proud of its latest innovation – Quaternary Cleaner Plus, and Foamies – which are pre-measured, water-soluble packettes sold exclusively by TSU. “Foamies produce high-lathering hand soap with no measuring,” Gilley said. “Quaternary Cleaner Plus can be used to clean floors, sunbed acrylics and can even be tossed in the washer to clean a load of towels, all without the need to measure or waste products.”
Team TSU has a lot of plans for the future but is not yet divulging details. One thing is safe to say – the product provider will remain dedicated to its clients. “By helping our customers grow their businesses, we also continue to grow, year after year,” Gilley added.
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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