Heatwaves: The Art of Indoor Tanning

Heatwaves: The Art of Indoor Tanning (Reposted from Nov. 2013)


This December, Heatwaves Tanning–located at 218 West Main Street, Kutztown–will celebrate its 15 year anniversary. What sets Heatwaves apart from the strip mall stereotype of indoor tanning is owner Bri Kramer’s dedication to professional and responsible tanning. Bri, as a small business owner for 15 years, has worked hard to combat the negative stigma associated with indoor tanning facilities.

Smart Tan Certified, Heatwaves Tanning personalizes the experience by setting up individual exposure plans that best suit the customer’s needs, not just wants. A great feature of Heatwaves is the commitment to educate patrons on how to tan responsibly, because the foundation of this business is quality & knowledge.

A Cut Above the Rest

As a facility certified in the administration of Ultraviolet light, Heatwaves knows how to advise clients on what type of tanning bed is best for their needs and on the duration of their UV exposure. It’s not uncommon for inexperienced tanners who have used unregulated tanning salons in the past to enter Heatwaves with a misconception of how the industry should work. Bri is an advocate for restrictions on tanning beds, because some places provide the service as a marketing tool. These unregulated facilities aren’t enforcing protective eyewear, or pairing the tanner with the proper bulb.


“It’s like if I started doing hair here for $5–whatever you want, but I don’t know what I’m doing,” Bri explains with a chuckle.

The integrity of Heatwaves counters the image portrayed by these “fast food bulb” businesses.

Bri is passionate about responsible tanning, and her passion is what drives her business to be about the art of indoor tanning, not just the net profit. I can contend from personal experience that Bri is a straight-shooter, because Heatwaves is not the kind of business that will sell you a $45 bottle of lotion when the $19 bottle is a better match for your skin type and exposure plan.

Years ago when I needed a base tan before my tropical getaway, I chose Heatwaves because of the mentality quality first.  A benefit of using an indoor tanning facility is the controlled environment for smart tanning, and at Heatwaves, it’s not okay to “burn a little.” After my initial experience, I realized that indoor tanning is not just about cosmetics.

Only the Bimbos in Bikinis


KU Wrestlers

The obvious stereotype associated with indoor tanners is that we’re all bimbos in bikinis with orange-tinted skin.

(Although I did ask Bri what causes those orange tans portrayed on television, and she explained it’s the DHA bronzing agent used in certain lotions paired with tanning daily.)

Heatwaves attends tanning expos and personally tests out lotions in order to pair each client with the appropriate product. This means you won’t find yourself looking like a carrot.

Bri explains that she’s had all kinds of customers from: college students to farmers, professionals to athletes, travelers to retirees. Regardless of gender, clients also utilize indoor tanning for treatment of skin afflictions, such as acne and psoriasis, long-term depression, S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder, bone density imbalance, and more. Especially during the gray months of December through February, tanning even once a week is the vitamin D pick-me-up I need to bare the brunt of winter. Even just those few minutes of light and warmth seem to make the week more manageable. Customers of Heatwaves exhibit a great loyalty to the small business, because in addition to its professionalism, the atmosphere is super-friendly.

Let the Good Times Roll

Stepping inside, a customer can expect a greeting from one of Heatwave’s furry friends, Otis and Avery.

Bri has crafted an extraordinary environment where employees and patrons alike are in good spirits. Unlike commercialized facilities, Heatwaves is an emblem of independent business.

“We love to keep it fun here. If you catch the staff at just the right time, we might be line dancing or instigating a full round of belly laughs. If there was Tan-ertainment, then Heatwaves would be the world headquarters!”

With music always playing, Heatwaves is a relaxing and easy-going place that reminds you of the importance of “me-time.”

Bri’s compassion and love for animals goes beyond Heatwaves’s resident companions and is reflected in her nomination for philanthropic activities by Profits for Passion. Heatwaves supports the One by One Cat Rescue and contributes to the rescue of injured sea turtles.

 Bling Indie: A Retailer for Fine Metals

In addition to being an active member of the community, Heatwaves also supports local craftsman Robert T. Graham. Graham produces handmade and custom sterling-silver jewelry, which are only available at retailers Kennett Design and Heatwaves Tanning.

Graham explains, “The way I see it, I work in three mediums: metal, clay, and students. …Transformation has been the underlying theme in my work, no matter the medium. In metal I look to transform found and unconventional materials into works of art.”

Graham crafted his unique jewelry and sold them throughout college at Kutztown University as he worked his way towards a B.A. in Art Education and a B.F.A. in Crafts, with a concentration in Fine Metals. He is a gilded craftsman and offers a variety of unique gift shopping. Stop by Heatwaves to see Graham’s hand-crafted jewelry up close.

Let’s See Those Pearly Whites

Heatwaves Tanning also offers Bleach Bright teeth whitening services, because everyone should be able to afford whiter teeth. This self-administered teeth whitening system is dental grade bleach & polish designed by two dentists. The pre-filled soft mouth piece is easy to use and the process yields immediate results. Why waste money with OTC whitening strips that never seem to work.

Bleach Bright features “state of the art technologies that are safe, industry unique, and cost-effective.” This means you can see your teeth 2-8 shades lighter in 15-20 minutes.

I’ve used the Bleach Bright whitening system myself and was surprised at the ease and legitimacy of the process. Depending on your lifestyle, the LED whitening will last 6 months to 1 year.

Escape the Ordinary


For 15 years Bri Kramer has been an energetic and positive business member of the Kutztown community. With fun weekly discounts, you walk into Heatwaves feeling more like a friend than a customer.

So stop in at Heatwaves and escape the ordinary.

Photos obtained from Heatwaves Tanning.

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