As a fair-skinned woman with red hair, tanning hasn't always come easy for Heather Shullman, and spending a day in the sun could typically result in an unsightly—and hazardous—sunburn.
"I can't do traditional tanning," Shullman said. "I can't go in the sun all day long without burning and needed a method that works with me."
To fulfill her own tanning needs and benefit others with sensitive skin or skin conditions, Shullman opened Beaches Tanning, 3146 Walton Blvd., in 2012, giving up her 20-year career as a project manager in the construction industry to offer safer tanning methods, filling a niche in Rochester Hills.
Beaches Tanning offers high-pressure tanning, which filters UV rays to prevent skin damage, as well as organic spray-tanning.
Shullman said her clientele ranges from 16 to 78 years old, and includes those with eczyma, psoriasis, fibromyalgia and other conditions, as well as those simply looking for a safer way to get a solid tan. She said the methods she offers can be therapeutic and offer a safer experience than traditional tanning.
While high-pressure tanning isn't exclusive to Beaches Tanning, Shullman said it's often marketed as a premium service at traditional salons, instead of being the norm, like it is at her salon.
With Beaches Tanning approaching its first full year in business, Shullman says she has no regrets about the abrupt career change, even though she went "against everyone's better judgment" in opening the salon.
"I needed to be home more with my kids and do something that's going to make me happy," she said. "I am very happy with it. It's fulfilling a part of me I didn't get to do for a long time and I enjoy working with our older clients and younger clients, educating them on doing things a better way, safer alternatives to tanning. It's different from what I used to do."
Beaches Tanning is located at 3146 Walton Blvd. in Rochester Hills, in the University Plaza. The salon is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. The salon currently isn't open on Sundays, but will start offering Sunday hours in November.