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.

Muse Monday: Why My Boyfriend Can Melt Your Boyfriend’s Face

I know, I know, everyone thinks that his or her partner is the cat’s pajamas. This glorified sentiment also includes but is not limited to kittens, babies, puppies, and best friends. However, my boyfriend is legit as a muse and here’s why:


1. Jimmy Kleffel Can Melt Faces

Is melting faces good, you wonder? What does that even mean–to melt a face? According to Urban Dictionary, Face Melting is:

The condition in which, due to an extreme exposure to an event of epic Awesomeness, Horror, or any other emotion on the more extreme end of the spectrum of emotions, one loses all perception of space and time including (but not limited to) a brief lapse in physical awareness.

Commonly used in reference to metal, face melting is associated with the ability to both compose and perform intense and effective music. So why is this good? The journal of Behavioral and Brain Sciences says:

Of all the problems that may confront a music psychologist, none is perhaps more important than to explain listeners’ reactions to music. Some kind of musical experience is the basis for every musical activity, regardless of whether it involves composing, performing, or listening to music. Several studies have suggested that the most common goal of musical experiences is to influence emotions: People use music to change emotions, to release emotions, to match their current emotion, to enjoy or comfort themselves, and to relieve stress.

Jimmy executes precise consideration in how he shapes his music. For example, saccharine pop-love hits or most metal on the scene intend to to incite mirrored emotional responses with their hyper-fluffy and hyper-aggressive lyrics, respectively. Jimmy, however, cultivates an unique emotional experience for listeners. Never contrived, his craft focuses on manipulating sound and emotion to encourage the listener to explore the murky depths of one’s latent feelings. Not sure what I mean? Listen to The Comfort of You. This is an example of non-metal face melting.

As a creator, the ability to affect your audience on such an intense emotional level is amazing. It’s the Holy Grail. It’s the great white whale. It’s what all artists claw for. Jimmy’s music is a perfect exhibition of the dynamic relationship between the artist and the audience. And this makes him muse worthy.

Although you might not be impressed yet. But here’s why you should be:

2. Jimmy Kleffel Composes, Performs, and Records All of His Music

Think about all of the music you’ve ever listened to. The cacophony of assonant and dissonant sounds, the artistry of lyrics, the harmony of instruments playing in accord, the mastery of aligning pre and post-production dynamics. Now imagine one person balancing all the elements that go into a single song. Listen to this and picture one dude not only creating the raw partnership of sounds, but performing, recording, editing, and executing a cohesive piece of music.

This video doesn’t even scratch the surface of how much time and consideration goes into creating and perfecting an art. Which brings us to muse worthy point 3:

3. Jimmy Kleffel is Hardcore Dedicated to and Disciplined in His Craft

Imagine waking up. Imagine making yourself a cup of coffee. Imagine going through the list of things you want to accomplish on your day off. Now imagine spending the next 10 hours straight meticulously writing, performing, and editing your work, because art is work. Now imagine doing this at every waking opportunity between time spent at your full-time job. It’s easy to write off accomplishments as “natural talent.” But make no mistake, true art takes practice, patience, time, and commitment. And this dude is one committed mofo. If you asked Jimmy today if his songs are complete, he could recite a laundry list of elements that need to be reworked, rerecorded, rewritten. He’s the only person I know who wishes there were 28 hours in a day and 8 days in a week, just to have more available time to work on his music. Despite constraints, Jimmy has written, performed, and recorded over 300 original songs. And that kind of dedication makes him muse worthy.

As a writer, you could equate composing a song akin to composing a short story: an independent piece that is a part of a greater whole or collective. Each segment is designed to work independently as well as cohesively to tell a broader story. Jimmy has created a series of autonomous songs that when strung together, reveal a deep perception and oftentimes dark commentary of our world. Most of his lyrics contain double or triple meanings, which takes an exorbitant amount of consideration that I admire as a lover of both economy and the written word. This devotion to details is just an example of to what lengths Jimmy considers all aspects of his music.

4. Jimmy Kleffel Isn’t Defined by Genre or Image

A bona fide Renaissance Man of music, Jimmy isn’t defined and confined by one genre. He crushes the boundaries of conventional music systems by creating not only “the kind of music [he’d] want to listen to,” but whatever music speaks to his emotions and mind frame. And as a genuine artist, Jimmy doesn’t feel the need to look or act the part of what he is creating. He might be the only metal artist I know without myriad tattoos and piercings. He doesn’t subscribe to a boho left-bank sense of style to craft acoustic folk, or a smooth player swag to produce sexy r&b songs. And if the mood strikes, don’t be surprised if he pours out Radiohead-esque electric jams or even full-out rap beats. As a musician, Jimmy encourages exploration of emotional, mental, and spiritual capacities. If there’s a genre he’s interested in delving into, like jazz or Bossa nova, he’ll set out to teach himself. His albums range from the smooth acoustic rock of New View to the sharp metal edge of Speak of the Devil to the dream pop rock of Out of Body Experience.

And he’s not reserved about getting creative with blending sounds and genres. Jimmy incorporates his inspirations from well-renowned musicians, personal experiences, theology and spirituality, natural elements, and even aliens, conspiracy theories, and mysteries of the pyramids to experiment with thought-provoking and inciting pieces.

5. Jimmy Kleffel is Self-Taught

Jimmy takes auto-didacticism to a whole new level. More than just teaching himself new musical styles, Jimmy delves into all aspects of learning his craft. He taught himself how to play the drums simply because he needed drums in his music. Every instrument in his compositions is a reflection of the ferocity he emits towards making music. This vigor extends beyond just learning how to play. He’s spent hours reviewing instructional videos on how to delicately restring, retune, and rebuild his instruments. He’s devoted his time and energy to studying the unspoken art of composition. He’s labored for years to produce the best quality sound he can with antiquated technology, making him a MacGyver of home audio engineering. Jimmy isn’t hindered by inadequacy. If there’s something he doesn’t know how to do, he’ll figure it out. Want to know how he makes an electric guitar scream like a monkey? Well, that’s a trade secret. But it did take the old-fashioned guess and test method.

Jimmy stumbled upon his passion when at the age of 4 he discovered his father’s guitar behind the couch, picked it up, and began to strum. From that moment, he’s pursued and cultivated his life-long love of music. If even half the artists in the world exhibited as much passion and persistence as Jimmy, there’d be no more faces left to melt. We’d all live out our lives in a constant state of emotional apexes. We’d all be blown. A muse like this makes us humble listeners want to transcend ourselves and give whatever it is we love all that we’ve got.


About Jimmy:

Cresting the barren slope, the earth exposed in all its majesty, its history. All of its swirling and tumbling, rising and falling, growing and dying, is too slow for me to perceive. But it won’t be the same tomorrow. The cooling dusk air, replete with salty earthen crystals, made pins and needles of my cheeks under a backdrop of stars peeking timidly through the decaying rainbow sunset of the abandoned Southwest, my sky now in favor of 80 light years to 8 minutes. I carried my hands over the cooling soil. I was created by the same swirling and spiraling elements. This is my brother. I was made to experience you. I dug my feet into the sand and looked above, to my mother. I was made to experience you. Like living on the tail of a firework in slow motion for all my senses, every moment, every day, the grandest piece of art ever made. I sing back. In celebration, in tribute, and in harmony with the shifting, swirling, spiraling dissonance of the universal ingredients, too slow for me to perceive. But the song won’t be the same tomorrow.

Source: SoundCloud/Jimmy Kleffel

For more videos check out: Jimmy Kleffel on YouTube

Upcoming Albums: The Mad Ape Experiment and Hyde was the Doctor

This predominantly instrumental metal album features innovative sounds and a killer 8 string to depict a dark, imaginative commentary on human behavior and the inevitable retribution that follows. “Evil given for evil done.”