We recently caught up with Andrea McDougall to discuss the launch of her brand new tanning academy and why intelligent tanning is the next big thing!
Tell us who you are, what you do and how long you’ve been in the industry.
I’m 48. I live in Cove with my husband Neil and Cockapoo Jarvie! I’m Mum to Molly and Grandma to my gorgeous 8 month old granddaughter Indie. I’m a former netball player and still a huge fan. I did a makeup night class and did a class for spray tanning back in 1988, I think it was. It was with an old style airbrush. The quality was just terrible so I didn’t pursue it until I began working as an Area Manager with Fake Bake Beauty and trained with them. I first traded under the name Fake Bake Beauty Andrea but I wanted to drop my name and have something more professional sounding. I wanted quirky. Me, Molly and a friend came up with The Brown Cow and then her friend added ‘Tanning Co.’ and so the The Brown Cow Tanning Co™. was born.
How have you found this year and how have you been coping with lockdown life?
On reflection, lockdown has been a positive thing for me. Definitely not in financial terms but for my business going forward. For the first few weeks, I was in complete holiday mode! I ate my way through life. Like all of us did. We only thought it would happen for a few weeks. Then as lockdown continued, my behaviours were becoming detrimental to both my physical and mental health but only I could change it. It was flight or fight time.
I’m eating and drinking healthier than I’ve ever done before. I’ve lost almost 2½ stones but still a few stones to go but I’m much more positive now I know its achievable. It’s a way of life. I walk 10K steps every day with Jarvie. The healthier living has given me a clearer mind in setting my business and personal goals.
I took stock on how I saw my business evolving. I reached out to some people (including your very good self) for advice on how I could achieve my goals. People are so kind in sharing their experiences and opinions. I’m now working with amazing business partners.
We hear you have just launched a new business venture, tell us more…
Yes. I’ve recently launched The Brown Cow Tanning Academy. Not only do I train beginners and refreshers but it’s the chance for spray tan technicians to upskill to intermediate and advanced levels. Courses can be held here in Aberdeen or I can travel to venues around Scotland and the UK.
What inspired you to launch The Brown Cow Tanning Academy?
Simple! To raise the profile of tanning in Scotland. The Tanning Academy is something I’ve wanted to do for the last couple of years but I never found the time. Lockdown gave me the perfect opportunity to study and write the manuals. There was a lot of writing!! And there is more writing going on!! There’s so much more to tanning than just light, medium and dark. The opportunities are endless.
Any major obstacles so far?
Yes! In a word, COVID! The guidelines and restrictions are ever changing. Say no more. We’re all in the same boat. I’m looking beyond the COVID world though. It’s a time for being proactive and not reactive.
Have you found it an easy process to start something like this?
Yes, I think it has. Probably because I’m not quite entering unknown territory. The model was always in my head. It was just getting it on paper and carrying it through.
What advice would you give to those looking to launch something similar?
Research, research research! Get it down on paper and speak to people. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. I didn’t always like the answers I got but you have to be open, adaptable and flexible. Also, no one is going to do it for you. You have to do it yourself.
What makes the BCT Academy stand out from the crowd?
It’s a one of its kind in Scotland in that it solely concentrates on the art of spray tanning. Spray tan techs can be so much better than what they currently market themselves as. They can always improve and get better. Students will receive the most in-depth and intensive training. They’ll learn a lot but will have fun too. I’m stripping it right back to the science behind it all, the ingredients, intelligent tanning, different application methods and techniques as well as customer service and lots more providing hints and tips of the trade along the way. At the moment, I’m brand neutral, l so I can give an honest and unbiased opinion on the best solutions and equipment available on the market. The popular brands aren’t always the best brands!
Looking to the future, how do you think the industry will change over the next 12 months?
I can’t wait for the post COVID world. Intelligent tanning will become more of a thing. I have that covered in my advanced accredited course. Weddings will have returned which is a multi billion pound industry in itself. Foreign travel will resume. Events will be rocking. Plus ladies (and men) like a pamper and self care. Show me someone who doesn’t feel better with a tan. There will be an end goal and we’ll be back bigger and better than ever before.
Thank you so much for catching up with us Andrea, how can people get hold of you?
Courses are held at The Gym, 39 Huntly Street, Aberdeen AB10 1XR. Book directly online at thebrowncow.book.app or message The Brown Cow Tanning Co. or The Brown Cow Tanning Academy on Facebook and Instagram.
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