Touch of Gold Tanning has turned a small corner of Butler, PA into an island paradise, complete with year round sunshine that leaves so many looking gorgeously bronzed.
Under its previous ownership, Touch of Gold Tanning had been serving the community of Butler, a Pittsburgh suburb, for six years. When construction businessman Tom Brucker went there to tan one day, he saw an opportunity. “I always felt that the original owner could have done so much more with the business,” said Tom. “The interior needed to be completely refurbished and more importantly, some of the staff needed to put a greater emphasis on customer service. Even with all of this, the salon was still doing fairly well, and I started thinking about ways to make it even better.” Tom purchased the 1,500 square-foot salon in March 2010 and seven months later, he acquired the shopping plaza where it was located. “This allowed us to grow and support fundraisers from schools and local organizations on a regular basis,” Tom added. “We genuinely care about our community.”
Tom renovated the salon’s interior utilizing a Tiki bar counter, implementing a vibrant Caribbean beach theme complete with a real koi pond and other décor features. He also added a garage door to the side of the building, which staff members open to show off the brightness of the lobby on warm days. “Since I still work as a general contractor, day-to-day operations are handled by General Manager Kris Reiser,” Tom said. “She’d worked here under the previous owner and I promoted her because she recognized the importance of customer service immediately, and she and the rest of the staff continue to be tremendous assets to the team.”
Although Touch of Gold has been operating successfully for more than three years, Tom and salon manager Kris Reiser believe in the importance of continuing education and training. As such, Kris recently completed three Sun Is Life® training modules and she was impressed with the knowledge the program imparted. “I’ve been working in this salon for nearly five years,” Kris said, “and Sun Is Life taught me things even I didn’t know. The program is wonderful because it’s very down-to-earth and informative. I’d definitely recommend it to any salon owner and staff looking to raise the level of education at their store.”
Tom and the Touch of Gold team continue to work hard to continue the salon’s success and that’s the path upon which he plans to remain. “I don’t see myself opening more stores,” he said, “and there’s no more room to expand at the salon. My goal is to update some of our older units with newer equipment to attract new clientele. We already have a large portion of our community tanning with us, but we can always do better.” Beyond increasing the salon’s revenue, Tom says that more people at Touch of Gold means more career fulfillment for him. “Everyone comes in here happy and leaves even happier,” he added. “How could I not love that?”
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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