Back in 1999, brothers David and Rick Kueber noticed a lag in business at their chain of video-rental shops during the summer months, when no one wanted to be cooped up inside watching movies. The two put their heads together and found a rather unconventional solution to their problem: tanning beds. They installed a new fleet of skin-bronzing machines and sat back as so many clients flocked to their shop that the brothers were forced to open an entire store just to cater to their clients? tanning demands. This was the birth of Sun Tan City. Today, what started as an experimental side business boasts more than 200 locations across 16 states.
The staff at each location maintains a meticulously clean space, where they show clients to UV beds dubbed fast, faster, fastest, and instant. The beds include features such as facial tanners and self-contained air conditioners. Alternatively, clients can opt for the UV-free, automated VersaSpa system, which swathes physiques in a DHA, plant-based bronzing solution. The liquid reacts naturally with skin?s amino acids, creating an even coat as radiant as the high beams on Helios?s chariot within 46 seconds.
Sun Tan City’s trained tanning consultants help clients get bronzed via UV-free tanning booths and ergonomic tanning beds. Guests can schedule a single visit to touch up an existing tan, purchase a multivisit package to get a discounted rate, or become a member to take advantage of the salon’s 100% guarantee.
Owner Ali Bourgault’s signature deep-tissue and energy-balancing massage is a sample of the services offered at A Healing Vibration. After softening recalcitrant muscles with a blend of deep-tissue and Swedish massage kneads, Ali targets deeper problems, recalibrating bodily energies with a multipart regimen that includes reiki, polarity therapy, a foot soak, and a chakra clearing. Bourgault—a licensed massage therapist who has received certification for holistic massage and deep-tissue therapy from Spa Tech Institute—employs this blend of traditional and unorthodox techniques to help alleviate her clients’ pain, stress, and fatigue. To complement her holistic ways, she also makes dream catchers, jewelry, and skincare products that are crafted from natural and organic ingredients whenever possible.
Earthly Roots Hair Studio owner Moira Brouillard's career was on a roll. After working for an Aveda Concept Salon in Atlanta, her styling work was featured in Lucky and Teen magazines??a stylist's dream come true. But then something strange happened. She found she was becoming extremely sensitive to hair products containing synthetic chemicals. Rather than let it deter her from her passion, she began researching alternatives, and the results were startling?roughly 95% of beauty products are composed of some form of toxic element. This led her to start her own hair studio. At Earthly Roots, clients can seek cut and coloring treatments with nontoxic and organic products, which employ herbs such as indigo and cassia rather than aggressive substances such as ammonia.
From their studio in historic downtown Concord, Intuitive Touch's three veteran massage therapists banish back-bound kinks and ease guests into deep relaxation. Getting The Hippo's nod for best massage therapist of 2013, owner Stephanie Waters takes the leads with specialized training in healing arts both traditional and unique. Her arsenal of massage modalities even includes ashiatsu oriental bar therapy, which finds her applying deep pressure to backs with her feet while holding onto ceiling-mounted bars. Other relaxing options include energy-channeling Reiki and reflexology, which uses foot massage to relax other parts of the body by proxy.
Veronica Kerr began competing in beauty pageants and modeling competitions at age 11. She attended modeling school and then pursued a degree in fashion, but for want of a more client-focused career, she took up massage and became a licensed aesthetician. Enter Spa Specialist Beauty Within, a convergence of Veronica's experiences and education. Here, Veronica offers a slew of massage treatments such as Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal modalities, the latter a nourishing treatment for expecting mothers. Using all-natural and organic products, she also utilizes her aesthetician's license to conduct facials, mani-pedis, and waxing.