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Aviva Spotlights: Tips From The Pros

Jessika Smith: Luxury Tanning

Hi Jessika, Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed for our latest Aviva Spotlight. Let’s start with an easy one: how long have you been in business?

I started spray tanning as a hobby, with a pop-up tent in my kitchen, January 2013

So you’ve been at it for quite a while! What type of business do you have now?

I’ve grown my business recently to 2 locations. One salon offers Aviva spray tans, the second location is a full aesthetic salon, with Aviva spray tans.

That’s fantastic, and I’m so glad that Aviva can be a part of that! With so many options out there, why did you choose spray tanning as a service?

I had a skin cancer scare, but still wanted to be tanned, and Tanning beds were not an option. I didn’t like the options for sunless tanning in my area. At the same time, I was studying to become a chemical technologist and we began to learn about the chemistry of sunless tanning. So I set out to find a sunless product that had good chemistry. What started as a hobby quickly turned into a business.

Sounds like you certainly came to the right place! We are all about the science behind a spray tan. Is that why you ended up choosing Aviva?

I was confident in the chemistry of the product. Knowing that the founders had a background in science, and that the products went through quality assurance testing, reassured me. Good chemistry is what leads to good results.

Very true, and happy customers! I’m sure that the quality of our spray tans is one of the biggest ways Aviva has helped you grow.

Aviva is the product I have used since day one. My business has grown to two salons, from Aviva Spray Tans. My clients trust my opinion when it comes to everything, because I have been able to rely on Aviva products to give consistent, flawless, predictable results every time. The aestheticians at my new location are booked solid for weeks, all thanks for Aviva spray tans.

That’s fantastic to hear! So now that you own two locations, what would you say is your favorite part of being a spray tan business owner?

The look on someone’s face when they walk out of the room, feeling beautiful and confident, is the best feeling in the world. That keeps me striving to be better, and reassures me everyday that I made a great choice.

And if you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own spray tan business, what would it be?

Always be one step ahead, and try to make continuous improvements. Whether it be to your work space, your technique, your social media, etc. You can never know too much about your product or others.


Abby Reid: The Sun Tan Van LLC


Aviva: Hi Abby, great to be able to learn a bit more about your business! To start, please tell us a bit about your very unique spray tan business.

Abby: Thank you so much for considering me for an Aviva Spotlight! My business, The Sun Tan Van is entirely MOBILE. We come to you, wherever that may be! Tans can be done in our Mercedes Sprinter van or in-home with a tent. It’s really the utmost convenience in spray tanning. The Sun Tan Van has been open since September 2015. It has truly been an amazing first year!

Aviva: We are in love with this concept—it’s so cool! It sounds like you love what you do. Tell us, why did you choose to start a spray tanning business?

Abby: As someone who has always loved to be tan, but burns in the sun, this is the safest alternative. There are no UV rays, the process takes 10 mins, and you can choose from a range of shades – perfect for seasonal tanners. I wanted to spread my love for spray tanning and skin health and this was the best way. I also love being able to connect with my clients. Before starting The Sun Tan Van, I was a salon coordinator on Newbury Street and I really admired the client-service provider relationship.

Aviva: Spray Tanning is certainly about building great relationships! What would you say is your absolute favorite part of being a spray tan business owner?

Abby: Making my clients happy and confident, and of course making my own schedule!

Aviva: That’s a popular one: being your own boss is a huge plus for starting a spray tan business! So when you were looking to start your business, why did you choose Aviva?

Abby: Before starting The Sun Tan Van, the salon I was going to for tans used Aviva. I knew I loved the color. After doing research on the product, I knew this HAD to be what The Sun Tan Van used. It’s seriously amazing! I am also an organic fanatic in my personal life so it really just made sense to use Aviva. My clients love it too!

Aviva: And since then, how has Aviva helped your business grow?

Abby: By having amazing products! In spray tanning there are 3 major factors that separate you from all the other locations people can go for spray tans.

  1. The product
  2. The actual skill in which the tan is applied
  3. The technician (personality/making clients comfortable)

All three need to be of the highest quality or your clients will go somewhere else. Aviva has top of the line products and offers an educational portion which was very important to me.

Aviva: Yes, we pride ourselves in teaching our students how to be the best spray tan artists possible. We’re glad it helped! Thank you so much Abby, and last but not least: If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their business, what would it be?

Abby: Obviously use Aviva products! Make sure you test out everything you offer to clients, and good luck!

Leah Goodman: Skincare Specialist


Aviva: Hi Leah, thanks so much for sharing your story with us! Please begin by telling us a bit about yourself, and what you do.

Leah: I’ve been in business for 16 years. I’m a licensed aesthetician, spray tanner, masseuse, lash extensionist, and makeup artist.

Aviva: Quite the resume! And why did you choose to add spray tanning?

Leah: When I started my business at the young age of 19, I lost a handful of clients to skin cancer in my first two years of business. In this business you can have special, unique, and personal relationships with your clients, and when these five passed away it was heartbreaking for me. It was also right before the time Shonda Schilling (Wife of Red Sox baseball star Curt Schilling) started to become a strong advocate for skin cancer awareness. I spoke at lectures, and was invited as a guest speaker to many of these different types of awareness events, which became a passion of mine. It also pushed me to search and experiment with all things spray tan. Products, machines, solutions. You name it. I was determined to provide and educate people on a healthy alternative.

Personally and professionally I have always been passionate about a healthy, balanced life style, which at the end of the day makes a huge difference in the outcome of your skin.

Over the last 16 years, spray tanning has made huge progress. I started with hand-body treatments, clear solutions, smelly solutions, and then I found Aviva. For the past 7 years I have not only been an educator for the company, but it has made a huge difference in the quality of the service I can provide for my clients.

Aviva: Thank you for sharing such an amazing journey. In the end, why did you choose Aviva?

Leah: In the last 16 years I had the chance to work with many brands. Not only have I found Aviva to be the best product, I also can’t say enough about the people behind the brand, and that is important to me as a small business owner.

Aviva: That’s something that’s important to us too: giving back to those who support us. Can you tell us, how has Aviva helped your business grow?

Leah: Aviva has helped me grow by always staying on top of their game when it comes to their brand the quality of their products. When I need them, they are always willing to go over and above, which in this day and age is a rare quality you find in a business.

Aviva: Well if you’re happy, we’re happy! So we have to ask: what is your favorite part of being a spray tan business owner?

Leah: It is an affordable service that lasts for days. Unlike a blow out that can last for the day or the event, you’re happy with your spray tan for days! When you can make people feel and look their best in seconds it is simply so rewarding!

Aviva: Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their business, what would it be?

Leah: You want to be passionate and enthusiastic in whatever you do in life!

Amy Staubitz:  AURORA Organic Spray Tans



Aviva: Hi Amy, thank you for sharing your story with us! To begin, please tell us a bit about you and your spray tan business.

Amy: I’ve lived in California for over 16 years, am a veteran of the United States Air Force, and am also a registered nurse. As of December, 2016 AURORA Organic Spray Tans has been in business a little over six months. AURORA was founded and driven to improve health by providing a beautiful, organic sunless alternative to harmful UV ray tanning. “AURORA” means the most natural beautiful sunlight.

Aviva: Aurora, what a great name for a spray tan business! Tell us, why did you choose spray tanning?

Amy: After taking care of many patients as a public health nurse, I became more aware of the rise in skin cancer. In fact, I discovered skin cancer is now one of the most common of all cancers! After researching further, I found that the Skin Cancer Foundation states that one in every five patients will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. The American Cancer Society also states that exposure to UV rays, such as sunlight, tanning beds, and sun lamps, are a major risk factor for developing Melanoma.

After learning this, I developed a strong passion and desire to bring awareness and education to the public to help protect the largest organ of the body: your skin. AURORA was founded and driven to improve health by providing a beautiful, organic sunless alternative to harmful UV ray tanning.

Aviva: Is that why you chose Aviva?

Amy: I chose Aviva Labs because their motto is in alignment with my beliefs: “beauty today, health for life”. AURORA is very health driven and we want to give our clients the best solution that will give them a beautiful, natural, flawless tan without risking their health. I also really love the fact that Aviva provides solutions with organic ingredients, and that they have solutions that have no odor or sticky Aloe Vera.  The diversity of solution colors is another reason I chose Aviva. Many of my clients appreciate the fact that they can choose a light glow or a “back from vacation” look.

Aviva: We’re always happy to hear compliments about our products! You get tons of compliments too, we’re sure!, but what is your favorite part about being a spray tan business owner?

Amy: I enjoy seeing my clients walking away happy, and with new confidence. Many clients have shared with me that spray tanning is life changing for them.

Aviva: That’s amazing to hear! So tell us, how has Aviva helped your business grow?

Amy: Aviva Labs has helped my business grow with their consistently high-performing solutions, and also the support I have with the Aviva team.  If I have a question about my business, Aviva has been very helpful in giving advice and tips and tricks on how other successful business work.

Aviva: Thank you Amy, and to wrap up: if you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their business, what would it be?

Amy: One of the pieces of advice with starting a spray tanning business would be to make sure you understand your market and plan for the slow season,  whether that be by saving capital or diversifying.  Many people do not spray tan in the winter months so in my experience so far, this is a seasonal business.

(For tips on how to help your business in the winter months, check out our blog article on Winter Tanning!)