My name is Melissa and I am the owner and primary spray tanning technician at Shade Sunless Tanning Co in Ardmore, PA. I have been tanning for over 5 years, and a business owner for over two. I am also the owner of Janet+Dorothy, a sunless tanning solution and professional sunless retail wholesaler.

How I got here:

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh and wandering about for a few years,I completed the esthetician program at the Aveda Institute in Philadelphia in 2008, right when the economy went to shit. I promptly became a nanny and put my skincare training on the shelf. I didn’t even take the tests for my license( I DO NOT recommend this). Fast forward to 2012 and I wanted back in.

I came across and ad for a spray tanning tech and ended up in a boutique sunless salon where I learned great techniques and the importance of good solution. It was a fluke reply to an ad and it changed my life.

I decided to go out on my own and Shade Sunless was born in 2014. Since opening, I have learned so much about the good, bad, embarrassing, and the ugly of this industry. And I have also fallen more and more in love with it.

So why a blog? I don’t know of any sunless centric writing that isn’t written wholey by a sunless tanning technician/ business owner/sunless only woman. What I have read and experienced is male traditional tanning bed owners and industry dudes who post sometimes creepy, always watered down nonsense. I think we can handle straight facts with bigger words and I don’t need a bikini pic to get the point.

And then there are the sales reps. This is a sweeping stereotype, but one that will resonate with many, even if doesn’t hold true for all- these sales reps are either not tanning people on a daily basis( if ever- I mean it- ask your sales rep how many people they spray tan on average and you won’t like it because if it were daily or ever they would be screaming it from the rooftops) or are generally so aggressive with pushing their brand when answering a technical question that I can’t take the advice or troubleshooting idea seriously.

No one should be writing diatribes on your FB post regarding a solution rec. That’s not cool. And why blogs were invented.

So that’s that. Hopefully you walk away with something useful after reading the posts, or are, at the very least, amused.