It hasn’t been an easy road.

In four short years Amanda has built U Glow Girl into a strong brand. She has a passion for her craft, incredible drive and a strong business acumen. She is proof that amazing things can happen, when you don’t give up.

Here is a bit of her story.

Amanda Furelli Top Seller Award (Ottawa/Gatineau)
Nuda Canada lunch event in Toronto, Ontario.

Amanda Furelli

aka Ottawa’s Spray Tan Queen
Certified Spray Tan Artist
Website : uglowgirl.ca
Instagram : @uglowwgirl

Our families, my Mother’s side and your Father’s side, have known each other for decades dating back to when they lived in Italy. Then when they came to Ottawa – they both went into hairdressing and were part of a great legacy.

What was it like for you growing up with family in the beauty industry?

I feel like we have so much in common. I love that our parents knew each other way back from Italy and are both hairdressers. I was showing my dad your page and he recognized your mom right away! It really is such a small world.

Growing up with family in the beauty industry was such an amazing learning experience. My dad taught me at a really young age that customer service is so important and that every interaction is an opportunity to create a meaningful and memorable experience for each client.

I think the main thing that growing up in the beauty industry helped me understand is that the best way to seek happiness is through service to others. That’s the one thing that really stuck with me – what a blessing it can be to help others look and feel their best every day.

That, and reaping the benefits of being a hairdresser’s daughter. I was so lucky and felt a little spoiled that I got to get my hair washed and blow-dried once a week. Haha

Instagram : @uglowwgirl

How did you get into the spray tan business?

One of my best friends would always get spray tans because she was skin conscious. Over the years she would always lecture me about the importance of sun safety and how proper measures can help reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer. So, I finally went out and experienced my first professional spray tan, and I instantly fell in love.

Around that same time, in 2017, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. As she was going through treatments, her doctor advised her that she could no longer be in the sun and how critical sun precaution was in both the short and long term.

That’s when my sun safety journey really began.

I remember thinking to myself, how am I going to stay away from the sun? I loved being tanned, I loved lounging in the backyard, soaking up the rays by the pool and even tanning beds. It was really a different time. We didn’t have the resources and the knowledge that we have available now. We didn’t understand the harmful effects excessive sun exposure can have on our bodies.

Instagram : @uglowwgirl

That’s when I decided spray tanning was the only option. But I wanted it to be clean and non-toxic, or else there wasn’t really a point. Through that whole journey, I discovered a brand called Nuda, a Canadian-based company that specialized in providing spray tanning products that were natural, vegan friendly and cruelty- free. My interest peaked and I took an in-person course in October 2019 and fell in love with everything about it. But I didn’t want to stop there. 

I was always so interested in the entertainment industry. I would see celebrities like JLO and the Kardashian’s showing up on red carpets and posting on Instagram with beautiful sun kissed skin – and I knew – these women were not baking in the sun. Especially with all that Botox!

I did some research and I found out who spray tanned Kim Kardashian, so I decided to message her. I told her I wanted her to teach me everything about spray tanning and my desire to use the same products she used on celebrities. I ended up convincing her to come teach a course in Toronto!

Isabel Alysa is definitely my inspiration as a businesswoman in the sunless tan industry. I use all her solutions that she uses on celebrities like JLO, Megan Fox, Miley Cyrus, and so many more.

These tan lines look amazing!
Instagram : @uglowwgirl
Can you explain to our readers what the certification process is for your industry?

It really depends on the brand you plan to use. Pre-covid, your certification was in-person training for a full day. Trainers would watch each person spray a model and then present you with a certificate at the end.

At that time, a lot of companies would only let you purchase products if you were fully certified by them. It was a process I was familiar with from the hair industry, when dealing with wholesale distributors of salon brands that would only sell to licensed beauty professionals only.

With the rise of pandemic, many brands had to pivot and from then on, the restrictions became much less heavy. Now, almost anyone is considered certified and there aren’t regulations in place to enforce quality assurance.

This can have a negative impact on our industry because it is not allowing people to train at their full potential. I have women messaging me all the time for help on techniques, social media, mixing solutions etc. because training is not as holistic and compressive as it once was.

This is why I will be starting my own training courses in 2024! This is the first time I’m announcing it, and I’m so excited about it!

Did you know?
The amount of people getting skin cancer has been increasing in Canada over the past 30 years. Based on current rates, one in 73 Canadian women will develop melanoma during their lifetime while one in 59 Canadian men will develop the disease. – Public Health Agency of Canada – August 11, 2023

Protecting your skin from the sun is so important. A spray tan is a way to get that sun kissed glow that so many people love. Is this a primary reason why clients are choosing your services?

I am so happy you asked this question!

It is so important to highlight the increasing risk of skin cancer. People are so much more aware and educated now, and they are choosing the healthier route in obtaining a sun kissed glow. We can make your tan look as subtle and natural as you want, or we can make you look like you just spent a week in Mexico! And we can do all this without any sun damage.

So yes, this is definitely the primary reason as to why clients choose to come get a spray tan with us and why they choose us to help them maintain a healthy, flawless and bronzed skin tone no matter what time of year it is.

Instagram : @uglowwgirl

Being skilled at your craft is paramount, but using social media effectively is also important in the beauty industry. You are extremely consistent with producing content. Your Instagram is well balanced – you have client photos, educational and brand building posts. It all looks easy until it comes to sitting down and creating posts and stories. How much time do you devote to this part of your business?

It is not easy! I think one of the hardest parts about the sunless tan business is breaking old, conceived notions that spray tans can make you look orange or unnatural. This makes social media a critical tool in showcasing real-life examples of what a spray tan looks like on actual clients because of the past reputation.

I devote most of my time on creating stories and posts so that people come into their appointment already understanding the process and what the outcome will be.

I decided to start posting more once the pandemic hit since it was the beginning of my business journey, and I didn’t want people to forget about me once we opened up again!

Instagram : @uglowwgirl

It’s definitely a key business tactic in staying relevant and top of mind.

One of the golden rules in hairdressing – is don’t show-up to an appointment with dirty hair. Is there any skin prep that needs to be done before a spray tan session? Is there aftercare as well?

You’ll see me post about this quite frequently, but exfoliating your skin is the number one skin prep! Without doing this, your results will most likely not turn out. If it does look good, it definitely won’t last very long and the fade off will not be flattering. Prepping your skin before your appointment is a must. We send very thorough instructions as soon as a client books. I always advertise that 50% of your results are me and the other 50% is the client. We both must do our part in order to get the best long-lasting results.

Instagram : @uglowwgirl

Managing client expectations is so important. I can confidently say that with 4 years of experience in the industry, learning how to spray tan and using the spray gun isn’t the biggest learning curve. It’s understanding people’s skin tones and knowing what solution and what tone will best suit them.

I love the timeless beauty/style from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Social media has had a massive impact on beauty and fashion. Information is literally in the palm of our hands 24/7. Trends are no longer seasonal and may go as quickly as they come.
I imagine everyone’s tan will last and fade differently. I also imagine skin tone will play a factor as well – porcelain skin versus olive skin for example. How do you manage clients expectations?

We always have a mini consultation with the client before we start the session. I analyze their skin tone and we talk about what kind of tan they want to achieve. If someone has pale, porcelain skin but wants to be extremely dark, we make sure to set their expectation level and highlight what is achievable based on their skin tone.

When going too dark on paler skin, you risk making them look orange, the fade off won’t look organic and the contrast will be too drastic. I always let clients know that we will make them as tanned as their skin tone can take and still keep them looking natural and luminous.

I heard about the U Glow Girl brand through friends’ personal posts – it popped up often enough that the name stuck in my head. How did you build your reputation within the Ottawa beauty industry?

I built my reputation by providing a consistent, high-quality service, using the best-in-class products in the industry, combined with my own unique techniques. But the one thing I did most, and I still do today, is hustle hard.

I would post on social media multiple times a day, showcasing before and after photos constantly so that I could demonstrate to people why they should try spray tanning. 

I would take on clients no matter the day or time. I once drove to do a mobile spray tan 40 min away at 11 pm at night. I never said no.

When the pandemic hit, everything changed. It became harder since we were shut down and no one was thinking about getting spray tans. I started selling self-tanner kits so that people could have a little glow while staying home. I really had to work harder, I had to post more and most of all I had to stay relevant, so that when the lockdown was over, people would remember.

A pair of glowing bridesmaids.

You just celebrated the 4th anniversary of U Glow Girl. What do you think matters most in terms of achieving success?

I think what matters most for me in terms of achieving success is being persistent and working hard at it. I never gave up, even though I faced many challenges. I went ahead with this business idea even though I was told by multiple people it wouldn’t work because spray tanning had a bad name. I was told it would be a trend that would get old quick. I never listened to the negativity, and I never gave up.

Doing something I love and enjoy is one of the things that matters most to me. Just being able to help women feel good when being tanned, and giving them that extra confidence, really makes me love what I do.

Being extremely knowledgeable, especially about my clients and identifying their needs. I know the exact color to choose whether it’s based on skin tones, different events, or skin issues etc. Safety and comfort are of the utmost importance to me. The concept of standing in front of someone in the nude (or nearly nude) might make many vulnerable and it’s my responsibility to make them feel safe and secure during their appointment. I take that so seriously.

Also, being resilient to change, always having to adapt to different conditions in the economy or different trends, because women’s trends are always evolving.

You get to be part of so many special occasions and milestones in your business – what does this mean to you on a professional level and personal level?

On a professional level, it has been great exposure for my business. We are the number one spray tanning salon for all brides and bridal party tans. We’ve helped change the taboo of looking overly tanned or orange, so now a spray tan is viewed as an essential when getting married, the same way hair and make-up is.

On a personal level, I feel grateful to be able to be a part of people’s special occasions, like for brides, engagements, birthdays etc. Just knowing that I made someone feel so good about themselves on their special day, is an amazing feeling and accomplishment, and I’m so grateful for that. 

Clear solution for this bronzed & beautiful bride.
Photographer : Of Wild & Wander

How would you define beauty?

To me beauty is defined by feeling your absolute best. If you feel good, you look good. No matter what you have going on in your life, the second you get a spray tan you feel instant happiness and confidence. What is on the inside, radiates to the outside. 

My business is built on always making you feel your best.


Photo Credit : The photo of the U GLOW GIRL ♡
neon sign was taken by Danielle Aisling. She is a destination wedding and elopement photographer based in Canada – capturing love stories worldwide. To visit her website, please click here.