Give me Sun, Sand and SunnaTan
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
You know when you find that one thing, you love it, just can’t live without it? That was me with SunnaTan. I’ll never forget my first tan. 2 week old baby, holding onto an extra 20lbs, and just not feeling like myself. My maiden tan changed everything I felt about sunless tanning. Had I tried the horrid booth tans, and awful and stenchy self tanners from the drug store? You know it! Just like that, everything changed. I’d found a product that was not only Canadian made, but all natural, organic, cruelty free, and gave me that healthy glow that the UV beds never could. I was hooked.
Month after month, tan after tan, I would tell all my friends about the glory of SunnaTan! This insanely flawless airbrush tan that was custom shaded to give us the perfect color. It’s one of the few beauty items I could not live without and I was loyal to in every way. Imagine my joy when I found out that one of my closest friends was taking ownership of Organic Tan Okotoks! My home town, a person I adored, and a woman who had the passion and reach to take Organic Tan to the next level in the Foothills area. I was thrilled for her, and of course me, because I had someone I adored provided my favourite service in all the land.
I’m not going to lie, after my initial excitement for my dear friend and her new adventure, I felt envious. Envy over taking something she was passionate about, and turning it into a side hustle. I knew she would be amazing, and I was mad at myself for not doing the same. Either way, I was going to support her, because I love the product, and cherished our friendship. I’ll never forget my husband Clay constantly saying to me, “why don’t you ask her to sell it to you? What’s the harm in asking?” But OI never felt brave enough, nor did I ever want her to feel like I wanted to take something so incredible away from her. After all, she had started the buzz in the Okotoks community and was giving SunnaTan the reputation it deserved.
One day it happened, sitting there playing with our babies, the words just flowed out of her mouth. The words I always thought about in the back of my mind, but kept tucked away because I never wanted that envy to linger when it came to our friendship. “Britt, I think I want to sell Organic Tan, but I’m not quite sure.” That was it for me, the moment I knew Organic Tan Okotoks had to be mine! I knew she was unsure of her thoughts about selling, and it had become such an important part of her life. Pressure was the last thing I wanted her to feel from me, but the thought of taking over the franchise was embedded in my mind. I went home to Clay, and was absolutely thrilled at the aspect of one day being the owner, and I wrote it right down on my goal list for 2018!
Weeks and months went by when selling the franchise would come up in conversation, but never anything serious. It was killing me inside, as I knew she was ready to move on, and I was ready to take over the WORLD (that’s how I felt anyways). One day, sitting at the park with my newborn, a babe brewing in her belly, the words just spilled out of my mouth, “why don’t you just sell the franchise to me?” There you had it, instant relief. This load I had been carrying in my mind for years was out in the open, and to the world. I was surprised at myself for just saying it, but so relieved it was off my chest, and out in the open. By no surprise, my beautiful friend grinned the most lovely smile, and I knew that the transition of Organic Tan Okotoks from her heart to mine was meant to be.
I’ll spare the gruesome details of the stresses involved in buying a franchise (most likely created in my mind due to lack of experience), but a major component of taking over the business was transitioning Organic Tan from a home studio to a salon or store front. Easy I thought, who wouldn’t want Organic Tan in their space. There has to be tons of spaces in Okotoks looking for someone to rent a space out. Guess what, that was never the case. Did I find salons that had spaces available for monthly rentals? Sure did, but to my disappointment, almost every business owner wanted too much. Too much rent, too much restrictions to my schedule, too much greed when it came to the sales of MY product. There was never a fit that seemed ideal for Organic Tan to grow and succeed into the business it could be.
I was beyond grateful / relieved when I found Tib Street Hair Studio on Main Street! Fabulous location, old salon, needed TLC, and an available storage room that I KNEW I could transform in to the perfect oasis of airbrush tanning dreams. And transform we did into the most beautiful SunnaTan airbrush tanning room my heart ever did see. I love the look, reaction, and excitement I’d experience when first time tanners would walk into the Organic Tan Okotoks room. I knew it was never what they were expecting…in a good way of course. Mix that reaction, with the ultimate flawless spray tan experience, people left happy, and my heart was always full.
You see, Organic Tan was never about JUST spray tans for me. It was about the experience, happiness, satisfaction, supporting people, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and spreading the overall JOY that is SunnaTan! People need to know and experience first hand how something so clean and simple, could change their perspective on sunless tanning. I knew this teeny business would succeed, and the feedback and growth has succeeded my expectations.