Diary Of A Spray Tanner: – Be A Pineapple. Stand Tall. Wear Your Crown

2018… The year that solidified my desire to just say
‘Eff this  – I’m going in harder”

Now for some, that statement might mean pooling all your lifesavings into a business investment, it might mean courses and advanced development, it could mean so many different things to us all.  For me…it really means going forward!

For you to understand properly I think I’m going to have to share something very personal that I have toyed with for a while wondering is there really a reason WHY I need to even regurgitate this back up. But I think I do.

Sometimes, we write to cleanse our own soul and sometimes it helps others. I’m guessing this could be a bit of both, just maybe this might help somebody else! 

My work ethic has always been very strong and something I have always been proud of. I don’t have a long list of Employers, I tend to hang around for a while. I have always been loyal, hard working and taken my role very seriously wherever I have worked. I come from a line of Blue Collar workers, living from week to week doing the best they could. Mostly Footwear and Textile industry workers.

My Grandparents had a shoe factory in the heart of Fitzroy. A hard working suburb of Melbourne, where there were heaps of textile and footwear factories. My Dad worked there when he was younger but after a family tiff he left and became a Manager for another company in the same industry. As a teenager he started out as a Carpenter but of course shoe manufacturing was in the blood! 

A few more years passed by and Dad decided it was time go out on his own. He knew what was required, he understood the industry and he had a family to feed. I was so used to him working for himself I suppose I was a bit blaze’ about it all.

He had up to 15-20 employees and the shoe business was good. It was steady.  He had a mixture of clients, some had been around for many years, some had only been in business a few years and some were just starting out. He looked after Tony Bianco (lovely hard working guy who was a chain smoker), Windsor Smith and others that you’d know of. Big names these days.

Manufacturing was heading further offshore, cheaper made ladies shoes were hitting the shops and Dad was owed money from some of his clients. I think some bad management in there too. I was around the manufacturing of ladies footwear all of my childhood right up until I was 17 years old. Then it stopped.. it was all over.

My parents were already separated at this stage and my two younger sisters and I lived with Mum. Times got tougher and the banks stepped in. We lost our family home, the only home I knew for the 17 years of my life. What a SHIT time that was.  A For Sale sign went up and the scavengers hovered trying to grab a bargain. Neighbours came out to watch, gave them all something to gossip about meanwhile we sat in our backyard waiting for the real estate agent to come in to tell us it was sold. All over red rover. Family home is now gone!

The reason why I have shared this is because it really did affect my ‘risk bone’. I played safe, always had a job, worked hard, you don’t go from one job to another without having a job to go to right…I mean that’s how my generation was brought up. After the family home was sold our little family broke up and it was time to start adulting. Now there’s another interesting story but that’s for another time.

Fast forward another eight years and I met the man of my dreams. In love, married, had three babies within four years and a stay home Mum – life revolved around my family. That was how we wanted it to be. It was a financial struggle, big struggle, but we managed. I could make ANYTHING out of mince meat!!

Taking risks wasn’t in me. I had too many responsibilities. I had to be responsible from a young age and that was just the way it was. So I kept on being responsible. 

Going into business for myself scared me. Nope…not gonna do it. Eventually, I started Spray Tanning and I loved it. My Salon went gangbusters for quite a few years but I felt there was more I knew I could offer. I wanted to educate people. Tanning was my happy place. In 2017 The Tan Merchant evolved and The Original Tan Towel was born. I felt good. It felt good to help other women feel amazing. I found my thing!

March 2018 was the year our baby, The Original Tan Towel was showcased at Beauty Expo Melbourne.  2018 was by far one of my most challenging yet amazing years. I had to learn new things, challenging things, hard things, techy things… just bloody things! It was hard to keep up with it all. I struggled. I cried. I swore. I hated it. I crashed. I wasn’t enjoying it. Things have changed though.

At this time I was also working with a Plastic Surgeon. It was fun, we were all like family, we laughed everyday, we played, we joked, we sang, we did life together. I was there for nearly 12 years. Until one day it all changed. The company dynamics and structure changed and it was time to move on.  A hard pill to swallow when this was my safety zone. I knew my job back to front, I could do it with my eyes closed. As things were changing dramatically during the restructure I decided it was time to move on. So I did… without a job to go. Eeek!

I hear the words screaming out at me, YOU have RESPONSIBILITIES. Yep I sure do. I have a start up Company to continue to grow and develop and I also have bills, mouths to feed, school fees to pay, BLAH BLAH BLAH. But this is where I’m going to wear my crown and be a pineapple. I’m in this game. I’ve got it. I’m here to keep growing, developing, learning. I want it all. I’m taking it all. I want to know more and I’m so hungry for it. The Tan Merchant products will be in Salons Australia wide very soon.

For someone like me who was scared of those ‘adulting risks’ it’s all about testing the waters and dipping in the toes. You wet your feet a bit and it feels good, a bit weird but good. Ok so it’s up to your knees but hey It’s not so bad.

Keep learning, watch those tutorials, keep developing, ask for help, talk to people, network with other like minded people, google shit, do courses, read blogs, google more shit and just grow, grow grow. Keep going forward!

Man it feels good to be a pineapple, even better when you add your own flavour.

That was Diary Of A Spray Tanner.

To Sensational Tanning,

Kellie ‘The Tanpreneur’ 

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