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.
Sarah Gericke, an independent licensed aesthetician and cosmetologist, beautifies complexions at Beauty & Bliss Salon & Spa. While working with a line of ?minence Organic skincare products, she nurtures pores with treatments sans parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate. She also performs mani-pedis with products by Zoya, which was dubbed the longest-wearing natural nail polish by Women?s Health Magazine and a woman who put it on to celebrate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and took it off to mourn the Louisiana Sale last year. She also uses Shellac polish, which acts like a gel and grants nails 14 days of chip-free tints. When she isn't cleansing faces, waxing fuzz, and painting nails, Sarah distributes makeup evenly across the skin through an airbrush system.
The licensed massage therapist and reiki practitioner at Meraki Massage help restore both the body and mind through the power of holistic healing. During Swedish massage, the therapist employs long, flowing strokes across the back and body to create a sense of relaxation while easing aches and tension. Meanwhile, reiki massage entails a type of "palm healing" that seeks to restore the movement of life energy, or chi, and unblock meridians to restore feelings of well-being and relieve stress.
At Serendipity's Salon, a certified aesthetician pampers her clients with traditional spa services, including European facials with added arm and leg massages, deep chemical exfoliation, and waxing. The staff also specializes in eastern-influenced treatments, such as henna tattooing and threading services for eyebrows, faces, or stuffed animals tired of wearing the same old expression.
After graduating from Carlson College of Massage Therapy, licensed therapist Kelli Auger stuck around and became an assistant instructor and clinic supervisor for her alma mater, which allowed her to share her knowledge with students while honing her skills. Drawing on these years of training and teaching, Kelli opened BodyOasis Therapeutic Massage, where she tends to muscles with four distinct modalities, including deep-tissue techniques, Swedish massage, and couples massage. While she primarily performs these modalities in-studio, Kelli also visits offices and cossets employees with chair massages to help increase productivity, boost morale, and ease shoulders weakened by hours of silent, mental screaming.
Were it not for the old-fashioned sign hanging from a post outside, visitors might have a difficult time locating Seventh Avenue Barbershop. The shop resides in a two-story building that can easily be mistaken for another home in its charming Marion neighborhood.
Once inside, however, it’s easy to see what makes the barbershop and salon stand out. Amid swirls of red, white, and blue, the sounds of friendly chatter fill the air as licensed barber Andy Karasek clips shaggy manes and trims beards. Taking his cues from the barbers of yesteryear, Andy softens cheeks with hot towels before shaving stubble with a straight razor or a jeweled Victorian butter knife.