Member Spotlight: Bronze Buddha Glow

Integral to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale’s mission is telling the stories behind the small businesses Scouted in each Volume. The story begins in print and continues online, after all. As you peruse Volume 2, we are thrilled to continue our story-telling mission with Member Spotlights.

Photographed by Carl Schultz | Schultz Digital.

Organic, paraben-free, never tested on animals, and always gorgeous, Bronze Buddha Glow is our go-to airbrush tanning experience. Owned by Phoenix-bred Sonya MacDonald, Bronze Buddha Glow is an ultra-local, ultra-healthy resource for achieving the vibrance (and confidence) of a tan, sans harmful, damaging rays.

Recently, Sonya celebrated five years of ownership, a testament to Sonya’s acumen as an entrepreneur and Bronze Buddha Glow’s stunning glow. In celebration — and anticipation of warmer days ahead — we chatted with Sonya about entrepreneurship and, well, a bronze glow.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Before diving into specifics of one of the Valley’s favorite spray tans, tell us: what were you doing pre-Bronze Buddha Glow?
Sonya MacDonald: Before taking the entrepreneurial leap, I worked in the optical industry for 25 years. First within a private practice, then as sales/business development consultant and implementation coach with a business management consulting firm. When I left the industry, I became a Yoga teacher, then had the opportunity to purchase Bronze Buddha Glow from my friend.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What inspired you to take the entrepreneurial leap?
Sonya MacDonald: After teaching yoga, I had the opportunity to purchase Bronze Buddha Glow from a longtime friend who had founded the business. She was considering a different career path, and it was perfect timing for me. Everything happens for a reason!

Photographed by Carl Schultz | Schultz Digital.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: More specifically, what inspired you to take the entrepreneurial leap with Bronze Buddha Glow?
Sonya MacDonald: I’m passionate about living a holistic lifestyle and a spray tan is the safest and healthiest option for achieving a tan. I love empowering my clients to feel healthier and happier!

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What’s the best part of your work?
Sonya MacDonald: Not only do I get to help people make healthier choices through sunless tanning. Even better, it’s basically my job to make them feel happy and good all day, every day!


TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Let’s talk about the glow… Can you walk us through a spray tan appointment, including what clients can expect?
Sonya MacDonald: Absolutely! When a client arrives, our first order of business is discussing what brings them in: do they have an event? A vacation? This helps us hone in on the perfect shade for their occasion and skin tone. Once we’ve determined the shade, we start applying. The application process takes about 10 to 15 minutes, so it’s very easy and very quick.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What kind of glow can clients expect?
Sonya MacDonald: All Bronze Buddha Glow Specialists are hand-picked and certified in airbrush tanning and custom color-blending by LA’s very own “Tanning Guru” and Sunset Tan’s reality star, Heather Shaw. She trained us on a specific technique that’s sought after by Hollywood Stars for a natural, red-carpet-ready, sexy-bronzed glow.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: How do you achieve such a uniquely stunning bronze?
Sonya MacDonald: At Bronze Buddha Glow, we use a customized application technique for that follows the body’s curves. Our technique also includes contouring and highlighting of the body’s best assets. Our attention to the details is something I’m passionate about and proud of. 

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What tips do you have for extending a tan?
Sonya MacDonald: At Bronze Buddha Glow, we always review aftercare with our clients, so they understand how to care for their tan, preserve the glow, and achieve even, smooth fading. The most important thing, however, is to keep skin moisturized!

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What do you recommend clients wear to a spray tan appointment?
Sonya MacDonald: Our After Glow Dress, of course! It’s functional, fashionable, and will take you from a glow to errands, dinner, or drinks. It also protects your spray tan — and your car!


TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Let’s switch gears and talk Phoenix… What’s the best thing about being an entrepreneur in the Valley?
Sonya MacDonald: I’m a proud Phoenician, born and raised in Phoenix. I’m a firm believer in supporting local! We have amazing restaurants and small businesses and you can’t beat our beautiful weather for most of the year.  

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Can you share your local favorites?
Sonya MacDonald: Absolutely! My go-to restaurants are Richardson’s (order the Prickly Pear Margarita!) and Buck & Rider (order a dirty martini!). For shopping, Mae & Marie, Muse Apparel, Vida Moulin, Alixandra Collections, Leela Market, and The Lifestyled Co always top my list. For gifting, I always tap fellow Volume 2 Member, urbAna. As for activities, I love a day trip to Sedona, practicing yoga, or playing with my pups. And, come Scottsdale Culinary Festival or Tempe Festival of the Arts, you can find me there! I also never turn down a ticket to any live sports game!

Photographed by Carl Schultz | Schultz Digital.

TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: In talking about our community, we’d be remiss not to mention your charitable giving. We understand that you donate 5% of your monthly profits to local charities. What local non-profits are near and dear to your heart?
Sonya MacDonald: Charities and organizations that cater to children, like Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Child Crisis Nursery, have always been close to my heart. Since purchasing Bronze Buddha Glow, my incredibly charitable clients have introduced me to Homeward Bound and PANDA, which are also deeply important to our community.

Bronze Buddha Glow offers one of the best glows in the Valley. Supernatural, super safe, it’s a fabulous alternative to tanning your dermatologist will approve. To schedule an appointment, head to Additional questions? Feel free to text Sonya at her business number (602)456-1637.

Don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you and ask about the Scouted promotional offers.

Bronze Buddha Glow Locations:


3240 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 10 Phoenix, AZ 85018


12450 N. 32nd St. Suite 3 Phoenix, AZ 85032