Today we’d like to introduce you to Katrina Brown.
Katrina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started my beauty business when I decided to leave my corporate job in the banking industry and take a year off about 10 years ago. I really had no idea what business I could start my own until one day when I was having a spray tan I decided that I would just start tanning. I love to work and I needed something to fill my time in for my year off.
I left the bank and did a tanning course and hired a space in Sydney’s chic Double Bay. The first year was slow and then after reaching out to some press and influencers and tanning them, I received some press in local and national magazines and then the phones began to ring. I then became known as Australia’s ‘tanning queen’. Soon after the business started to take off, I decided that I was not going to go back to my corporate job. I decided that I could grow this business as big as I wanted or keep it as small as I wanted to accommodate for a healthy work-life balance. I grew out of my first salon space in 2 years and broke the lease and opened up a much bigger salon space in Sydney and then again 2 years after that salon I had to open another one up 3 times the size.
After a few visits to LA and tanning some Hollywood actors, I then realized there was a demand for my all natural Ozzie tans so within a few years, I organized a working visa and I moved to LA to launch The Bronzing Boutique. I soon found out that the way to the top consisted of a different formula to that which I used in Australia. I had half page interviews in LA Times and other glossy magazines, I had tanned some the USA’s top celebrities and my work spread across front covers of magazines such as Maxim, yet still the phone did not ring out like it had when I first started my Sydney business. While my airbrush tanning clientele in Hollywood kept me busy, this particular clientele only wants me to tan them, they did not want any of my staff to tan them and they only want house calls. This made it hard for me to expand if I had to spend my time on the road all day across LA and if I was the only one that could actually do the entire tanning. The tan I use is gentle on the skin and includes a real bronze color that fades naturally and does not come off patchy and scaly like most tans. This year I am making my products available to the professional salons and retail bronzing products for at home. The brand is named after me; Ms. Brown. I have included Anti-Aging ingredients in the tan. Vitamins D & C and the face DHA drops include peptides.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think if you really want something you just do it, however, I also have learned that sometimes you need to stop and re-evaluate your plan. Not everything goes exactly to plan however my goals have never changed, just sometimes I have had to tweak the way in which to get there.
For me, one of the struggles along the way has been learning how to grow my brand in different markets. The business and marketing strategy in Sydney, Australia compared to Los Angeles requires more of a local area knowledge and strategy.
The other challenge along the way is about finding the best people to join the team. I hire people based on attitude and how they fit into our culture because I believe skill can always be taught however attitude and a person’s energy can be much harder to change. Finding the right people to be part of the team results in the business either growing or remaining stagnant.
We don’t just sell a beauty treatment but we also sell love. Especially because our clients are naked in front of us they need to feel trust, warmth and a genuine exchange needs to be felt.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Bronzing Boutique – what should we know?
We are Airbrush tanning specialists. We also offer lash extensions, a brow bar, and wax bar. We are most famous for our quality natural Australian looking tans.
I think what sets us apart from other tanning salons is love. Our brand’s culture is obsessed with delivering love and in turn, creates obsessed customers.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Quality and people are the two most important characteristics to our success.
- Private House Call Airbrush Tanning treatment $100-$300
- Address: Salon: 8327 Melrose Avenue west Hollywood 90069
- Website: www.thebronzingboutique.com
- Phone: 4243546043
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: thebronzingboutique
- Facebook: thebronzingboutique
- Twitter: bronzedbybrown
- Other: bronzedbybrown.com
Glenn Nutley Photography. Nikki Philips Photography