Magazine Article – “ist magazine”
A New Beginning
ist magazine article
by John P. Ribner | August 2013 | Salon Spotlight
A “millennium” can refer to a time of “peace, happiness and prosperity,” and this perfectly describes Millennium Tan of Cookeville, TN.
A former accountant, Patsy Allison has been counting her blessings since opening Millennium Tan 10 years ago. With the help of her husband, Herbert – as well as the folks at an equipment manufacturer and a tanning product distributor – she brought a 36-unit mega-salon to area sun lovers craving something new and different. As she expected, folks raved about Millennium Tan’s tanning technology, and Patsy won their loyalty with her passion for customer service and cleanliness. These days, she dreams of opening another Millennium Tan, not quite as big as the first, but still able to serve up all the friendly service for which she and her brand are known.
Bringin’ it Home …
After keeping the books for a large food service company, Patsy Allison longed for a change in her professional life. In her travels for work, she was exposed to upscale tanning salons all around the state and knew her small town of Cookeville was lacking. “I like the idea of change and doing things differently,” said Patsy. “I guess that’s why I decided to open an upscale tanning salon in Cookeville; plus it would put me in control of my own destiny. My husband owns a construction company, and he worked closely with the people at Four Seasons Sales & Service to find the best location in town, then he completed the build-out. Jerry Deveney of JK-North America also helped us choose the right equipment mix.” The 3,600-square-foot facility opened on March 10, 2003.
With the new millennium arriving just three years before she opened her salon, Patsy chose the name Millennium Tan. While she says its length makes it difficult to have printed on T-shirts and signs, this didn’t stop people from tanning there. “For 18 years, I sat behind a desk crunching numbers and now, all of a sudden, I had to interact with people,” Patsy said. “To be honest, it was a refreshing change and I discovered that I enjoyed it. I took every opportunity to get to develop relationships with our tanners, and even today I’m on a first-name basis with the majority of them.”
The décor at Millennium Tan incorporates lime green, purple and other vibrant colors designed to create a cheerful-yet-sophisticated look. The salon has 27 tanning units – one Ergoline Avant Garde 600, four SunDash 240, seven SunDash 226, six SunDash 232, two SunDash Platinum, six SunDash 332 and one Sportarredo tanning booth. Rounding out the menu are a host of spa services – a Mystic Tan MyMyst spray booth, Spa Capsule hydro-massage bed and a red-light therapy unit, as well as Bleach Bright teeth-whitening and the It Works bodywrap system. Millennium Tan sells lotions by Australian Gold, California Tan, Designer Skin, Devoted Creations, Performance Brands, Playboy, Supre Tan and Swedish Beauty, and operates with Helios software.
The Ultimate Bash!
When it comes to promoting Millennium Tan in her community, Patsy likes to have a bash … a “Bunny Bash,” that is. “David McFarland (Performance Brands National Sales Educator) has trained our staff a few times, and he helps us with our marketing and promotions,” she said. “The last time he was here, we hosted a ‘Bunny Bash’ in conjunction with PBI’s Playboy brand and it was a huge success. About 300 people showed up and we signed up many new clients.” Tanners who brought empty bottles of tanning lotion, regardless of where they purchased it, could trade it for a $10 discount on Playboy Tanning products. “We allowed everyone to tan for free that day, and we offered a variety of package and lotion deals and gave out many free lotion samples,” she added.
Ten years after Patsy opened her salon’s doors, Millennium Tan is still going strong and this success has Patsy thinking about expanding her sun biz venture. “I’d love to open a second salon but it wouldn’t be as big as our first,” she said. “If we do, it will have between 18-20 units, which is just enough to accommodate the tanners in our town. I’d like to first complete some renovation at our current store, including upgrading some of our older tanning units and updating the décor. I like to keep it looking fresh and exciting by doing something new each year while still maintaining an upscale spa look.”
Ten years ago, Patsy Allison gave up “bean counting” for selling sunshine and she’s never been happier, mostly because of her clients. “I love having a job that allows me to talk to so many people each day and help them look good and feel great,” she said. “This is why I’ve stayed in it so long and plan to continue for many more years.”