In this customer profile, we meet Natalie Müller and Janne Hegna, owners and founders of Spraytanhuset (”The Spraytan House”).
Hi Natalie and Janne! Can you tell us what your business does?
Natalie: We provide organic spraytan and ecological self-tanning products in our two salons in Bergen and Oslo. Spraytan is a way to tan quickly that does not involve sunbathing or UV rays. The person giving the treatment applies the spraytan to the body of the customer using a specialist spraytan machine.
Janne: We’re also the exclusive Norwegian importer and supplier of the leading ecological spraytan- and self-tanning brands Vani-T, MoroccanTan and Dermasuri. We supply these to over 50 dealers in Norway. The brands we sell do not contain parabens, sulfates, DEA, mineral oils, paraffin or other unnecessary additives.
Customers can buy these products through our online store or in our salons. All of our reseller orders are through our webshop.
When and where was your business started?
Janne: Our first salon opened in Oslo in May 2014, and we opened our second in Bergen in November 2015.
What inspired you to start your business?
Natalie: We want to contribute to a change in Norwegians’ attitude to sun and sun protection that may eventually help reduce the incidence of skin cancer.
While I was living in Australia I had a mole removed that, while not cancerous, was a high risk for developing into a skin cancer. That experience changed my views on tanning, so after moving back to Norway I decided to do something about it. We knew each other from earlier, and we shared similar views on health and lifestyle, so together we opened the business.
Janne: Norway has one of highest incidence of skin cancer in the world, behind only Australia and New Zealand, despite short summers and weak sun. This is mainly because Norwegians are frequent users of tanning beds, and so-called “shock tanning” is still unfortunately very widespread. The motivation behind Spraytanhuset was to offer a healthy alternative to sunbathing and tanning and thus provide a healthy tan that does not risk skin cancer, wrinkles and other skin damage.
We donate 5% of all profits to the Cancer Society and have 100% satisfaction guarantee.
How many people are employed in your business today?
Janne: 15 including the two of us.
What is the secret of your success or best business decision you made?
Natalie: There are a few things that were central to making the business a success.
1. Timing: Spraytanhuset opened at a time when there were very few healthy, professional alternatives to sunbathing and tanning.
2. Passion: We’re passionate about spreading the message on the dangers of solarium use and “shock sunbathing”, and really want to provide a healthy alternative.
3. Expertise: After years of using spraytan ourselves, we had a good knowledge of the products and the different brands, so we were able to choose quality brands that give good results. We were lucky enough to get distribution agreements for the three top brands.
4. Broad in-house skills: When we started we had limited money so as the owners, we had to do most things ourselves. It was really useful that between the two of us we had skills and experience in areas such as marketing, concept development, sales, finance, HR, web design, graphic design and SEO.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned or what advice would you give someone starting up?
Janne: Building a business is hard work – long hours, frustration, uncertainty, lack of sleep. It can be challenging to stay motivated during slow periods. The important thing is to know that this is part of the journey and don’t allow yourself to be put off.
Natalie: Try also to be open to ideas and suggestions from other people. Often, friends, family or other business owners have ideas or suggestions that you may not have thought of yourself. Having a business partner you can discuss ideas with has, in our case, been a great help.
Which apps do you connect and how has integration helped your business?
Natalie: We connect our accounting software Tripletex to our 24Nettbutikk webshop, using ConnectMyApps. All of our webshop orders are transferred directly to Tripletex, saving our accountant many hours of work, which is great for us as we get cheaper monthly bills. It also reduces the chance of mistakes when entering sales orders, and errors in the accounts which can be frustrating and expensive.