The Times West Virginian

Business

February 2, 2014

Lion in the Sun to mark 20th anniversary

FAIRMONT — For 20 years, Lion in the Sun has been building valuable relationships and making customers part of the family.

Owner Kim Wherley explained that the history of the business actually goes back to the children's consignment shop that she formerly operated, called Reruns for Wee Ones. She decided to put a tanning bed in a room at the back of the store, and interest caught on quickly.

Lion in the Sun officially opened its doors at 201 Morgantown Ave. in Fairmont on Feb. 4, 1994. More and more tanning beds were added in the years that followed, and Kim sold the consignment shop in 2003 in order to focus on the tanning business.

About that same time, Lion in the Sun added a second store by taking over a salon in White Hall, and then in 2008 another location was built in Fairmont at 1313 Locust Ave. In 2013, the White Hall shop was moved to Kingmont, off Airport Road on Honeybee Drive.

“We really tried to keep up with everything and just make it more available to people on all sides of town,” Kim said.

Plans are in the works to remodel the original store on Morgantown Avenue and bring in new equipment in the next year or two. The shop will be updated to have a more modern, big-city salon feel, like the Kingmont location, said Kim’s daughter Amber Wherley.

“We always want to provide the best that we can for our customers,” said Amber, who has been working with the business for 12 years and has served as the manager for three.

The Morgantown Avenue location features 15 tanning beds, and Locust Avenue and Kingmont are each equipped with 12. Lion in the Sun also offers custom spray tans done by a certified technician, and BleachBright 15-minute teeth whitening.

The business is an authorized distributor of Bee Fit ZXT bee pollen products, which are all-natural herbal supplements that help with weight loss, boosting immune systems and enhancing overall health. In addition, it carries a cosmetic line by celebrity makeup artist Jennifer Bradley.

Because there are so many tanning bed units available, all the locations are walk-in only. Appointments are only accepted for spray tans.

For people who have never tanned with Lion in the Sun before, their first visit is always free, and they receive a free sample of lotion.

“We try to treat our guests like they’re family,” Kim said. “We just want ... to make them feel like they’re at home when they come to us. We’ve made a lot of friends throughout the years and built a lot of nice relationships, and we hope that continues for a long time to come.”

“We value them and want them to have the best experience possible when they’re here,” Amber added.

Lion in the Sun has many loyal clients who come back time after time, and Kim and Amber thanked them for their continued support.

“We have customers that have been with us for 20 years,” Amber said. “It’s great that they’ve stuck with us all that time.”

Lion in the Sun now has nine employees, but will increase the staff to 12 or 13 during peak tanning season, which is typically from February or March to August. Lion in the Sun will begin its extended hours at the beginning of March.

The assistant manager, Latisha Kriston, has been with Lion in the Sun for eight years. Amber said all the employees treat the business as if its their own.

The staff is trained and certified through Smart Tan, and the team always makes sure the salons are nice and clean, Kim said.

“I couldn’t do it without them,” she said of the staff. “We all really work together in making it a success.”

The employees also learn about the different lotions and products so they can tailor them to each client’s needs and wants. They try to help customers understand the tanning process as well as the importance of eyewear while tanning, Amber said.

“Our golden rule here is to never burn,” she said. “It’s important in keeping the care of your skin. We want them to know the process. We call it smart tanning.”

Amber commented that her mom has always been very hands-on and involved in the business and loves interacting with the customers.

“She treats her employees like they’re her own kids,” Amber said of Kim. “I think that’s a lot of what’s made her successful.”

JoLynn Taylor, a friend of the family and former employee, said Lion in the Sun can cheer up anyone who’s having a bad day.

“It makes people want to come back,” she said. “It’s a fun environment. There’s really good energy here.”

In honor of its 20th anniversary, the business is holding a sale Tuesday through Thursday with some throw-back prices from 1994 and $20 off certain services. During the giveaway, one person will win a year of free tanning.

A special guest is also visiting the business. David McFarland from Performance Brands, a skin fitness and tanning products company, will be stopping by the different locations from Monday through Wednesday to provide free samples to customers and tell them about new products.

For more information, call Lion in the Sun on Morgantown Avenue at 304-363-9333, on Locust Avenue at 304-333-7869, or in Kingmont at 304-366-7869. Customers can also visit lioninthesuntanning.com or find the business on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

1
Text Only
Business
  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 22, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 22, 2014

  • Morgantown’s housing expenses exceed national average

    The housing prices in Morgantown are driving the city’s cost of living above the national average, a new survey reports.
    John Deskins, director of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), explained that the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) orchestrates data collection in 288 cities across the country.

    July 20, 2014

  • JA Used Furniture-JB.jpg J.A. Used Furniture has valuable variety

    J.A. Used Furniture in Fairmont carries items that people need — all at low prices.
    Owner Ron Dray officially opened the doors of his new business, located at 10 Locust Ave., toward the end of December. He explained that the “J.A.” initials in the store’s name stand for the names of his two granddaughters, Jordan and Adriauna.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Backbone Security, T&T Pump Co. among 37 state companies recognized

    Two Marion County companies were recently celebrated for their continued successes in exporting.
    Backbone Security and T&T Pump Co., both in Fairmont, were among the 37 West Virginia companies that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette, the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Export Council recently acknowledged for expanding their business to new parts of the world. An awards presentation was held in Charleston on June 24.

    July 13, 2014

  • All Things Herbal-JB.jpg All Things Herbal health and wellness shop

    All Things Herbal Local Market is a one-stop, health and wellness shop.
    Owner Christa Blais officially opened her new business in downtown Fairmont at 327 Adams St., across from Veterans’ Square, on June 6 during Main Street Fairmont’s First Friday event.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3-D printing continuing to revolutionize manufacturing

    As 3-D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing continues to stay at the forefront of this technology.
    RCBI has three Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers, located in Bridgeport, Charleston and Huntington.

    July 6, 2014

  • Blackheart International -JB.jpg Blackheart International bringing high-quality services

    Blackheart International, a firearms manufacturer and provider of logistics and training solutions, is bringing high-quality services to the local community.
    At the beginning of April, the company moved from Philippi, where it had been located since 2005, to its new home in Fairmont.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Americans falling out of love with shopping malls

    Abandoned malls are hot: The Dead Malls Enthusiasts Facebook group boasts almost 14,000 members; a Google search of "dead malls" produces 5.7 million results; and the desolate interiors of these unused retailing meccas keep making cameos in thrillers and horror films.

    July 3, 2014

  • State unemployment rises, but more actively seeking work

    Although the latest monthly statistics show a higher unemployment rate for the state, the good news is that more people are actively looking for work.
    The Labor Market Information unit of WorkForce West Virginia’s Research, Information and Analysis Division recently published the May 2014 labor force estimates for the state.

    June 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Business
House Ads