Like so many great ideas, Little Tanning Dress started out of necessity. Busy boutique owner, Brooke Jones, needed to have something fashionable she could wear to her tanning appointments and in her store. But there was nothing on the market that would preserve her tan and her style. So she created the Little Tanning Dress. A stylish black dress made from a polyester/spandex blend that doesn’t blot or absorb tanning products. As an added bonus it doesn’t crease either.
Since then the little tanning dress has expanded into a range of styles, including the Jessie jumpsuit (gifted) I am wearing here. There are also some very cute tank tops for the tan-aholics out there.
I absolutely love this jumpsuit. And I will definitely be wearing it outside of tanning and spa appointments. It’s quite cool to wear and the perfect blank canvas for plenty of styling play.
I chatted to Brooke about Little Tanning Dress as I love a successful business woman story. Brooke’s background in fashion buying was invaluable as her company started to grow and one design evolved into a range. While all garments are free sized, Brooke felt it was important that the lengths vary to accommodate different heights. As a boutique owner she knows the frustrations of shorter girls buying maxi dresses. As a tall woman herself, she knows the importance of that extra inch. I am 178cm tall and a size 10/12 and the jumpsuit fits perfectly but I would go with a tall maxi.
The thing that struck me about the Little Tanning Dress range was the price. Each dress is $49.95, which I think is amazing for the quality (and I am one of those never-pay-retail sorts). I asked Brooke why she had chosen that price point. A savvy business woman, Brooke wanted the dresses to be sold by beauticians as women were getting their tans done. So that it would become basically an add-on to the tan itself. An impulse buy at a reasonable price. Brooke has been able to grow her brand by directly targeting the tanning industry and she has some exciting collaborations with Australian tanning brands in the works as a result. Rather than relying on selling her product in boutiques, she has gone directly to people she knows have the same problem she did — wanting something gorgeous to wear after your tan that won’t wreck your tan. I think that’s something a lot of businesses can learn from. Go directly to the people with the problem you have the solution to, even if it does involve some out-of-the box thinking.
While the little tanning dress started life solving style and tanning problems, it’s gone on to become an essential piece in travel and maternity wardrobes. The dresses are crease-free with plenty of room for a growing belly. Because they are made out of a fabric similar to swim wear (but much lighter weight) they also wash and dry easily.
The biggest obstacle Brooke has faced so far with her product is getting the word out. It’s not enough for a product to be fabulous – you need to get into the right hands. And the right hands can be quite busy. Brooke has learned that it’s so important to find the best possible time to talk to potential suppliers so that they can really listen to your message. She has also found that the most powerful advertising she can do is get samples to buyers. Once people see the product, they love it.
And the best moment so far? I thought it might be being featured in magazines or the exciting growth plans in the works. But no, the best moments for Brooke are when salons restock her product. When a little salon, who really can only afford to stock what sells, places an order for 3 or 4 repeats, she knows she’s onto a good thing.
If you are in the market for a Little Tanning Dress, head over to the online store and have a look. As an extra bonus, if you use the code ROBYNA20, you will get 20% off!
I have not been paid to write this post nor am I an affiliate. The jumpsuit was gifted for review.