A Glasgow business woman who dealt with the tragic suicide of her partner during Covid lockdown has used her grief to drive her luxury safe tanning business forward.
Lisa Stewart, 41, owner of Star Luxury Tanning was thrilled to be the headline sponsor for the Positive Awards in Liverpool last week, saying,
“We’ve all got stories of hardship but one thing in common with everyone in the room is that we all get back up, we refuse to give up, and we fight back stronger.”
Lisa’s own story is wracked with pain.
Separated from her mother from 14 she says she fought her way through life dealing with mental health issues.
“I had Anxiety Disorder and childhood trauma that caused me to believe I was never going to be good enough to be a success. But I also had a burning ambition to prove that wasn't true, “ she said.
After losing a cherished uncle to skin cancer and supporting many friends who had been diagnosed with melanoma and other forms of skin cancer, mostly due to the effects of using sunbeds, she wanted to make a difference in the world of skin cancer awareness and prevention.
Her career experience until that time had been primarily in the sales and marketing industry. She studied in beauty and became qualified in Professional Spray Tanning, Anatomy and Physiology then went on to spend time with some of the best chemists and product developers in the tanning industry, working on the perfect formulas that would soon become one of the most loved tanning brands in the UK.
Lisa said, “My goal was to develop a range of self-tanning products that would eliminate the typical pet hates found when using fake tan. These included issues such as; the scent of fake tan being associated with old biscuits; the mess it makes and the stains it left on clothing and bedding; the uneven and patchy way the products faded off on the skin as the days past and, of course, the orangey coloured tones of the final results, not normally associated with a natural tan.After months of development, we finally created the STAR Luxury Tanning range.
My ultimate mission is to educate sunbed users that there is a safe and natural-looking alternative to using a dangerous sunbed and exposing your skin to highly dangerous UV rays.”
The brand uses the letters S.T.A.R. to form the slogan, "Safe Tanning Avoids Risks".
By March 2020, only 5 months into our expansion plans, we were forced to close our doors due to the Covid Pandemic. I continued to promote and sell our DIY Tanning products, using an online store on my website, aiming to provide those looking to pamper themselves at home with luxury products at an affordable price.
Those months of stress and so much negativity were definitely tough to deal with but I have a "no quit" attitude and I believe in my mission, myself and in my products, so much more than to give up at the first hurdle. “
By May 2021, lockdown had been lifted in Scotland and it was time to relaunch. However, only a week later, her partner committed suicide. Lisa said,
“This resulted in me struggling from PTSD and severe anxiety, which I still suffer from to this day. Having to explain to our young children what had happened, that he was now in Heaven, was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever had to do in my entire life.
I didn’t have the mental strength to handle the day to day running of a business and so I had to step back for a short time. But I had to show my daughters how to be strong and how to move forward in a positive way. I had to be the role model they could look up to and for them to be able to believe in my ability to keep them safe and secure without their Daddy.
They were my motivation to carry on, to not quit and to continue to build my tanning empire. “
“I have always believed in supporting local, UK based businesses, especially those that have been created by people who aren't motivated purely by profit and who have a genuine passion and goal to make a difference in the world.
This is the reason I developed the #StarFamily concept; a supportive group of like-minded individuals who are all committed to skin cancer awareness and helping to reduce the skin cancer rates caused by sunbeds by promoting a healthy and safe spray-tanning service”
Note from Lisa Stewart:
Star Luxury Tanning products are made with natural, organic and vegan friendly ingredients and never tested on animals.
Our DHA is Eco-Certified Organic and
our products are scented with natural oils.
They are therefore ideal for those with sensitive skin and skin irritations and perfectly safe for children and pregnant ladies to use.
We have 4 shades, suited to every skintone,
including the darkest of skintones to give that natural-looking,
glossy, glowing finish to the skin.