SKYN: Tara, so nice to meet you - could you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
T: Sure can, my name is Tara and I own and operate STT here in Toronto... a Mobile Spray Tan Service, so I bring everything needed to my clients so they can spray tan in the comfort and privacy of their own homes or venue of choice!
SKYN: That's so neat! What got you into the tanning industry?
T: Well I sorta fell into it. My career path has definitely been one that has been all over the map! Everything from my background as a Personal Trainer, to a Holistic Practitioner of Massage, and to most recently working as a Buyer in Procurement for nearly 5 years! Jill of all trades I guess you could say, hahaha! A couple years ago I had been laid off from my procurement job (which turned out to be a blessing in disguise!) so I had a lot of time on my hands to brainstorm and figure out something I could do as a business of my own. I wanted job security first and foremost, so what better way to achieve that than working for myself and being my own boss! I had worked in the tanning industry years ago part time out of highschool, so Spray Tans were nothing new to me. Combined with my passion, or obsession I guess you could say, for beauty products I knew I wanted to be in a field where I could make people feel like the best version of themselves!
SKYN: And you certainly do just that! Why do you think sunless tanning has taken off as it has over the past couple of years?
T: I think people are finally becoming more skin conscious. Anti-aging skincare and prevention has taken over. Realizing how much damage that baking in the sun or tanning beds can do to our skin! There are higher incidents of skin cancer than ever before and that's really scary! I know first hand, having had a few close calls with irregular or suspicious moles that I had to have removed. Thankfully I was in the clear but I regularly get checked and limit my exposure to the sun.
SKYN: Wow - that's so scary. We're so happy to hear that everything was ok, but we totally hear you on the scare factor. People are definitely becoming more aware.
T: At the same time, people still like the look of a healthy glow so Spray Tans are a great way to effectively and safely achieve that! It's instant, quick gratification.
SKYN: Absolutely! Best of both world. Healthy and glowing! You’ve managed to build quite the social following and fan base for Sunless Touch Tan (STT), what do you think it is that makes STT stand out? What makes you different?
T: Awww thank you! Well, I like to think its me and my personality! Hahaha. More seriously though, I always try to make my clients feel as comfy as possible and promote positive body image because I know it can be a daunting scenario... meeting someone for the first time and immediately stripping down to nothing or next to nothing, so I do my best to put them at ease... chatting, laughing, treating them just like we're old friends! Many of my clients have become good friends, I'm very lucky to meet and work with the amazing people I do!
SKYN: Aw, that's so amazing to hear. We know we've tried your service a couple of times and we can definitely say you do just that. Make people feel comfortable. It's honestly such a pleasure to get any service from you. But the cool thing we noticed was that it's not just your sunny disposition that keeps people wanting more (although that is definitely a huge draw factor!), there's also the actual tans themselves, which are so solid.
T: I also go the extra mile to make sure my tans are A+ quality.... using the best of the best organic products, and paying attention to all the little details that make a Spray Tan look flawless! Keeping up to date with all the newest trends and tricks. A lot of my clients depend on me to make them camera and photo ready so I always strive for perfection and will take all the extra time and measures needed to achieve that for them.
SKYN: And you do such a wonderful job at that. We've seen some of the professional shots taken of your tans and girl, they look flawless.
Lastly, Social Media is an absolute blessing!! I've been able to use it to catapult my business to next level status. If you know how to use it to your advantage, it can give you the world and amazing connections!
5. Driving around to see different people all day all across the city must be tough, do you have any stamina tips for those always on the go like you? What helps keep you going?
Not gonna lie, it can make for a long tiring day most definitely! It took me awhile to get in a good groove because my schedule is different every single day. Now I always make sure to head out the door prepared. I will pack healthy snacks so that I'm not tempted to stop and pick up take-out food. I make sure to start my day with a green smoothie because I'm a big believer in juicing and getting your greens in for energy. I also make sure to stretch even just a little bit in between appointments before getting back into my car because lets face it, I'm pretty much cramped up in my car for a good part of my day haha
I also like to make sure I've got great music while driving, it gets me pumped up and keeps me energized to keep going! You'll always see me singing along looking crazy while im driving around! What's that saying?... "dance/sing like nobody is watching!" Yep that's me!
6. What’s your favourite thing to do after a long day?
I love love love Hot Yoga! If my day ends early enough where Im able to get to a class, thats where you'll find me. If it's a late night, more often than not i'll come home, make some tea, watch some youtube or just surf on my tablet while getting cuddles from my furbaby, Harry!
7. What would you say is the best part about your job?
Hands down, making people feel good about themselves! I love the reactions of my clients after they look in the mirror and see their newly tanned self. It's like an instant self-esteem boost. There is just something about a tan that makes everything look better and lifts your mood. I've seen it in men as well as women. Getting those "thank you" texts the next day telling me how much they love the tan, those are the moments I live for! The reactions I get are priceless and I love knowing I can provide that to someone. It's just a magnificent feeling!
8. Do you have any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Just to start! The biggest hurdle is just taking the steps to start. I can't tell you how many times I talked myself out of starting a business because of the fear of failing and not being successful... not believing I could do it, and then realized that my focus was on the wrong aspect and then I started to take the mindset and belief that I WOULD be successful! I finally accepted that nothing worth having comes easy. Being a successful entrepreneur is inevitably going to involve some missteps and mistakes before you finally fly and I embraced that. The key is to not give up, not lose faith in yourself, and persisting through the tough times because there will absolutely be tough times that require sacrifice. Don't get discouraged by the nay-sayers, if anything let that drive you even more! There are no short cuts, you just need to be willing to make it a labour of love and put in the leg work. Make it your passion. Never get too comfortable. Stay hungry for your goals. Staying hungry forces you to push yourself to continue to grow and evolve. I still don't feel like i'm "flying" yet lol. I've only just begun to reap the rewards of hard work and I have many goals on the horizon that I'm continuously working towards! Always be grateful and show appreciation and gratitude whenever you can, I'm a big believer in that!
Now on this one we’d love to include a Tara’s TOP 5 Tips for Flawless Summer Skin
(you can talk about skincare in general, how to maintain your tan, or just a simple step to get one :P Lol, anything you like really)
1. Always, always, always wear an SPF of at least 50!
2. Drink lots and lots of water or coconut water! Keep your skin hydrated and plump starting from the inside, a Spray Tan loves hydrated skin!
3. Exfoliate! I always recommend a good skin detox consisting of a salt bath soak and then thorough exfoliation every few weeks, or for spray tan sake, a day or 2 before a fresh coat of tan.
4. Moisturize the body with Cocoa Butter! It's my favorite. Not only is it an excellent body lotion but it has long term benefits. It fights signs of aging, it's a natural hydrating product that is perfect for sensitive skin while still locking in moisture! It's just an overall great product for skin health, including improved skin elasticity and tone, better collagen retention/production and better long term hydration. It also smells heavenly and is Spray Tan friendly!
5. No matter how tired you are at night, WASH YOUR FACE BEFORE BED! I can't stress this enough, especially if you wear makeup. Our skin regenerates while we sleep so you always want to make sure its fresh and clear of any impurities through the night. Invest in a great night cream! If i'm going to spend money on any one skincare product it's my night moisturizer/treatment. My current favorite is SkinCeuticals Resveratrol B E