Erin Neace found her confidence and passion through spray tanning. See how that led her on a journey of weight loss, empowerment and entrepreneurship.
Spray tanning had been a part of Erin Neace’s life since high school. It gave her a huge confidence boost by neutralizing out the redness in her face and fair skin tone. As the spray tan industry moved away from machine-operated booths, she began airbrushing her spray tan, which gave her a more natural appearance. “When I would get an airbrush tan, it instantly gave me a confidence boost,” says Neace. “It was a sense of freedom and confidence that I had never experienced.”
After becoming pregnant at 16 years old, Neace dropped out of high school but wanted to provide a better life for her daughter. She pursued her GED and college degree with the dream to start her own business one day. That dream came true when she opened the doors to her new business, Lady of Sun Airbrush Tanning. “The beginning struggles of my life definitely created an ambitious attitude inside me that would eventually lead to the creation of my business and opening of our store,” says Neace.
Before Lady of Sun, Neace was working as a strategic sourcing analyst and coordinator at Christ Hospital. “I oversaw a large portfolio focusing on sourcing in supply chain for medical/surgical goods at the hospital,” says Neace. “I loved the job, and the organization, but being an entrepreneur was really something I was starting to think about.” At the time, she had just started her MBA at Northern Kentucky University. Her husband was very supportive of Neace wanting to become an entrepreneur and wanted her to follow her heart and be happy.
With years of practice and education about spray tanning and the science behind it, she was asked to join a pro-team for professional spray tanning for the Miss America pageant. She had left her job at Christ Hospital only three months prior in December 2014. Neace and her husband felt as though God was helping them progress in the business. Now, they have a retail location that just opened up on October 1 in the Eastgate Mall.
Neace wanted to focus on organic spray tanning after beginning a lifestyle change. She began reading into the ingredients that are in all of our food and products nowadays and even lost 100 pounds over a course of three years due to everything she learned. Spray tanning was also a safe alternative to UV beds and booth tanning.
Quality service is something she really wanted to focus on, and she began to think of royalty and high-end service for the name of her business. “I thought of myself as the Lady of an extraordinary place, like Lady of Wales,” says Neace. Since the sun is not only a place but also somewhere people want to be, the name, Lady of Sun, was born for her business.
Today, with more than 10 years in the spray tan industry, she uses her education and experience to inform her clients with the best ways to prepare and care for their tan and what not to do. Neace doesn’t only focus on physical beauty, but inner beauty as well. “Seeing the excitement on a first time client’s face when they see their tan- still never gets old,” says Neace. “At the end of the day- we are all the same. We all just want to be loved, be healthy, and feel pretty. No matter who or what you do.”
To learn more about Lady of Sun, check out their website.
Photos by: Anita Johnson