Kirsten Dalland, a native New Yorker with an eye for detail, has been fully dedicated to the sunless industry for over a decade. Her unparalleled ability to tan even the fairest of skin tones quickly gained her a devoted following across New York City and beyond. Having worked with an array of people from stay-at-home moms to numerous celebrity clientele, she’s well versed in the science of sunless. She firmly believes that a spray tan can be a semi-permanent boost of confidence that enhances one’s natural beauty.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
Ask any former employer of mine and they’ll tell you all the same thing: I worked for their company like I owned it. I was always the first one in and the last to leave, always coming up with ideas to improve business and never had a problem working around the clock, literally. As I got older, I felt pressured to return to school and had to figure out a way to not work full-time and yet still make full-time money. Having nothing left to lose, I figured it was worth the risk as there just simply was no other option.
Tell us about your business
Tan Glam offers a customized spray tan done in the comfort of your own home. In under twenty minutes, our clients receive a beautifully bronzed glow, effortlessly. The Tan Glam team consists of master certified technicians who specialize in contouring, muscle definition, minimizing tan lines and more. Our extensive knowledge and long history within the sunless tanning industry allows us to customize every spray tan to our client’s specific skin tone and desired level of tan, ranging from a light glow to a deep, dark bronze. Using only the highest quality solution consisting of all-natural and organic ingredients, we provide a healthy, safe alternative to both outside and UV bed tanning.
Where is your business based?
We are based out of Brooklyn but service all of New York City and recently expanded to Albany, New York as well.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I literally got my first credit card and maxed it out with everything I needed. From there, I figured out how to create a website, a Yelp page and all of my social media accounts. I think the best thing I did when I first started was offering my services a lot cheaper than my competition just to get my name out there. Additionally, I offered my services twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The combination of the two made my company pretty competitive compared to the others that had already existed.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Instagram! Instagram! Instagram! It’s the easiest thing to use (and the cheapest)! Through hashtags and liking/commenting on pictures, it’s been easier than expected spreading the word about our services.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Finding the time to do everything I want to do for the business. It’s so easy to sit back, create a list and come up with everything you want to make happen, but it’s totally different when you start to put everything into action while trying to keep on top of your regular business obligations.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Since launching last year, I’ve managed to take on a few freelancers to help with doing the actual spray tans for both NYC and Albany. I was also able to get an intern to help with social media. The combination has freed up a lot of time so I can focus on other aspects of the business.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
My clients! Whether it be a slow day or just a rough one overall, I’m constantly getting emails, texts or reviews with the warmest, most kind words from them. It’s a reminder that people really enjoy our services and I’m so lucky to have such a supportive group of people who want to see my business grow.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Honestly, I would say through customer service. I make myself completely available to clients at all hours. Regardless of day or night, they know they can call/text/email directly. We really go above and beyond with our complimentary services that other companies charge extra for, too.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
My mom always tells me that thoughts are things, meaning whatever you think will happen, will happen and I couldn’t agree more. I think positive and therefore, my results are positive. It’s worked for me so far!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Perseverance is the only difference between those who are successful and those who are not. I think a lot of people, including myself, would give up on something so quickly if the outcome wasn’t exactly what I wanted in the time frame I wanted it in. Now I realize that good things take time and the only option is to keep at it until that time comes.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
A client of mine told me about the apps Captivate and Cleaner (thanks, Jane!) and I wish I had known about it sooner. They basically do all the dirty work for you and in seconds. Its such a time saver! Seriously, they’re a must-have.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I’m looking to shoot a demonstration video of how the spray tan application works. I think visuals help a ton when it comes to explaining our process (especially how it can work in someone’s home and not make a mess!).
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My main goal is to have our expansion to Albany up and running seamlessly. Luckily, I can do a lot of the work remotely but there’s still been (and will be) a lot of trips back and forth. I plan to build my clientele base in the same way I did in NYC: social media, Yelp and word of mouth.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.