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Electric Rayz: A new glow

Sunday, January 18, 2009

(Photo)
Keith Daum, co-owner of Electric Rayz Tanning Salon in Sikeston, cleans the bulbs in a tanning bed. Since Daum and his wife, Jeanetta, purchased the tanning salon in August, they have worked hard to keep it clean and performed regular maintenance on the beds.
(Michelle Felter, Staff)
SIKESTON -- First impressions can mean everything.

And that's why Keith and Jeanetta Daum work hard to make Electric Rayz Tanning Salon a clean and friendly place to tan. The two also aim to be accessible to the clientele.

The two purchased the former T-N-T Tanning Studio in August and reopened it in September under a new name. A month of cleaning and renovations preceded the opening.

"We took apart the beds to clean them, put in new bulbs and new acrylic," said Daum. They also redid the floors and walls in the salon.

"We scrubbed and cleaned it from top to bottom," said Mrs. Daum. "We're just really trying to have A-1 customer service."

One thing the couple has done -- and gotten a positive response to -- is honor all or a portion of the minutes customers still had from the former salon owners.

Anyone who purchased minutes in June or later had 100 percent of their minutes honored. Those with remaining minutes purchased before that were given 75 percent.

"That's what we thought would be fair, even though we got no money for any of those packages bought," said Mrs. Daum. "A lot of people were really shocked and said that was really nice of us."

Maintenance is another priority in the salon.

Daum said staff try to keep track of the hours a bulb is used and change it once it reached the recommended lifespan.

"Or sometimes a customer comments that a bed didn't feel as hot, so we'll go ahead and check and change them then," he said.

Mrs. Daum said she and her husband encourage their staff to always stay busy cleaning to ensure the salon is in the best shape possible.

And that's something customers have noticed. "There are regulars that we've had since the day we opened the doors, and they keep saying it has never been cleaner," she said.

The couple sell several lotions at Electric Rayz.

"We carry a lot of new products," said Mrs. Daum, noting the selection ranges in price from $17 to $95. The staff is also familiar with each product and what it does.

"I try to educate the workers when there is a new product," she said. "I get literature from the lotion companies and will tell them 'This is new, you need to look at this.'"

Mrs. Daum said for those trying out lotions, there are always a few bottles open customers can sample. There are also monthly specials, and items can be ordered. "We try to meet everyone's needs," Daum agreed.

Mrs. Daum said she wants to make the lotions affordable because of their benefits.

"I have tanned for a long time, and I know I have spent a small fortune on lotions," she said. "Most lotions have really good moisturizers in them and it's good for people. I just want to make it a little easier for them to buy them."

Although they have other jobs -- Keith Daum is involved in pharmaceutical sales and Jeanetta Daum is a probation officer -- the couple strive to be hands-on owners. Each aims to work in the Sikeston salon at least two days a week.

"I like to get to know the clientele," said Mrs. Daum. "I want to get to know the customers and I want the customers to know who I am."

Mrs. Daum also said she encourages clients to bring it to her attention if there is something they are unhappy with or would like to see changed.

"I'm not going to be offended," she said. "Let me know so we can stay on top of it. We're not going to look at it as a complaint, but as a thing we can improve."

Electric Rayz has seven beds -- six traditional lay-down beds and one where people stand to tan. Mrs. Daum said that, since the stand-up bed has twice as many bulbs, it's quicker and more convenient for people to tan in it.

"Some people don't have 20 minutes to tan," she said. "But some prefer to lay down and relax."

Minutes to stand up and tan are more expensive, she noted.

When it comes to purchasing sessions, several packages are available -- unlimited monthly minutes, and those where a customer buys a set number of minutes.

"I brainstorm a couple of times a month for specials on packages and lotions," said Mrs. Daum. "They'll change regularly."

A student discount is available for those who show their ID or some other sort of proof they are a student.

Current hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Mrs. Daum said that, if there is a bigger demand as more people begin tanning to prepare for proms, summer and more, hours will be altered. "We will accommodate," she said.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are also encouraged.

Electric Rayz is located at 1513 E. Malone. The phone number is 472-0250.