How to Grow a Beauty Business That Stays the Course
Shannelle Niemiec is the founder of Sunna Tan, SunnaSmile, and The Stir Agency. She started out doing mobile spray tans with a little tent she brought to people’s houses. Over the years, she has expanded her brand in amazing ways and built out umbrella companies under the Sunna name.
Shannelle and I met years ago when she gave me a mobile spray tan. I was inspired by her business and it was a driving force behind starting my own business in the beauty industry.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Shannelle and talk about our individual journeys and how we have grown our businesses. She also shared some of her best tips for growing a business in the beauty industry. These are the things she’s learned after being in this industry for 13 years. Let’s dive into it!
When Shannelle and I first met, I was still working my 9-5 job. I was so miserable at that job and knew there had to be something more to life.
When Shannelle came over to give me a spray tan, I was amazed at her business. I asked her about a thousand questions because I wanted to do exactly what she was doing.
After this conversation, we went on to inspire one other in our businesses so much.
The Biggest Mistake
Shannelle identified that the biggest mistake she’s made in her business was not thinking big from the beginning. She didn’t think she would blow up or be as successful as she has been. If she had thought big like that, it would’ve saved her money in branding, re-branding, and packaging. She would’ve made a lot more money right from the start.
I often find that creative people get in their own ways just like this. We think everything needs to be perfect. However, the truth is, you have to take little steps to get to your destination.
At the same time, we can’t limit ourselves by thinking of our businesses as small businesses and letting opportunities pass us by.
The Pandemic and Business
The scariest thing that’s ever happened in Shannelle’s (and many other entrepreneurs’) business was the pandemic. As a wholesale business, the pandemic began during their busy season. They had just stocked up on all of their inventory. When the world shut down, the only way to pay their bills was to focus on retail.
This ended up opening their eyes to the fact that they had a whole new stream of income. There were other customers who wanted to buy their stuff. Without the pandemic, they would’ve never been pushed in the retail direction and would’ve just played it safe with wholesale.
In the same way, businesses that made quick pivots during the pandemic are now watching their businesses explode. For example, beauty businesses that started online stores and started selling retail during the pandemic saw that pay off in dividends. Now, they’re back to having regular business income plus the extra income stream they started during 2020.
The Secret to Having a Business That Stays the Course
Shannelle’s business has grown and stayed successful for years. She knows something about how to build a business that stays the course.
Stay genuine to the core values of your business. You can still come up with new products but don’t hop on every trend. If you do, you won’t be really good at anything.
Shannelle started Sunna because she was allergic to every spray tan she got. She went looking for natural options. From then on, she stuck to all-natural products with no heavy ingredients or bronzers.
You need to pick what you’re good at and passionate about and stick with it. If you stay long enough to become the master in your field, you’ll be successful.
To learn more industry tips (including how to have great customer service and create strong branding), check out Episode 002: Top Tips from the Beauty Industry.