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Ready, Set, goGLOW: A Look at The Emerging Spray Tan Franchise

Melanie Richards, founder and CEO of goGLOW, describes building a brand from the ground up and entering the franchising arena.

Unable to find a spray tan service that could provide a high-quality, affordable and non-toxic tan for the fair-skinned, Melanie Richards was inspired to create her own brand. The result? In 2011, Richards began offering her own tanning service out of a mobile van in Minneapolis, branding the venture goGLOW

Aiming to offer a natural-looking tan at a low cost, Richards wanted to create a service that she would be interested in as a consumer.

“I taught myself how to do it and basically maxed out my credit card — $5,000 for an at-home kit,” Richards said. “At first, I did it for friends and family, but I eventually thought I could turn it into a business. After work — I still had a day job at the time — I would go to people’s homes and give spray tans. It was awesome, and that first year, it really took off.”

Though she was passionate about her full-time career as a probation officer, advocating for women caught in a cycle of violence, Richards says that with goGLOW, she could serve the community through skin care. With a mission of empowering women and offering confidence-boosting tans, she gradually expanded the mobile company until she eventually rented a space in a Sola Salon in 2014.

“It was 100 square feet, and it was packed,” she said. “So the next year, we did our first storefront with three spray tanning rooms. The year after that, we grew to six rooms, and then finally eight rooms. We saw steady growth.”

In 2017, goGLOW developed a plant-based solution with antioxidants and no alcohol to set itself apart from other brands in the industry. In addition to providing custom products, the company also focuses on being skin care experts and educating clients.

“We’re here to educate people and cleanse their skin, whether they have a spray tan or not,” she said. “We provide tans, but we don’t paint people. We transformed spray tanning from a ‘back-of-the-salon’ procedure to a professional skin care service.”

As goGLOW now aims to expand through franchising, it looks to partner with entrepreneurs who want to be leaders in the industry, are invested in the brand, and want to make people feel great.

“We want to offer this opportunity to people who align with our values of empowering women and providing professional service. With goGLOW, franchisees have the opportunity to make clients feel really great. And the process is really quite easy once you get it down.”

Moving forward, Richards wants people to have access to the brand nationwide.

“All the time, I have people asking, ‘when are you going to come here?’  It’s the same thing in Denver, Dallas, Miami — everywhere. No one is doing it like we’re doing it, and as the word spreads, people want to see goGLOW in their city. The goal is to offer this one-of-a-kind service where it doesn’t exist yet.”