Written By: Taylor Simmons
Photographed By: Paul Von Reiter
The Expert: Jeni White
Title: Founder and Owner of Bronzed Bunny Spa and Boutique
The beach is a crowded place. In the summertime in LA, you are lucky if you can find a place to lay down your towel on the soft, warm sand. However, it is necessary. We are a city of sun tans and blonde hair. We are a city of manicures and leg waxes. We are also a city of healthy living, organic food, and exercise. We are obsessed with what we look like and what we feel like. The two are correlated. If we look great, we’ll probably feel pretty good, and if we feel good and healthy, we will see a better looking person in the mirror. And so we oil our bodies and lay out in our bikinis to get those perfect tans. However, our healthy living practices deem this ritual archaic and self harming. Why sunbathe for hours, when you can get a much healthier, natural looking spray tan in 15 minutes? Jeni White, the owner and founder of Bronzed Bunny Spa and Boutique, has found a way to combine our tan and health-obsessed culture in a complementary way. She has created a solution that gives a natural bronze with all organic ingredients. Along with her solution, she gives a spa with a unique, glamorous atmosphere, so that Bronzed Bunny is your only option for a healthy tan and fun experience.
Q: How did you come to the decision to open the spa?
Jeni White: I loved getting airbrush tanned, but there was always something I hated about the experience—whether it was the girl that was doing it or the solution they used … or the 1990s tanning salon vibe. There was always something I didn’t like, and you know exactly what I am talking about. I set out to create the perfect experience. Not only in a spray tan experience, but a whole salon/spa experience.
Q: What makes your spa different from others?
JW: Really, the best way to describe that is when you open the door. We are very “boutique.” It’s very kitschy. It’s very eclectic inside. We’re not your average spa. And then on top of that, we offer all services that are organic. They are all naturally based and have organic ingredients, from our facials to our sugar hair removal. It’s so natural you can eat it. It’s hard to find a good, organic tan.
Q: How did you find out about the innovative techniques that you now use?
JW: I wouldn’t say ‘find out.’ There was a lot of trial and error. There are many techniques that we came up with that are now spreading, probably through people who have come to us and experienced us. Imitation is the biggest form of flattery. There have been things that we put on our menu that we like, but we didn’t love, and so those things came off our menu. Creating our menu took a really long time. I am a consumer. I am a spa goer. I love all things girly and pampering. I wanted to provide something that I would go spend money on.
Q: What about Los Angeles inspires you?
JW: A lot. LA is so fast paced. Things are just constantly moving and turning. It makes me want to do more. It makes me constantly want to improve my brand. For example, we just redid our entire website. We had a pretty good website. We used to get compliments on it. But, being in LA, you have to compete with these new businesses that are opening and these new ideas. LA really drives me to just be better. Improve and update.
Q: Can you tell me the story behind your name?
JW: It’s funny. I wish I could have a better explanation. But I love bunnies. I don’t mean the white fuzzy ones. I mean Playboy bunnies. I love everything that has to do with the Playboy bunny. I love feeling sexy. I love looking and feeling your best. You look at those Playboy bunnies in the magazines, and it just makes you want to put makeup on. It makes you want to have a spray tan. It makes you want to get your legs waxed. It makes you want to do all these things to look as glamorous as they do. So I took Playboy bunny and made it Bronzed Bunny.
Q: How does the success feel?
JW: It feels good. There’s nothing better than standing in line in a Starbucks or a café, and hearing somebody talking about my business. That brings tears to my eyes. It is the coolest feeling in the world. They might not know who I am, and that’s fine, but they came into one of my salons and they had an experience with one of my girls, and they got to feel what it feels like to be a bronzed bunny, and they are talking about it with their friends and that is the ultimate success for me.
Q: Where do you see the future taking you?
JW: The future is taking us to more locations. They are already in the works. And getting our brand not only across the US, but selling products wholesale in other countries. If you’re on vacation in Australia, you’re going to be able to find a salon that has a Bronzed Bunny product in it—worldwide domination for all things tanning and sugaring.
Q: What is your favorite part about working in the beauty industry?
JW: The people and my girls. Watching my girls interacting with the clients is really rewarding. It keeps me up on my game. Overall, I love everything about it. I love that we can make somebody feel so awesome in 15 minutes.
Q: How has the spa influenced your life goals and passions?
JW: It has just driven me to keep working harder and harder. I would have never thought five years ago that I would have not one spa but two. Every year I am doing something more and more than I have ever done before that I didn’t think was a possibility. Having the first one, it kept opening doors and made me want to work my ass off. The sky is the limit.
Q: Would you prefer a natural tan or a spray tan?
JW: Definitely a spray tan, but for lots of reasons. I was a sun tanner at one point. I used to have the time and the skin to be able to go out and lay in the sun for a few hours. I don’t have that luxury anymore. And then there is sun damage and wrinkles. Laying out isn’t a great option for me anymore. Sun is really good for you. You just need to do it in small amounts, with sunscreen. Nobody really does it that way anymore. Everybody abuses it. Spray tans aren’t permanent—they wash off—but what we can do in 15 minutes would take hours of laying out with oil in the sun.
12315 Ventura Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 91604