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Shine Bright: A Journey Beyond UV Tanning

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Hey there, beautiful souls! I'm Angie Ruh, the heart and soul behind Shine Spray Tan. Today, I want to take you on an immersive journey through the past two decades, sharing the incredible story of how Shine Spray Tan came to be, the unique approach that sets us apart, and our vision for the future. Settle in, and let's embark on this journey together. Our story is one of dedication, innovation, and an unyielding commitment to helping you shine from the inside out. So, without further ado, let the radiant journey begin.





It all began with a simple conversation, a chance encounter that would alter the trajectory of my life. At the time, I was immersed in the world of aesthetics, guiding eager students through the intricacies of the beauty industry. One day, as I stood in the midst of these budding talents, a particularly curious student opened a door to a new realm for me – her personal experience with spray tanning. Little did I fathom that this casual exchange would plant the seed for an extraordinary journey.


My fascination with self-tanning has always been a constant in my life. I, too, had spent countless hours experimenting with an array of products, all in pursuit of the elusive ideal: a sun-kissed glow that would enhance my fair, almost pasty complexion, without rendering me an unfortunate shade of orange. This passion had even led to me being featured in the local newspaper, sharing my expertise on self-tanning. When my student shared her tale of traveling across state lines for a spray tan, it was as if a dazzling light had ignited within me.


In that illuminating moment, a spark of inspiration alighted in my heart. I made a bold decision to take a leap of faith, relinquishing my secure job and embarking on a journey that would lead me to Hilton Head, South Carolina. It was there that I sought out the individual I had heard was the true pioneer of spray tanning. My fervent pursuit of knowledge and expertise had begun, all fueled by a chance conversation that would ultimately shape the future of Shine Spray Tan.





Returning to Nebraska in June 2002, I started a mission that would change the way people thought about tanning. During this period, the tanning industry was undergoing a profound transformation, characterized by a growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with traditional tanning beds. It was becoming increasingly evident that a revolutionary alternative was not just desired but urgently needed – one that could offer a healthier, safer avenue to attain that coveted sun-kissed radiance.


Fueled by an unwavering determination and a burning desire for positive change, I introduced Shine Spray Tan to the world. Armed with a unique and innovative technique, complemented by specially formulated tanning solutions, I embarked on a mission to redefine the very essence of tanning itself. This endeavor was not merely a business venture; it was a heartfelt commitment driven by the desire to provide individuals with a pathway to achieve their desired skin tone in a radiant and safer manner.


As those early days drew to a close, I couldn't possibly imagine the incredible journey that awaited me.What began as a passionate endeavor would soon flourish into an inspiring success story, setting Shine Spray Tan apart as trailblazers in the art of spray tanning, and ultimately, pioneers in the quest for a healthier, more luminous beauty experience.





What sets Shine Spray Tan apart, making our brand truly exceptional, is the meticulous craftsmanship behind our custom-developed solutions. Over the years, we've fostered a dedicated collaboration with accomplished private chemists, ceaselessly fine-tuning our formulas to reach the pinnacle of perfection. We've harnessed the power of superior organic ingredients and embraced cutting-edge technology, transforming our solutions into more than just tanning products – they are a living testament to our steadfast commitment to unwavering quality and excellence.



One of our standout features lies in the subtle infusion of a purple base within our formulations. This secret ingredient acts as a cornerstone in our arsenal, deftly countering any traces of brassiness that may occasionally threaten the pristine quality of a spray tan. At Shine Spray Tan, we hold the firm belief that no one should ever have to experience the dreaded "orange". That's why we go the extra mile by initiating a comprehensive consultation process with our clients. Through a carefully curated series of questions, we gain insights into their unique needs and preferences, ensuring that they discover their ideal match among our array of eight distinct solutions. It's all part of our unwavering mission to provide a personalized, flawless tanning experience that leaves our clients radiantly satisfied.





Every entrepreneurial journey is filled with memorable moments and challenges that shape the path forward. One such memory harks back to the early days of Shine Spray Tan when I received the first samples from our dedicated chemist. There they were, four small bottles of tanning solution, which I applied with a nail art gun on various body parts. The next morning, I eagerly observed the results. Some of them were remarkably close to perfection, while others displayed a slight yellowish tint reminiscent of iodine. As an aesthetician with sensitive skin, I cherished this opportunity to work alongside the chemist, delving into the intricate world of ingredient interactions and formulation development. It was a rewarding experience that allowed me to better understand the nuances of skincare product creation.


The journey to becoming a spray tanning expert wasn't without its challenges, particularly in the industry's early days. Challenges arose from a combination of factors;  this innovative concept was yet to be widely grasped. However, these initial hurdles proved to be a wellspring of invaluable lessons. I not only gained insights into the nuances of solution development but also discovered the pivotal role of pH levels and the alchemy of ingredient combinations. These enduring lessons continue to serve as the bedrock of my ongoing journey to refine and expand my tanning solutions.

 

The delivery of our first batch of tanning solution was a momentous occasion. We received the solution in 55-gallon drums, offering light, medium, and dark shades. A semi-truck brought the drums to my driveway, and I set up a manual pumping system to transfer the solution into gallon jugs. At this point, the solution was clear, so I applied a bronzing powder before individually labeling and boxing each gallon jug. The labeled jugs were then shipped to the salons I had previously trained. Looking back, I'm immensely grateful that our lab now handles these intricate processes, allowing us to focus on perfecting the art of spray tanning and delivering impeccable products to our clients.





From our humble beginnings, Shine has blossomed into something truly extraordinary. I can vividly recall the days when we embarked on the ambitious venture of establishing our very first brick-and-mortar spray tanning salon. This exciting endeavor unfolded before the industry had been graced by the presence of machines like Mystic Tan and Versa Spa. In those early days, we were pioneers, and our dedication knew no bounds. We painstakingly airbrushed each client using a tiny nail art gun, a meticulous process that demanded up to 30 minutes per client. It was undeniably time-consuming, but every minute invested was rewarded with the satisfaction of knowing we were providing top-notch service.


However, the landscape of spray tanning was about to undergo a profound transformation with the introduction of HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) guns. These revolutionary tools dramatically reduced spray time, taking it from a 30-minute endeavor down to a mere 3-5 minutes. It was a game-changer that not only revolutionized our efficiency but also significantly enhanced the overall client experience. This pivotal moment marked the beginning of a remarkable journey defined by innovation and growth, all driven by our unwavering commitment to excellence.


Today, Shine stands as a testament to that commitment. We've evolved from those early days into a flourishing enterprise with multiple brick-and-mortar locations. Beyond that, we've empowered numerous women to embark on their own journeys as entrepreneurs in the world of spray tanning. Our core philosophy revolves around enabling individuals to "shine their light" and feel comfortable and beautiful in their own skin. We firmly believe in the innate energy within each of us to radiate our unique beauty and provide a safe, comfortable space for clients to glow.


At Shine Spray Tanning, our dedication to continuous training, growth, and support for aspiring entrepreneurs remains unwavering. We're not just a brand; we're a community of individuals passionate about helping others discover their inner radiance. As we reflect on how far we've come, it fills us with immense pride to see Shine as a beacon of excellence in the world of spray tanning, spreading the light of confidence and beauty one spray at a time.





Our journey would be incomplete without acknowledging the incredible individuals we've had the privilege of serving. Our audience spans a wide spectrum, from teenagers eagerly preparing for prom to retirees looking to embrace a radiant glow during their golden years. It's been a remarkable experience to witness our clients at various stages of life, each seeking that special shine that boosts their confidence and spirit.


Over the years, our spray tans have graced an array of occasions, from the sparkle of dance and cheer competitions to the pure radiance of brides on their wedding day. We've been there for the expecting mothers, capturing the beauty of pregnancy in enchanting photoshoots, and for those looking to exude confidence in boudoir sessions. Our tans have added that extra touch of elegance to headshots and formal events, while also bringing a healthy, sun-kissed glow to seasonal gatherings and vacation getaways.


In the most profound moments of life, like interviews or even somber farewells at funerals, we've stood by our clients, offering them a boost of self-assuredness and comfort. Our clients' stories are as diverse as the shades of our tans, and each one inspires us in its own unique way. We take pride in being a part of these special moments and helping our clients shine brightly, no matter the occasion.




 

While our primary focus has never been to chase awards or accolades, it's undeniably heartwarming to witness Shine consistently earning recognition among the best in the "Best of Omaha" competitions. Such acknowledgments affirm the dedication and commitment that our team puts into providing exceptional spray tanning experiences.


What's particularly inspiring is the context in which we find ourselves ranked. Standing shoulder to shoulder with national chain tanning bed businesses is more than just a feather in our cap; it's a testament to the profound shift occurring in the tanning industry. We are living in a time when more and more individuals are seeking healthier alternatives for achieving that sun-kissed glow. Shine Spray Tan proudly finds itself at the forefront of this transformation, guiding and educating clients about the benefits of spray tanning and the remarkable results it delivers.


These accolades underscore the trust and loyalty our clients have placed in us, and they motivate us to continue our mission of providing not just exceptional spray tans, but also a commitment to health-conscious beauty practices. As we embrace this evolving landscape, we're excited to be a part of the journey toward a brighter, healthier, and more radiant future in the world of tanning.





As we look ahead to the future, our vision for Shine is one of expansion and evolution. We are excited to embark on the next phase of our journey, as we explore opportunities to bring the Shine experience closer to even more communities. Our plans include opening three new brick-and-mortar locations in Gretna, Elkhorn, and Papillion, areas where we believe our brand can continue to flourish and make a positive impact. These new salons will be a testament to our commitment to providing exceptional spray tanning services and spreading the message of confidence and radiance.

 


Moreover, our Shine at Home line is on the cusp of reaching a broader audience through various retail platforms. This expansion will empower clients to incorporate a touch of Shine into their daily routines, bringing the joy of a healthy, sun-kissed glow to their lives with ease and convenience.


In our pursuit of excellence and industry leadership, we are diligently crafting a comprehensive course for professionals eager to learn from our two decades of experience. This initiative reflects our dedication to not only offering top-notch services but also sharing our knowledge and expertise with others in the field. We believe that by nurturing the growth and development of fellow professionals, we can elevate the entire industry and ensure that clients everywhere have access to the best possible spray tanning experiences.


Our unwavering commitment to growth and innovation is the driving force behind these endeavors. We are excited to continue our journey, building upon our legacy of excellence and empowering individuals to shine their light, not only for today but for many more years to come.





At Shine Spray Tan, our brand is firmly grounded in the values of empathy, exceptional customer service, and fostering a positive and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone we serve. We recognize that being human entails occasional missteps, and we approach such situations with a dedication to constructive problem-solving through open communication. As the insightful Marie Forleo wisely reminds us, "Everything is figureoutable." We take this mantra to heart, acknowledging that challenges may arise but are always surmountable when we work together.


Our commitment to providing exceptional service goes beyond mere words; it's woven into our actions. We proudly offer a complimentary 24-hour touch-up service for our clients, understanding that life's unpredictability can sometimes affect the longevity of that radiant tan. We want to ensure that our clients continue to shine just as brightly during their special moments as they deserve, even in the face of unexpected circumstances. It's a small yet meaningful gesture that underscores our dedication to ensuring every client walks away feeling confident, cared for, and, of course, beautifully tanned.



The Radiant Future...


I want to convey my deepest gratitude for taking this remarkable journey with us, delving into the very essence of Shine Spray Tan. Over the course of more than two decades, we've not only grown but have also undergone a profound transformation, illuminating countless lives with the glow of confidence and radiance. Yet, it's important to recognize that our journey is far from reaching its final destination; it's an ongoing quest to empower individuals to fully embrace their innate beauty and shine brilliantly in their own unique ways.


As we reflect on our journey together, it's important to hold onto the powerful message embodied in the lyrics, "This little light of mine." These words serve as a gentle reminder that your light, just like each one of our clients, is truly unique, exquisitely beautiful, and deserving of celebration. We encourage you to let your light shine, to let it radiate with confidence and grace, and to inspire others to do the same. In doing so, we collectively contribute to a world where individuality is cherished, and the beauty within each of us is not only acknowledged but also celebrated. Thank you for being part of the Shine Spray Tan family, and here's to many more years of shining brightly together.


Shine On 💜


Angie Ruh



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