In episode sixty five of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts talks to the co founders of Spray Aus, Emily McKay and Ellie Pearson.
In 2014, both working full time office jobs, Em and Ellie knew that solariums were set to close given increased awareness of the health repercussions of UV tanning. Determined to maintain the bronze glow they’d grown accustomed to year round, they took a spray tanning course with little intention beyond tanning themselves and their friends.
It was the very moment when their best friend Nadia Bartel (now a co-owner in the business alongside Em, Ellie and Bec Judd) posted about their mobile tanning to her hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers that Ellie and Em found themselves trust into the world of business. They started receiving enquiries upon enquiries, often driving to and from tanning appointments before and after work (and during their lunch breaks) purely to meet demand. They soon relocated their appointments to their own bathrooms and, eventually, quit their desk jobs to focus on their new business full time- and so, Spray Aus was born.
After a year or two of using formulas by other brands, Ellie and Em got in touch with a manufacturer to develop their own professional tanning solution. Today, the Spray Aus offering consists of professional tanning formulas, a home tanning range and accessories, three standalone studios with more on the way, and almost 12 months ago to the day, the brand was picked up by Mecca for distribution across Australia and New Zealand.
In this conversation, Ellie and Emily share why it’s important to trust your gut during the hiring process, how to determine whether or not your “side hustle” business model is sustainable enough to leave your job for, and the peaks and troughs of learning while physically in the deep end.
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