On Her Own Wayve: Meet Courtney Claghorn
Around the world, there are women starting businesses, turning their passions into profit and inspiring other women along the way. Women uplifting and shining a light on other women is what we’re all about and in this segment, we’re featuring beauty entrepreneur, Courtney Claghorn, owner of Sugared and Bronzed.
At A Glance:
A+P: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
CC: Taking time out for yourself during the day (whether it's a quick walk, a workout, meditation, etc.) isn't making you less productive by not working during those 5, 20, or 60 minutes, it actually makes you more productive and more efficient when you are working.
A+P: Where is your favorite place to travel?
CC: Europe! Especially Italy and France.
A+P: What’s the last book you read?
CC:High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
SUGARED + BRONZED is one of the coolest places in Santa Monica. How did you get started? First of all, thank you! I hope that it's also one of the coolest places in all of LA, OC, NYC and Philadelphia! (Half kidding :) S+B had very humble beginnings. I graduated college during the Great Recession and while I was lucky to find a job, I wasn't particularly passionate about it. I had to attend a handful of weddings the following summer and started to complaining to my boyfriend about how expensive getting an airbrush tan was in LA compared to the prices in Boulder, CO, where we had gone to college. We started talking about how if we could offer a great airbrush tan at a reasonable price point in conjunction with a friendly experience and welcoming environment, we might be able to turn the idea into a business! I learned how to spray tan, we put up a website, and sure enough, people started coming to our apartment for their appointments and it started to grow from there. I found myself running back and forth from my job to my apartment (thankfully they were both in Santa Monica) and once it became too much to handle, I left my job and we started to look for our first retail space. We opened our first salon on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. We later added sugaring since we felt as though it was a perfect fit... clients were always running from their waxing or sugaring services to their spray tan and we thought that it would be great to offer them under one roof.
What are some of the hardships you’ve faced while building your business? In the early days, almost everything felt difficult because I had never managed construction, done bookkeeping, hired people, etc. before. As we grew, I started to gain confidence and experience in some aspects of business while simultaneously struggling to learn new facets of business. Construction was probably one of our biggest hurdles. We had contractors walk off the job because they found a more profitable job, we had architects who made major mistakes, and no matter what, every project seemed to end way over budget. I've come to learn that construction will never be a breeze, but we've found a great contractor that has definitely made things much more seamless.
What kept you motivated during those hardships? Seeing both happy clients and a growing business has definitely been the source of motivation! Nothing feels better than opening a new location and hearing how thrilled a client is that they now have an S+B closer to work or home.
What advice would you give other female entrepreneurs who are just getting started in their businesses? I would encourage them to trust their gut, be open to learning new things every day, and surround themselves with others who's strengths complement their weaknesses.
What sets SUGARED + BRONZED apart from other tanning salons? First and foremost, we don't have any form of tanning with beds or UV rays. We only offer sunless tanning and sugaring hair removal. We also try to create an enjoyable environment- our store decor has Mediterranean inspiration and our staff is fun and outgoing. We try to create an experience where you feel like you're hanging out with your gal pals for twenty minutes, which is much different than laying in a sweaty, claustrophobic, cancer causing coffin of a tanning bed!
With Spring and Summer just around the corner, what can we expect from S+B?! Our original Santa Monica store will be moving a few blocks down Montana Ave. to a much nicer, larger space and we are very excited about that! In addition, we also have a few more NYC and Dallas stores in the works!
Sugared + Bronzed is one of my absolute favorite places and I love to support Courtney and her entire team. Be sure to follow Sugared + Bronzed on Instagram and if you missed our last giveaway, don’t worry as we’ll have more collaborations in the near future!