Rockford Women taking care of business

Rockford Advance March 1, 1994

Attention to details built the reputation of Chris Ackerman's Sun-Rays Tanning Salon at 400 East Division St.

Tanning can be a controversial business, with facts and opinions flying from many sources. Facts are what Ackerman strives to pass on to her clients.

"The big challenge is to educate the public who has been misinformed about when, why and how you should tan," she said.

Her middle management job wasn't very fulfilling, so she looked into small business options. Her son suggested a tanning salon and seven years ago, she moved into the newly constructed storefronts on the corner of Wolverine Boulevard and Division Street. As a 21 year resident of the city, she wanted to remain in the area, she said.

She has chosen her business carefully, deciding not to feature T-shirts, swimsuits or other services to her salon so she can concentrate on maintaining a professional establishment, she said.

Ackerman tailors tanning packages to clients skin types for a safer tan, and explains to them how tanning beds work so accidental burning will not occur.

Ackerman keeps active with the city through the Chamber of Commerce, the school/chamber Partnership in Education program, and Start of Summer. It's part of being responsive to a loyal community, she said.

Women like these in business are regulars in the Rockford community now, but they had to muster the courage to take a risk and open their doors.