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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Courtney Claghorn: Winner of the 2024 Great Companies International Women Entrepreneur Award

Name: Courtney Claghorn

Business Name: SUGARED + BRONZED

Location: Santa Monica , USA

Establishment (Year): 2010

Category: Personal Services

Profession/ Specialty: Custom airbrush tanning and sugaring hair removal

Social Media: Linkedin 

Company Detail:

SUGARED + BRONZED has revolutionized airbrush tanning with a proprietary solution and revived an all-natural, ancient Egyptian form of hair removal called sugaring. SUGARED + BRONZED is a one-stop shop to prepare for any vacation, wedding, red carpet event — or to simply feel like one's best self.

They are extremely passionate about providing exceptional services in beautiful, upbeat, and welcoming spaces that make appointments something to look forward to.

Unique Selling Proposition or Competitive Advantage:

At many spas and salons, there is a laundry list of services, which makes it difficult to offer a high level of expertise for any single one of them. SUGARED + BRONZED, on the other hand, only offers sugaring and airbrush tanning, ensuring an extremely high standard of experience and results. In addition, their stores have a very different look and feel than any other place one might go to for a wax or a tan.

Walking into a SUGARED + BRONZED location, one will likely first notice their welcoming and friendly team members, upbeat playlist, and Mediterranean-inspired decor, all with the intention to create a classy, yet casual environment that puts customers at ease and turns a (sometimes dreaded) beauty errand into not just something enjoyable, but actually something to look forward to.

Challenges Faced During the Journey:

The most challenging part has most certainly been the feeling of the unknown in every aspect of growth. Although Courtney Claghorn has an undergraduate degree in business, there are a lot of things that are not (or cannot) be taught in a classroom.

Things like construction management, HR laws, and digital marketing are constantly evolving, due to both external and internal factors. The most rewarding part has been job creation, contribution towards staff members’ continuing education, and creating career path opportunities.

Advice for Women Entrepreneurs:

Starting small is better than never starting at all. Courtney Claghorn started SUGARED + BRONZED out of her apartment (while she was still working her office job) and tanning clients on her lunch break or after work. She didn’t know if the business would take off, but it was low risk and allowed her to actually put the idea into action.

So many people have great ideas that never come to fruition because of finances, analysis paralysis, fear, etc. She is not saying that she didn’t have any of these concerns (she actually had all of them), but finding any way (even the smallest way) to get the ball rolling is the most important step for an entrepreneur to take.



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