As you may know, I run the Wink-Ease eyewear company, Eye Pro. During the COVID crisis, a ton of salons took our online training to get our personalized “Eye Protection Expert” certificates. The numbers kept growing! For a couple of months, it was stores in FL, GA, NY, PA, TN and NC. We couldn’t ship their certificates and educational eye protection samples and materials, because all their facilities were closed. But all 47 of these tanning centers had one thing in common: they were all South Beach Tanning stores. We heard from Director of Education, Julie Delosh, that the FL stores were opening, so we sent certificates and goodies to the many FL store managers. And then, we had a lot more people take the training, all South Beach staff, who wanted their personalized eye protection certificates to hang in their facilities.

“Our owners, Brian and Heather Hibbard, paid all the managers during our COVID-19 shutdown,” explains the 13-year tan biz veteran. “Our managers had weeks to deep-clean every aspect of our tanning studios, while I kept creating training videos for everyone to watch to fill up their weeks. That is how I came up with the idea that we should all become Eye Protection Experts.”

The Florida-based SBT company is comprised of 26 corporate and 21franchise facilities in six states. In addition to eye protection, the entire team took an online sanitation class, created cleaning lists and discussed how to re-open with safety being paramount. “We realized some salons were tearing pairs of disposables off the rolls and putting them in a basket, which is not a sanitary habit. So, we leave disposables in their display box to avoid exposure to airborne contaminants and grabby hands,” Delosh says.

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