Lindsay Dickhout, CEO of Million Dollar Tan
Lindsay started her company, Million Dollar Tan right out of college. Living in Southern California, a nice tan is essential, but not worth the harmful effects of the sun. An avid sunless tanning connoisseur, Lindsay tried everything on the market. She knew there had to be a better option than a messy lotion that left you more orange-looking than tan-looking. She set out to create a tanning solution that was better than everything the market. Her criteria was clear. Had to be natural looking, water based, didn't clog pores, wasn't sticky, dried quickly, lasted at least a week and smelled great. There were just a few companies producing similar products but none of them were innovative. After creating the perfect tanning solution, Lindsay worked with Iwata Medea, an equipment company, to create a professional spray tanning system that would create a flawless tan, every single time.
Finally, she was ready to launch this innovate spray tanning system. Some business owners were understandably hesitant to invest a couple thousand dollars with a business owner that wasn't legally allowed to gamble or drink alcohol. She had to prove herself and the quality of the products even more than most new businesses. Spray tanning was also a very new concept. The idea of standing half naked in front of a stranger to get sprayed was anything but normal.
She saw these obstacles as challenges and worked twice as hard to overcome them. Lindsay attended trade shows and networking events to distribute these systems to salons, day spas, tanning salons and gyms across the country. At the age of 20, Lindsay's spray tanning systems were in over 100 high end locations.
In 2004, Lindsay opened a day spa in Costa Mesa, CA, Million Dollar Tan Spray Tanning and Day Spa. This 4,000 square foot facility was the first of it's kind in Southern California. Featuring 4 spray tanning rooms and 6 facial and massage rooms, Million Dollar Tan quickly became an Orange County hot spot. In 2008, Lindsay received a cash offer and sold the spa and shifted her focus entirely on building the corporation.
Lindsay and her team were able to offer their accounts first hand experience and advice on growing their spray tanning business. Million Dollar Tan became known as a boutique-type business, offering hands-on support and marketing assistance to all of their accounts. In 2009, Million Dollar Tan's professional spray tanning service was offered in over 2,000 locations, in many countries. Some accounts open a salon or spa, others offer mobile spray tanning or rent a room in an existing salon. For so many of these small business owners, Million Dollar Tan presented the opportunity of entrepreneurship. While some accounts have always been business owners, others were stuck in a less than desirable situation and looking for something new. Some were stay-at-home moms looking to re-enter the business world and others were laid off due to a lowing economy. Whatever the situation, all of them had the same goal- to start and grow their own small business and make a ton of money doing it. There aren't many things Lindsay loves more than spray tanning but helping other entrepreneurs is one of them. "It is incredible to see people's lives completely transform in 3 months time. We offer a unique opportunity. A service that takes 10 minutes, costs you $2 and you charge $35 or more. It's a brilliant business," Lindsay shares. She leads the industry in education by hosting seminars, leading webinars, writing articles and speaking at industry conventions.
In 2010, Million Dollar Tan's retail business skyrocketed. A few top beauty bloggers hailed Million Dollar Tan's products as the "Holy Grail of sunless tanning products." The business has doubled it's profits every year since.
Lindsay continues to create new and innovative products in the beauty industry. In 2015, Million Dollar Tan launched it’s newest product, Sheer Tan Glam. This dual chamber tinted moisturizer plus anti-aging sunless tanner is a multi-benefit super-product that is in a league of it’s own. Focusing on the highest quality ingredients, sun safety and products that really produce results, Million Dollar is more than just another tanning brand. They have revolutionized and modernized the professional spray tanning business and changed the way people sunless tan at home.
Aside from working as a total #girlboss, Lindsay also gives back to the community in a big way. As Executive Director of The Happiness Project, a non-profit that supports children in need in Orange County, Lindsay has helped over 4,000 children since the Project began in 2007. The Happiness Project helps children by providing items or funding to help with any basic life essentials or student experiences that they would not otherwise be able to experience. In December, The Happiness Project took over Carousel Court at South Coast Plaza and threw a massive party for over 600 children in need in our community.
To learn more about this Project and the lives it has impacted, please click here.