City of residence: Galveston
Current title/place of business: Owner/operator, Tantalize Tanning Spa
Education: Associate's degree, Galveston College
Family: Brett Morris, husband; Addison Morris, 8
Professional responsibilities: Daily operations, client satisfaction, product ordering, maintenance, donations. My family and I are currently donating 25 percent of our profits to two Galveston-based businesses that are still unable to reopen due to COVID. As owner, I take care of all daily operations along with my husband. We pride ourselves in breaking the typical “tanning salon” mood by providing an array of services, red light therapy, infrared sauna, hydration station pods, spray and airbrush tanning, teeth whitening and more.
Accomplishments/honors: We have been awarded best salon since opening in 2010 by many news and magazine outlets for Galveston County. This year, we are celebrating 10 years since opening our salon, which will be Galveston County's longest and only single-family run tanning salon. Opening my salon at only 21 years old and having it grow into this amazingly successful business that allows me and my family to work together and never miss a second together is a blessing. We have plans to open more island-based businesses in the very near future.
Community involvement: We are members of Holy Family Parish, making our weekly donations as well as donations for bazaars and festivals. We donate what we can to every organization that asks, including Yaga's Children’s Fund, Junior League of Galveston County, Galveston Police Department fundraisers and Boy Scouts to name a few. My husband is also an active member of Knights of Momus. We donate our salon truck (and drive) during Mardi Gras to pull local Galveston clubs and organizations in multiple parades. We visit the Galveston Island Humane Society multiple times a year to play with the animals and make donations (our daughter's favorite thing to do). Multiple times a year we host fundraisers for different organizations, including the humane society, local students working toward a goal (college, school trip, etc.) Our daughter is currently Mini Miss Texas, and we donate our time for her to participate in many local events.
Why did you go into your particular field?
After graduating from O’Connell High School in 2007 and attending Galveston College, I admit I had no set plan of what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” I tried it all – I was a lifeguard, a secretary, an event organizer, a cocktail waitress, a nanny, a salon attendant, etc. As a salon attendant, I truly began to find what is now my passion. I started from the problems and worked out in an effort to imagine and then build what I felt was an ideal day spa. With my grandparents having opened D’Ambra’s Meat Market in 1964, and my uncle, Anello D’Ambra, having opened his own chiropractic practice, Island Chiropractic, with his wife, Lisa, in 1994, I had a solid support system and unreasonable amount of confidence in my ability to be an entrepreneur. I convinced my then fiancé to move to Galveston to help me, and with help from my amazing lively grandparents, I opened my tanning spa in July 2010 at just 21 years old.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a very young child, I always thought I’d become famous by acting or singing or, of course, marrying a member of N*SYNC.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a lifeguard at Schlitterbahn Galveston in 2006.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I have been given is from my husband: Let others think and say what they want about you and your decisions, you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Have confidence in yourself and go into each day with a clean mind and a loving heart.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I love educating people on safe sun exposure, Vitamin D and provide an affordable spa experience for sun-bed users and non, alike.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your career?
Every day is a battle against yourself. Comparing yourself or your business to others serves no purpose and ultimately prohibits you from reaching your fullest potential.
Who do you consider to be your greatest mentor and why?
It may sound sappy, but my greatest mentor is my husband. He worked two jobs and coached high school football in order to make my dreams a reality, all the while providing me with encouraging words and guidance throughout. Still today he is one of the main faces you’ll see behind the desk.
When you’re not at work, what do you do to relax?
Well honestly as a business owner, there isn’t much time when you’re not at work. However, on the rare weekend we have the opportunity to take a break, I enjoy going to the beach with my daughter or hosting an at-home Scentsy party as Galveston’s only Scentsy director, although most free weekends you’ll find us donating our time to fundraisers and charitable causes as my daughter represents her title of Mini Miss Texas.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
Something about me most people don’t know is that I am pretty good at impressions, my best are Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Mickey Mouse.
How do you hope to grow in your career?
By expanding my spa. We are in the middle of our first expansion with plans to open a second location on the mainland. I hope to continue that growth over the next 10 years and possibly even franchise.
If you couldn’t do what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
I would hopefully be a stay-at-home mom. We are a dedicated homeschool family that loves spending time together as often as possible.