Victoria Arpels Interviews Marie Hills from Sunjunkie
Recently our very own Victoria Arpels headed to Stockport to meet up with Sun Junkies Business Development Manager, Marie Hills to find out a little more about the company, their values, their products and what the future holds for this iconic sun tanning brand. Below are some of the questions Victoria put to Marie along with Marie’s answers:
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the brand and its origin?
A: Sunjunkie started off as a UV manufacturer and supplier of UV equipment over 26 years ago. Always having a passion for responsible tanning and education regarding getting the best possible results whilst maintaining the ‘love your skin’ message. With this in mind the team developed their very own brand of beautiful creams, lotions and gels specifically for use with UV equipment – this is where the Sunjunkie brand was born! Approximately 15 years ago the market for sunless tanning went through a great transitional period moving more towards spray and self tanning. So what did the team at Sunjunkie do? Panic? No – these guys embraced the change and started designing, manufacturing and distributing their very own spray and self tanning equipment and products. Sunjunkie were the first to bring into the market ‘The Original Pig’ which is still so loved and trusted today.
Q: Where does Sunjunkie sit within the market?
A: This brand is proud to be up there with fellow high respected tanning brands – Sunjunkie is in the top 10% of tanning brands within the global market. Sometimes success can breed complacency and arrogance – not with Sunjunkie – staying true to their roots as salon owners and managers this team never lose focus of how important you are to them. Whether you are a mobile therapist, work in a salon or simply love using the retail products this team are extremely passionate about delivering the highest quality equipment and products and are constantly striving to make the customer experience the best ever! Why? Because to put it simply – they care.
Q: How is Sunjunkie distributed across the UK (direct, wholesalers, retailers, etc)?
A: Sunjunkie is available in a few cherry picked wholesalers in the UK – the team are not interested in making a quick profit – being entirely focused on building long term relationships with how a particular supplier will educate their market being a top priority. You will also find Sunjunkie on their web site www.sunjunkie.com offering the most up to date information and product deals. There are over 3000 salons and mobile therapists in the UK who stock and use Sunjunkie – so we are positive you will find a Sunjunkie spray tan near you.
Q: Who’s your intended target user (professional/personal)?
A: Offering equipment and products for both the professional and personal market Sunjunkie can provide absolutely everything you could possibly need for spray and self tanning including beautiful before and after products. However Sunjunkie’s heart will always be with you the professional as this is where the management team started off and have great respect for the professional therapist.
Q: What’s Sunjunkie’s opinion on patch testing?
A: It is always the best way forward to patch test especially with new clients who have not used the brand before.
Q: How many different skin tones is Sunjunkie suitable for?
A: Great question! What ever your skin tone we have your colour! With spray tanning solutions available in 7 different colour guides and formulas available in 6 different strengths including a ‘Nude’ clear spray tanning solution and self tanning mousses which is perfect for bridal parties and the male market who do not want to experience that initial give away colour guide that they have just had a spray tan.
Q: Can you describe the difference between the two machines you currently offer?
A: Happy to! The 2 most suitable for mobile use are the original pig and the scorpion machine. The engine and precision spray tanning guns on both these machines work exactly the same – we decided to develop an alternative design to give you a choice as it would be a boring old world if we all liked the same J You will see many spray tanning machines available on the market which look the same as Sunjunkie – tread carefully as these machines can very often have an inferior motor and needle on the spray gun. If it doesn’t say Sunjunkie on the equipment or products – it’s certainly not Sunjunkie in the products! We do not produce for any other brand.
Q: What’s your current best selling product within the range? And why?
A: Definitely the original pig! We believe the success of this product is due to many factors including portability, reliability, quality, ease of use and it looks fabulous! Also we highly recommend using Sunjunkie spray tanning solution with your Sunjunkie equipment. Many other spray tanning solutions on the market contain alcohol which can over time corrode the needle on your spray tanning gun. We choose not to add alcohol to any of our spray tanning solutions to avoid that awful ‘dry, tight’ feel clients often experience with other brands. Your Sunjunkie spray tanning solution likes to be kept cold – so store in a cool, dry area and if you are stocking up you can freeze Sunjunkie spray tanning solution for up to a year! Just remember to allow to defrost naturally.
Q: Why would therapist choose Sunjunkie over any other tanning product?
A: The quality of the product is apparent once the technician has tried it. One of the industries best kept secrets is that there are different grades of DHA (the main ingredient in most spray and self tanning products) Sunjunkie only use the purest grade of DHA in all spray and self tanning products. Many of our clients give feedback to us after using Sunjunkie for the first time – saying it was a darker colour and lasted longer. The reason for this is that our strength percentage on the bottle – for example Sunjunkie’s 8% strength is a true 8% percentage. Be aware that many companies may call a product 8%, 10%, 12% etc etc but it may be a much weaker percentage of product actually in the bottle.
Q: Lastly, what does the future hold for Sunjunkie? Any glimpse at what therapists can look forward to?
A: Wow! Where do we start – we are so excited for the future and see our family of ‘Sunjunkie’s growing bigger and better. We are consistently developing new products and have recently produced a beautifully practical branded kit bag perfect for mobile therapists. Coming in to 2013 one of our main priorities is education and carefully choosing the right training bodies to train to spray the Sunjunkie way! This is why Next Step Beauty was the perfect choice for Sunjunkie – the team at Next step Beauty show such professionalism, passion and care that they are the perfect partner for Sunjunkie.