Owner’s Letter

Hello everyone and Welcome to Ventura Tan

I suppose a lot of you are wondering who I am… Please allow me to start at the beginning.

In 2001, I was diagnosed with skin cancer. All of a sudden, reality set in. It can – and did – happen to me. My world was turned upside down. I was shaken.

I was a seasonal tanner, no more than most. Yet, there I sat, with my face (yes my face) cut open, thinking to myself, “Why me?!” I think I’m a smart woman, considering my medical background in nursing. Still, I didn’t think it could happen to me. Or maybe I just chose not to think about it at all. That changed – fast!

I’ll spare you the details, but after many surgeries, I was told to “never tan again”. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, I’ll tell you, it’s not. The first summer when everyone was wearing little clothing, showing off great tans, I was pale. I felt uncomfortable and ugly. OK, so you’re probably thinking I was overreacting and that I’m a little vain. Well, maybe just a little. But I was already approaching “middle age” and, really, don’t you think a tan makes you look healthy (how ironic), younger and sexier? So, what to do? Well, I tried the sunless tanners. Need I tell you the results? (Think pumpkin.) I even tried having it applied at a spa. $125 later, I was a shade darker, not tan. Next, off to the famous $30 shower: “aaaggggghhhhhh!!!!” is all I’ll say about that.

Just as I was getting really depressed and thinking maybe I’d get a little sun – just some color – it was time for my check-up with a plastic surgeon to whom I will always be grateful. He must have seen the desperation in my eyes when I asked him about the sun. He told me, “Christi, you are a beautiful woman, but you won’t be if you keep tanning. Not only will I be cutting your face up again, you’ll get old looking and wrinkly. Is that what you want?” And then I actually saw his eyes light up when he said, “You know what? I saw this airbrush tanning at a medical convention in California. I really don’t know much about it except that it’s safe, FDA approved and looks good… Check it out.”

So I’m thinking, Great! There is hope! I looked into that company and many, many more. I opened the first UV-free tanning salon in this area and I won one of the “Best of South Jersey” after being opened for only two months. And I’ve won Best of South Jersey every year since. I’m making this sound easy, but it wasn’t. I made a lot of huge mistakes. I spent a lot of money on products that were a total waste. I was lied to and taken advantage of. Do you know why? Because I lacked knowledge that should have been shared with me, but, sadly, I had people selling me product with no knowledge to share. They were just sales people.

Basically, I had to wing it and teach myself. I searched for all the information that I could get my hands on, any training available that I could obtain and still I helped many others open salons. Ironically, I became the top representative in that company after only six months. (Because I had more knowledge than most of them.) Then it hit me. One day, I woke up and realized that I can do so much better! The industry was horribly lacking. Somebody needed to step up and fix things. Why not me? I had just learned Ventura Tans needed be sold due to personal reasons, and felt it was a great opportunity for growth.

I purchased Ventura Tans in September 2004. I felt all my focus needed to go into learning the business I’d bought. Only then was I able to implement the knowledge I bring from being a salon owner.

After we worked with the existing equipment and tanning solutions for a while, we recognized some areas that needed improvement. I made many trips to the lab, working hand-in-hand with the chemists, each trip producing improvements to the solutions. As I update this letter, I’m proud to tell you that today we have a full line of solutions that are quicker drying, more natural looking and 100% natural and organic. Not too shabby for a Jersey girl!

Along the way, I learned a lot about products that you use every day like body lotions and shower gels and how they work in conjunction with airbrush tanning. The wrong products can destroy a tan. I have worked with the chemists to develop a line of skin care products which are 100% natural and organic and hydrate any skin and especially compliment the airbrush tan. Products you can feel good about selling because you will use them yourself. I do – even on my year-old granddaughter.

I took these awesome products a step further and decided we needed to go “green”. So although we have great labels, they were printed on recycled paper, the bottles are from recycled plastic, and as I write this, we are working on a fill station. This will allow you to cut costs, pass these savings on to your customers and dramatically cut back on bottling. A positive step for all of us. I take this “green thing” seriously, so watch for more changes.

The equipment we started with was good equipment in 2003, not so good in 2004 and gone by 2005. For many reasons, the equipment was becoming obsolete and the customer service was non-existent. If I sell you equipment and you can’t get it fixed, it makes me look bad even though I didn’t actually manufacture the equipment. While all the other changes were taking place, to have the equipment fail was devastating. Thank God for Accu-Spray and Billy who came to the rescue! We worked closely together to design equipment specifically for the airbrush tanning industry. This took a lot of time and wasn’t easy, but today we have a full line of top-notch, industry-specific equipment, with customer service that matches. I challenge you to find better, and good luck. Currently, we are testing new technology with exciting improvements that, if all goes well, will be Coming Soon!

I always believed so strongly in airbrush tanning … now with the right products, personal (yes, I mean personal) one-on-one training – not a video – and the best machines and solutions available today, THIS IS THE FUTURE OF TANNING. All these improvements brought us a 400% growth rate in 2007.

My goal is to be the best, and I guess I’ve made it because I constantly deal with copy cats, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I sit back and chuckle. For example, there are people who claim to be the “tanners of the stars”. I know better. I’ve met and developed a strong relationship with many famous make-up artists who work in TV, movie studios, theatre and the music industry. Celebrities don’t come to the salon and get tan. They’re tanned by make-up artists. Make-up artists who I’ve trained and who use our solutions. This is the way it works in the real world. I believe good business people should respect the privacy of their customers. So when you look at Ventura Tan as a company, we will stand on our merits for who we are and what we’ve accomplished.

Are you getting the message that I take all of this personally? Yes, it’s personal for many reasons to me. I’ve been where you are right now. It’s confusing, as every company promises you the world. You may be feeling overwhelmed and in a little over your head. Not to worry, my knowledge, experience and support are yours. I offer the best machines available today and a corporation with a full service department that stands behind them. The best FDA-approved laboratory in the country is making my solutions and products. I will provide complete training seminars and a hot line open during salon hours to answer any and all of your questions. Most importantly, I will never fall behind or stand still. There is always room for improvement. I promise to stay on the cutting edge of technology bringing you the best and safest products available. Please join me in my goal to provide a natural-looking and healthy tan for everyone!

In closing, I have been very busy, so please forgive my slow release of this new web site. I think all of the changes will be worth the wait. Unfortunately, because I am so busy, I am not as easily reachable as I was in the beginning. For this I am truly sorry. As any successful business person will tell you, you are only as good as the people who surround you. Fortunately, I have surrounded myself with the best staff to which I am truly grateful. I couldn’t do it with them. (I love you guys!) I am sure you will find them (as I do) smart, extremely helpful and efficient. We look forward to working with all of you.

And the Ventura Tan staff

If you would like to reach me personally, the best way is email christi.venturatan@comcast.net. I may not respond immediately but rest assured, I and only I, will read and respond eventually.