Connie Jo Umphrey was born and raised in Marianna. Like many girls in Florida, she worshipped the sun. After finishing school, she lived for a short time in Chipley before moving to Gainesville, where she lived the majority of her adult life.
In 2008, Umphrey was diagnosed with melanoma, which resulted in two surgeries. These events led Umphrey to becoming an advocate for healthy tanning. She began studying the art of healthy skincare and tanning, before opening SASS in Gainesville. There, she worked with dancers, University of Florida cheerleaders and bodybuilders.
In 2016, Umphrey returned home and on Aug. 6, 2016, opened SASS: Sunless Airbrush Skin Solutions at 2867 Jefferson Street.
Umphrey explained that last year she became, “Australia’s First Internationally Certified Master Technician in Florida and SASS was named Best Sunless Tanning Salon.” Umphrey has also been featured on WMBB for her skills and techniques.
“I custom mix and adjust colors for each individual,” she said. Customers have to prepare their body and skin in advance by shaving, exfoliating, removing makeup and lotion. Upon arrival, they are instructed to wear loose clothing. Afterwards clients return home with aftercare products. “I have a one-on-one relationship with my clients” and “confidentiality is my top priority,” added Umphrey.
Not only does Umphrey provide an airbrush tan, but she takes time to educate her clients about the importance of skin cancer prevention. “In one case, I was able to spot a melanoma and the client followed up with care from a dermatologist before it progressed,” Umphrey said. “Our products are cruelty free and organic,” she continued, “containing essential oils which are actually healthy for skin.” Clients can come in for a one-time visit or a maintenance package. The process takes about 15 minutes and lasts 8-12 days. Over time, the tan simply fades away. Her mission is supported by Dr. Green. Umphrey’s daughter, Sable, and sister, Vanita Turner, help her with the business.
Shop locally, support Marianna businesses and learn all about healthy tanning with Connie Jo Umphrey — call 352-538-7981 for an appointment. Visit the City of Marianna’s website at http://www.mariannafl.city/335/New-Businesses-and-Other-Community-News to learn more about new businesses.