2023 and looking ahead to branching out the business for others to have the same opportunities as me! I am offering a partnership with interested people who are wanting to get into this little side gig with minimal risk to you. Give me a shout if you are interested. Options available for anyone in Atlantic Canada. Coming soon to Summerside PE
It is the last day of 2021 and there mixed feelings here for me. On one hand, I am thinking about how the pandemic and the dramatic decrease in business as a result has been negative (less money) but also how it has been positive (more time). Stretch Fitness Gym in Summerside closed yesterday and that has been where I have done about one third of my spray tans for the last 9 years or so. It was Corey's idea that I do them there and he always made sure I had what I needed and treated my clients with kindness, as did all other staff. It was a very unique gym and I will miss it.
I am looking for a space to do spray tans in Summerside and I am really going to miss what I had -- being able to come and go as I please, making my own appointments literally anytime 24/7/365. It is unlikely to be the case the next place I go - unless I rent my own space but that would not serve me well at this time I do not think. In the future I may look at that for the other section of my business-- CPR and first aid training. I would like to have a space that is my own someday but that would be closer to retirement- when the kids no longer need me and I have more time on my hands.
Time. I do seem to have more of it the last 2 years and its been a bit of a luxury in disguise. I am interested in keeping going as long as I have clients. I adjust my expectations based on what is happening in the pandemic.- I do not rely on this money as income for anything but "fun money" and that was always the purpose. I have just had to adjust the fun to be a little less expensive. --- cruises, Disney, big trips are on hold for a bit now anyway. Been spending more time with my family and that is priceless.
Spring 2019 is here and many many prom gals are texting with spray tan requests. They actually started in November which is the earliest I remember taking appointments for May. Unfortunately, when I went away for about 13 days for March Break (a cruise!) I had to turn away a lot of people -- maybe 30 or so who wanted spray tans after I was actually going to be out of the country. So, keep in mind this whole business is for "fun money" so that we can afford something like a cruise, but still it feels bad to disappoint people so. I am usually able to make recommendations to a couple of competitors -- but I do not mind. There is plenty of business to go around. I get asked maybe 4 or 5 times a year by people usually from outside of PEI for advice on how to do this as a business. I like to help them. Really although in the beginning there was a bit of trial and error, I would not really change anything with this at all. I have said a few times over the years when my eldest daughter turns 16 and has a drivers license she can take over, well the time is almost here. She and I have discussed it and I'm thinking she is more leaning towards working under me for the time being which I think is a smart choice. She did her first spray tan on me right before our cruise with the "quick tan" and she did great. I had her use the minimist machine which is quicker, easier to use but has more overspray than the one I use. I would recommend it for her to use if/when she does start doing her own probably next year, just because it is user friendly and quite forgiving. Mine is more accurate and uses less solution so I will stick with it. As time goes on I am again and again reminded how important the skin prep is ... and in particular the website has been super helpful for people to not only find me, but to answer all of their questions so I am very thankful with that decision. The last two summers we have started operating 2 airbnb's of our own property during the summer which has made fitting it all in a little tricky. As a result, I have ended up doing a few fewer spray tans last two summers, but it still is very worthwhile and lucrative and I suspect I will keep doing it for years to at least until both of my kids are in University- we are 5 years from that for the youngest. ITs funny there are lots of people who ask me why on earth I would want to do this and not spend "time with my kids" . Funny, since this is "fun money" almost every fun experience, trip, concert, camping, shopping, and adventure we have had since 2012 has been paid by this money so while it does take some of my time, it makes it so our time is definitely "quality". The Airbnb's just pay their own expenses/mortgage for now - no new usable money there for about 4 more years. IF you ever get he opportunity to do that as well, do it. We happened to ahve moved near a touristy place for two reasons- I love water/ocean/ view and we knew we could easily rent out a property or two. Yes its work but my work so glad we did this. All of it. Would not change a thing. I'm coming up on my 7th summer doing spray tans and the future is bright!
Prom time for Prince County. A few more than last year, a few cancellations due to other commitments, fear of orange, no money etc. etc. But I am getting more bookings from queens and kings county it seems, so it all evens out. Proms more spread out this year so able to relax a little. Had one issue that I felt bad about not exactly my fault but I knew better. Sometimes I have to learn to say "NO" when asked to do something against my better judgment. I broke my own rule about spray tanning peeling skin.
Apparently there is another "mobile spray tanner" in Charlottetown. A hairstylist, started about a month ago. Will be interesting to hear reviews. Not worried. I've got a good thing going here.
Got all my fresh solution in a couple weeks ago, free shipping on some of it so yay. $650 worth should keep me going for awhile. Got to spend money to make money :). This years profits going to paying down the credit card -- I know boring but the kiddies have expensive hobbies so someone's got to pay for it.
Overall, very happy with the BUZZ that has been created. People are seeking me out cause they hear I'm the best. I must say I have to agree. :) Almost 3 years in -- over 400 tans and I can count the ones who had issues on one hand so that's pretty darn good.
READY SET GO! Last Spring Summer soooo busy beyond my expectations. Did more than double the year before. Prom week was unreal. This year same thing on the way maybe more.... looks like website is getting about double the hits daily as it did a year ago this time of year. Mostly word of mouth and Google are my big advertisers. I am still on the first page if you Google spray tan PEI, which is exactly where I plan to stay.
So, UV tanning booths now illegal for under 18 since last August so yay me and yay for those young folks who won't be baking. Got a backup system in place and awaiting April to put in my new solution order so I have the freshest solution possible for when summers heat hits. Complaints are still at a minimum, less than 1%.... they Feeling really good about how things are going -- interestingly am getting lots of quizzes from gals wanting to do the same thing. sigh. Oh well I have a good rep and an excellent product so they can't match that. And a little competition never hurt anyone.
Last year saved up the money from this business and took the family to Disney .... what an amazing reward for all of us! Summer promises to be busy with the kiddies and spray tanning and day job so I will have to manage my time wisely. Also planning to do more running and triathlon activities so hopefully this summer will also bring a healthier and fitter me!
Here's to a happier healthier spray tanning Spring!
.... but that's okay! Since it has been quiet on the spray tan front since September, I have had time to do other things and since I work full-time as a nurse I am not dependant on this as a living. Now December has picked up a bit, with a few special occassions etc. that folks want a tan for, but I am quite certain things won't pick up much til May. Fitness competitions are in March I believe so I am thinking I could bark up that tree soon. I was originally going to secure a second gym-type location in Charlottetown this fall but considering there are a half-dozen or so places in Charlottetown to get a spray tan, I think I will concentrate on Prince County for this year instead. Having a spot in Ch'town would increase costs as I am normally not in town except on Saturdays and would need gas and a babysitter, whereas when I am doing them after work in SUmmerside, I am losing nothing. SOOO.... I will keep on the path as it is going fine. Sales for my first complete year (2012) are more than 2 and a half times what I thought so I'm happy with that. Lots of people still hitting the website so thats good. All is well in Rose Valley, Happy Christmas and New Year!
IT's SUMMER on the best little Island in the whole world! I wasn't sure what exactly would take place once the sun shone on the bodies of the pasty Island population, maybe they would not need or want a spray tan as they could get a "real" one for free! But no! I get calls and texts steadily, mostly from people who can't tan (skin is so sensitive) or they do not want to! So, there you go. I am busier than I expected and it started happening rather abruptly in May, amped up in June, and now holding steady in July. My goal for client numbers for the whole year was surpassed before the end on June, pretty cool since I did hardly any till May as I was injured.
I am sort of on vacation myself, and continuing regular twice weekly acupuncture on my formerly broken ankle, and still working at my "regular" job 3 days a week because I wanted to draw out my vacay as long as possible -- long weekends all summer long. So, it has made it a little harder to fit in appointments. And it seems, some of my customers are finding it hard to fit in appoinments as well; I never had a no-show or cancellation til mid June, and now, I have probably 40% cancel on short notice -- mind you I was really really ill earlier this week and had to cancel a couple myself so there you go, stuff happens. But, because of that I make darn sure I am efficient with my time and not doing unnecessary travel. I try to book a bunch of appointments in a row so if one does not show it is not a huge deal. If I can't get people in when it is doable for both of us, well it just can't be done. The wedding tans I've done recently really looked fabulous and I mean freakin' fabulous! They make me a little nervous though as I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE A MISTAKE! but alas, complaints so far have been extremely low, less than 1% of clients (I was aiming for 0% but that was maybe a little unrealistic). Something interesting happened, a former client is now also doing spray tanning for clients, a very very short drive away. Annoying, yes but a little healthy competition never hurt anyone. And, I've already got a good rep, so I'm not hurting! What is also annoying is I can't get this keyboard off italics and it looks like I'm whispering everything or something -- better than getting stuck on caps which looks like you are shouting! SO far, so good here on PEI. I am so lucky to be here in this place!
It's now June, and Prom season in full swing. I was fortunate to get a location at Stretch Fitness in Summerside so I could do tans for people in the Summerside area. I live far out of town and the travel charges are often more than someone wishes to pay so getting a location in town was essentail. I take my own bookings, look after my own money, and pay them a little for each tan I do as "rent". It has been working out very well. I am only there when I have bookings. I was able to do many TOSH and KISH prom tans. Now, proms for Bluefield, Charlottetown Rural, and Colonel Gray Schools are coming up and it was time to find a spot in Charlottetown where I could have a similar setup. So, I called a former employer at Laser Esthetics Medi-Spa in Charlottetown and she was so enthusiastic! I am setting up for 2 evenings one week apart so I can do prom tans for those schools in Charlottetown. As for future arrangements, we are just going to see how this goes; I have to do this after their normal working hours as I work during the day. I am hopeful it will work out, as having a location in Charlottetown will open this business up to a huge group of people! There are spray tans available at approximately 4 locations in the area already, but I think if I can continue to build a good reputation I will do well there.
I am really enjoying the new solutions from Natural Glow. Although Vani-T was very nice, especailly "Fusion", colour choices were limited, and it was unreal expensive especially when shipping and customs were factored in. I will continue to use Aviva for now, as it works really well on cooler skin types, but it is my only solution which is not organic. Natural Glow comes in 6 shades plus mixing directions for many more shades so I can truly build a custom colour. It also seems to last just as long as the other ones I've tried, no smell, dries quickly, and it's organic. It's only drawback is its shelf life is only 12 months from shipping date, but I do not think I will have any problems using my current order up by then.
Also an update which is kind of exciting: my goal for the end of 2012 as a very small home-based business was to bring in enough income to pay for my original investment from last fall. As of June 12, that will have taken place so yay! I only started charging people in January (needed free ones for practise), broke my leg in February and was laid up for about 3 months; so all in all I've done fairly well. Some people have asked me if I was quitting my job as a nurse to do this full-time; No! This will continue to be a small home-based business operated solely by me. Eventually, in a few years I may give the business to my daughter, but that is a very long way off as she is currently eight years old. This business is for fun money, and money to pay for things that normally would not be in the budget for my family. The goal is still to provide quality spray tans, and make some cash along the way. This business is just for ME, something productive I can do that I enjoy. So far, so good. I just renewed my URL www.smartspraytan.com for 5 more years as it has been the single most effective means of getting clients. I have also recently purchased the .ca of that name as well in case people search me incorrectly.
So far it is fun, and now becoming more profitable!
Sandra Graham is an RN who wants to do quality spray tans using excellent products anywhere in the province. She works full-time at Prince County Hospital and lives with her husband and two children in beautiful North Granville Prince Edward Island.