04/10/14 by Rennie Detore

Scratching the surface: UV Skinz earns style points for fashion sense and sun sensibility

At first glance, UV Skinz showcases quite the array of summertime clothing geared toward protecting you from the sun. A closer look at this remarkable brand, and you'll quickly and clearly see their passion and penchant for what they stand for is hardly just skin deep.

Beyond UV Skinz being home to fashionable and stylish outerwear for men, women and kids, this brand boasts quite the practical twist: their products all are certified UPF 50 plus, giving consumers peace of mind that they'll be protected from the sun to the tune of 98% of UV rays blocked. The UV protectiveness comes from the tight fabric weave .

UV Skinz and Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Sparks deserve high praise for not only constructing clothing that shields their customers from the sun also piecing together designs that might easily make your forget the practicality and duality of everything they offer.

And for Sparks, the creation of UV Skinz goes far beyond the formulaic approach of devising a business plan or selling merchandise. For her, UV Skinz was underscored with a personal tone and fueled by touching sentimentality.

"I started the company after losing my husband to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," Sparks recalls. "The other piece to the company, above and beyond making a dollar, is we are completely head over heels passionate about bringing awareness to sun protection."

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Those who have had the pleasure of dealing with UV Skinz at one of the many non profit events they're participating in or have ordered from the web site, quickly come to the determination that this brand truly believes in the cause of education when it comes to skin cancer and sun protection.

"We put activity sheets into shipments that go out to kids (such as circle the animals that are using protective products) or including a UV detector key chain, a little item you can put on a back pack or purse. It will change colors with the intensity of the rays," Sparks says.

And, of course, you would be doing a disservice to the overall ideology of UV Skinz if you didn't mention how incredibly active they are from a charitable standpoint.

"We participate in non profit events, and May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and we partner with medical offices around the nation. We believe sun protection should start with the littlest member of the family all the way up. No baby especially should feel what sunburn is like," Sparks says.

The remarkably robust online retail sector could use more companies like UV Skinz. This organization not only manages to combine a uniquely functional concept but has a compelling, heartfelt and emotionally charged story to tell, one that inspired the business and thus cultivated a powerful mission statement that is hard not to rally behind and universally laud for its genuineness.

The clothing, from its style, substance and price point, doesn't hurt, either.

"Only a few companies on the market are selling sun protecting apparel, and they were very pricey. We're not going to gauge customers with crazy pricing. After years of research, there definitely was wiggle room to reduce pricing and keep quality the same, if not better. And that's been really rewarding," Sparks says.

Equally rewarding for Sparks is the inane ability to create clothing that protects you from the sun that consumers actually want to wear.

"Stuff doesn't have to be ugly; that's definitely what was on the market; " Sparks says. "You want to wear it, and you want kids to wear it. That was a big challenge. We wanted really fun and fashionable designs, not just solid colors or nothing fancy at all. We do a lot of fun designs on our products."

Any competent, cognizant and coherent company knows that your business needs to grow every minute of every day, year by year to achieve maximum success. UV Skinz clearly has positioned itself as a retailer on the cusp of changing the landscape of clothing as it relates to protection from the sun.

"The biggest dream of mine is to make sun protection, in particular UV Skinz, a household name," Sparks says. "Definitely to be number one choice of adults when they think of when they need sun protection. We just broke into the kids camps and swim schools, hotels and resort are on the horizon, too."

But UV Skinz isn't content on just that aspect of their business. Sparks and company want to usher in a totally different mindset when it comes to sun protection and how shading yourself from it is absolutely paramount.

Those who have had the chance to buy and wear UV Skinz and communicate just how satisfied and grateful they are for the products assures Sparks that she's accomplishing exactly what she set out to do eight years ago when she created the company.

"We get testimonials all the time," Sparks says. "We just launched our Spring catalog, and we have a section in it called 'community corner.' "We did an article on a little girl who lost her life at 17 months due to skin cancer passed in utero through her mother. A young boy had 50% of his body burned, and we helped him with our products."

"Those are the stories that keep us going."

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