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 250 locations across 21 states.
The staff at each location maintains a meticulously clean space, where they show clients to sunbeds 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 sunless, 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.
Owners Patrick Pezzati and Chandra Hancock opened their first Turn It Up! store in 1995 and now oversee four Western Massachusetts locations of the Valley Advocate reader-approved music emporium. Physical media of all shapes and sizes lines store shelves, including rare and out-of-print CDs, vinyl, DVDs, cassettes, and VHS tapes, and customers can trade in their own collections in exchange for cash or a fully functioning kinescope. Music lovers can also peruse a collection of posters and accessories to assist in public displays of band devotion. Select locations host in-store performances by area musicians, providing more appealing background music than store poltergeists’ attempts at doo-wop harmonies.
The trio of tattoo artists at Mountainside Tattoo & Piercing transform skin into canvas by coloring hands, feet, and all areas in between with vibrant ink. Customers can choose from thousands of designs or come up with a tattoo of their own. One of the artists makes it permanent using high-quality Kuro Sumi ink. For those in need of a new piercing, the shop also emblazons navels, ears, and more with body jewelry.
Lauren dispenses classic Swedish and deep-tissue massages to ease tense muscles. She is also well-versed in ayurvedic bodywork, a 5,000 year-old methodology of healing the body. Massages include the use of warm herbal oils and hot towels.
Medicine for the People helps its clients achieve overall wellness with natural medicine and a holistic education. The center's services include acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Thai massage, and it supplements health care with preventive activities such as yoga and meditation.