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I connected with Melissa Latimer a few weeks ago on Instagram and I am so happy to have been able to team up with her. Not only does she sell amazing tanning products but her story is incredible. This mom of two not only finds time for her kids but also enjoys her work and is constantly giving back to her community. She is an inspiration, see the interview below to learn more about her and her products:
Name: Melissa Latimer
Business Name: Sunless Skin Solutions/ Soleil Tan GA
Years in business: 8
My Husband of 6 years - Benjamin
My Daughter: Kendyl Anderson 14
My Son: Kaden Anderson 12.5 (let's not forget the 1/2)
Fur-Babies - 4 Chihuahuas
What made you want to start spray tanning?
I love feeling good about myself and I noticed when I had a tan I felt more confident and empowered as a Woman! I felt I could accomplish anything! There is a huge rate of depression in society, people from all walks of life struggle with it. So many people don’t like who they are, or have the confidence to achieve their goals, and often feel helpless and hopeless. Working with individual people inspired my heart to take a huge step forward towards providing education for professional spray tanners. I noticed that many people didn’t know how to get started and many had been giving incorrect or misleading information. After using Mediterranean Tan and seeing such a huge difference in the quality of my spray tans, I became very passionate about bringing Mediterranean Tan solutions and their products to the US market. You must BELIEVE in what you are branding or building and NEVER EVER STOP!! It takes time and constant effort to bring a product into the US market!
Where did you get your spray tanning training?
The Centre of Excellence in Australia
Currently Melissa is the Only Internationally Accredited Spray Tan Trainer in the U S A and the First Internationally Accredited
Spray Tanner in the State of Georgia.
Can you share your background with us?
I was in the Banking Industry for over 15 years. Business Development for small businesses was my passion and where I learned how to build a business and what was most important. I also was an independent distributor for Premier Designs Jewelry. My passion for people is what drives my goals and aspirations. I remember always that it is NOT what you know – its’ how you treat people that is most important. Building my business on People NOT Products is HUGE for me. Personal connections are what drive me. I whole heartedly believe relationships make or break a business. People do business with people not products/price!
How did you grow to the point that you were able to work full time on your business?
In the banking business, I worked 80+ hours a week, 6 days a week. I was a single Mom with small children and my only off day was Sunday. One rainy Sunday I was driving home from church and my son told me he didn’t want any more toys; just me at home playing with him… yes, i know sniff sniff… My daughter made a similar comment and I found myself on the side of the road bawling with my two small children thinking they made their Mom cry. I knew then that God was telling me the time was NEAR…. I prayed and spoke with several older mentors and I gave an 8-week notice to the bank.… In my position, they think you are going elsewhere, so they don’t keep you when you give notice… I knew I wanted to do something for the greater good of people and fell in love with making people smile and adding color to their skin. I took a leap of faith and trusted the Lords nudge and today I am abundantly blessed to be able to spend time with my children and my beloved husband of 6 years!
Where do you get the most bang for your buck on marketing?
I have done everything you can think of in marketing, but my BIGGEST returns are from investing in my clients and community. I give back to my Clients for referrals; extra benefits, free upgrades etc. I do several community drives each year at my salon and get my clients involved. I have an Annual Santa Paws for a Cause benefit for our Local Animal Shelter, Back to School donations for supplies to local schools and Teachers/Kids, and Pink Wednesday for a 50% off Product Coupon when they donate toys to the Children’s Shelter. We partner with several other businesses each year and involve them in our Events. I do this from my heart and I believe these don’t cost us much money but have the BIGGEST ROI.**
Following up with my clients is my #2 for success. I get to KNOW our Clients and I have a STRINGENT training program for my staff. I am at my Salon/Mobile and Sunless Skin Solutions Distribution A LOT! I do this because I care! I do NOT worry about competing with other Salons in town. I focus on taking care of my clients and serving my community. I think that is our biggest asset!
** A fun event I do each year at my home during Christmas season is a Themed Ornament Exchange. I invite my female clients and it gets pretty crazy, but it is a fun way to build memories! I am doing a Pool Party for the first time this year and will be doing some fun drawings for all my Clients. I will let you know how it goes!
Do you have a Brick and Mortar location.?
I have a Brick & Mortar Salon and also offer Mobile services. I also have a distribution center for Sunless Skin Solutions.
What makes your company and solutions different?
At Sunless Skin Solutions, all training is done to an Accredited Standard. We use clients for hands-on training and a training manual that gives background on our industry and how it works. Sunless Skin Solutions specializes in helping people grow their businesses; we don’t just sell a product. Our solutions are uniquely made with a base that lasts longer, fades evenly and counteracts the dreaded orange by being skin type specific. The First Only Infused Spray Tan with 11 Oils and many incredible ingredients; clients flock to it for the amazing skin care benefits they see!
What are your favorite retail items to carry and sell?
Clients love Mediterranean Tan’s Body Scrub, Wash, Tan Extender Devine body oil & Body Lotion.
How do you operate in the slower season?
Fabulously - I focus my time on Maintenance and Community involvement and giving back and I am grateful for this time.
How do you stay up to date on spray tan trends?
I have worked with Australia’s Spray Tan GURU/Manufacturer - Andrea Taylor, and have continued my education thru The Centre of Excellence school in Australia. I have worked closely with Andrea over the last 12 months and have been using the Mediterranean Tan products and solutions exclusively for 6.5 years. Nothing compares in my client’s eyes as there are no harmful ingredients, they last a long time, and they love how their skin looks and feels.
Do you feel you could have done something differently through the years?
NO! I walked my path and there was a purpose and plan already established. I just didn’t know it.
Has there been one person or a group of people that have mentored and guided you along your journey? If so, give them a shout out here!
Andrea Taylor has been hands down amazing in teaching, sharing and training. With her guidance, I feel I am at my best with the most advanced solutions and manufacturing processes our market has to offer.
If you could give any advice to spray tan artists that are just starting out or are struggling, what would it be?
DIG DOWN Deep, Know WHY you started - Pull your big Girl or Guy pants up and SLAY! Never Quit!
FUN QUESTION: If you could be any cookie on earth what would you be and why?
OREO - Why - to me it represents the ying/yang in our lives. You can’t always work and you can’t always be lax… Also, I’m either black or white, no grey areas for me!
MY BEFORE & AFTER: