By: Eva Fedderly –  Savannah Morning News

Michelle Peth launched Beettan, her organic spray tanning service two years ago to offer a safe alternative to sun tanning. With a brick-and-mortar studio on Congress Street (by appointment only), Peth also took a fresh approach and made her spray-tanning business mobile in order to cater to her clients’ needs and do house calls. Peth began as a one-woman show, creating her own organic spray tan solution, building a loyal client base, and finding a niche in the film business.

This year, she sold her first Beettan franchise in Los Angeles marking a coup for her business.

Michelle, how did you come up the idea of Beettan?

My little sister had skin cancer and she can’t tan naturally. This motivated me to learn about healthy ways to tan my sister and me. I’ve since been in the spray tan business for 14 years and I’ve tried every spray tan solution on the market. I only use organic solutions and I’ve experimented with different kinds of products. I discovered that one spray doesn’t work for everyone and each spray wasn’t consistent. One of my clients is a chemist and she helped me understand the best qualities about each product. With the help of the chemist, I created my own formula, made primarily from beets, that makes my spray consistent and one of the best tints. Then, Beettan was born.

How are beets used? How does the tanning process work?

Beets are really special to me. They were my son’s favorite food when he was kid. He’d be purple all of the time because he’d eat them out of a jar. I have a tattoo sleeve and a beet is on my arm in honor of my son. For my tanning solutions, I’ve used apples, acai berry, and beets. All three are in my solution but beets and aloe vera are the main ingredients. It’s important to have moisture. Most brands use sugar cane as a solution base because it’s cheap. My spray won’t stain anything- sheets, clothes, underwear, hair, or nails. There aren’t any dyes in the solution, it just creates a natural reaction with the skin.

Why is it important to use organic spray tan?

Your skin is your largest organ; you shouldn’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t put in your mouth. If I’m going to be spraying my little sister, for example, who has super sensitive skin and had skin care, I want to use the best, must pure ingredients possible.

How did the business develop?

Beettan has been around for two years. I started with a studio downtown by appointments only, using the client base I’d developed over 14 years. I also offered house calls. The business kept growing by word-of-mouth until this year, when I rebranded my website and amped up Beettan’s social media efforts. I hired my first employee. The film industry learned of Beettan and now uses us to spray the movie stars in town. My first was Adam Sandler’s wife, Jackie Sandler, then Zac Effron, Alexandra Daddario, and Playboy model Jillian Grace. This year, I also just sold my first Beettan franchise in Los Angeles to a woman who was a client of mine.

Do you find your clients are happier when you come to them?

I do house calls for eighty percent of my clients. The rest of my clients visit my Congress Street studio. For house calls, moms are definitely happier because they don’t have to lug their kids to the studio or find a babysitter. On rainy days, people love it too. It’s so much easier and it’s a pleasure to be with my clients in their homes.

Do you offer any specials? Are you doing any events?

Each new client receives $5 off his or her first tan. For a group house calls, I’ll drop my mobile fee. The mobile rate is $45 for anywhere in Chatham County and studio visits are $35 and I advise clients to get spray tanned once every two weeks to maintain their bronze glow. This is my third year spray-tanning the local dancers performing in the Dancing Stars benefit. I also spray tan the cast of “Southern Charm Savannah.”

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