Between Spray Studio’s high-quality direct-to-consumer products and incredible local studio, founder Alicia Wente proves everything she touches turns to gold.
Wente in her Sandy Springs warehouse.
Anyone who knows Atlanta-based Spray Studio (@spraystudio; @spraystudioatl) founder and owner Alicia Wente personally would tell you that she is a born entrepreneur. Passionate, driven, incredibly personable and admittedly a bit Type A, Wente has all the makings of an excellent leader. Add in her diverse skill set and interests (think interior design, art, business and hospitality) and it was practically inevitable that Wente would become a brand owner. Even so, she didn’t entirely see Spray Studio’s huge success coming. “It all came about super organically,” she shares. “I didn’t necessarily plan the whole thing, it just began making more and more sense to turn this into a real business.”
It all started when Wente moved to Atlanta in the late 2000s and found herself underwhelmed by the spray tan offerings available in the city. Rather than bearing (and overpaying for) the streaky finishes, she bought the materials and started doing her own spray tans at home. Before long, she was spraying all of her friends, who raved about her to their own circles, and demand quickly started outgrowing her at-home capabilities. “Even from the early days, I always loved tanning people,” she recalls. “Seeing and being a part of how far a little bit of color goes in helping people feel good about themselves is intoxicating.” So, in 2010, she opened a studio on Piedmont Road and started tanning full time. “I would tan people for 12 hours a day, seven days a week,” Wente recalls. “I mean, the demand was just crazy.”
Spray Studio founder and owner Alicia Wente with her incredible team, including her pup, Yeti
Wente enjoyed over three years of mastering her craft and building her reputation before she began thinking about what would come next. “At that point, I launched the bodycare line to support the studio,” says Wente. “Everyone was loving their tans, but I wanted to take the experience to the next level with high-quality, vegan, all-natural products that support the tan’s longevity.” Up next was improving upon the available self-tanning products, and Wente’s robust line of approachable, colorful and fun self-tanning products, exfoliators and more was born. “The brand is all about feeling good about yourself while putting high-quality ingredients on your body,” she says. Worlds apart from the notorious orange and smelly sunless tanners we all know and hate, Wente’s products completely took off. She moved into her current spray tan studio at The Prado, where she gives tans using her own line, and continued to build her amazing team, who she largely credits for her success. “Nobody builds a business on their own,” Wente shares. “My dedicated, excited, motivated and talented team is the most amazing gift I’ve ever received. They’ve taught me to be a better leader in all the ways that count.” Indeed, watching Wente with her team feels like witnessing lifelong friends gather for a long-overdue girls weekend. From sharing laughs during long days in the studio to joking around while working in the warehouse, Spray Studio is more of a family than anything else.
Wente in her office, which is outfitted in Spray Studio’s iconic green, pink and blue color scheme.
Through all the success, Wente has managed to stay deeply connected with her roots, keeping the business grounded in the love of helping people build confidence. “Watching moms bring in their daughter for their first tan is one of my favorite things,” she shares. “Seeing the girls fall in love with spray tans and knowing they will preserve their skin from sun damage is so rewarding.” In an industry that is still in its infancy, Wente has certainly carved out her own success, and she’s just getting started. “When I think of the future, I see more innovative, badass products; a studio renovation; maybe even franchising. The sky’s the limit.” You heard it here first: Spray Studio is only on the up, so don’t miss the ride.
Photography by: Rachael Ann Gliebe/RAG Artistry