Combining hair and underwear is a unique business model — and that’s just what the ladies at Lux and Undressed are banking on.
Lindsy Shontz and Kait Fagan met six years ago shortly after Fagan moved to Truckee from Detroit. Fagan opened Dressed Boutique and was looking for someone to style her hair.
One day, Shontz was browsing in the shop when Fagan asked if she knew a good hairstylist. Shontz offered her services, and soon, the women became best friends.
Shontz grew up in Tahoe City and has been styling hair for the last eight and a half years.
“It was what I always wanted to do,” she said.
Fagan has been in retail business for the last 12 years. She owns a boutique in Harbor Springs, Mich., and is the owner of Dressed Boutique in downtown Truckee.
Dressed has been voted the No. 1 best clothing store in the Best of North Tahoe & Truckee contest the last four years.
This past January, the women partnered to open Lux Hair, a full service hair salon, and Undressed, a lingerie and vintage clothing shop.
A SALON WITH AN EDGE
Lux is clean, open and airy. Three salon chairs and large mirrors occupy one side of the shop, while lingerie, vintage clothing, handbags and jewelry are displayed on the opposite side of the boutique.
A mix of classic rock and soul drift from the sound system; the Pandora station is a reflection of both women and the music that inspires them. Beatles, Zombies, and Fleetwood Mac songs produce an upbeat atmosphere.
“We’re a rock and roll vintage salon,” Fagan said with a laugh.
Black and white images of Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks are tastefully displayed on the walls along with abstract art by local artist Cory Smith, a good friend of Fagan.
“We wanted our shop to have an edge, but also be a comfortable, modern salon,” Shontz explained.
SETTING REALISTIC business GOALS
For Shontz, looking good is all about helping clients set realistic goals. Before cutting or styling hair, she asks clients a series of questions to know what they are willing to do to maintain their hairstyle.
Do you blow dry your hair? How much time are you willing to invest? Will you use a daily product on your hair?
Each answer holds a key to help Shontz create a look that works for her clients.
“We want our clients to be able to recreate what we do as stylists. We teach them how to style their own hair,” she said. “It’s great when you look hot leaving the salon, but we want you to look hot every day.”
Her creativity, she said, originates from education.
“It’s important in this business to keep learning,” Shontz explained. “Styles are always changing. If you are not inspired, we are not inspired.”
‘COMFORTABLE FOR WOMEN TO SHOP’
Lacy lingerie, meanwhile, is tastefully folded on rustic tables throughout the shop.
“There was nowhere in town to buy lingerie. We carried some things in Dressed, but wanted to expand,” Fagan said. “Some folks are uncomfortable shopping for lingerie. We wanted to make it comfortable for women to shop and have something to do while waiting to have their hair done.”
As someone who’s passionate about clothing, Fagan scours the region and the Internet for vintage items for the shop.
“Often I buy things for myself and then sell them later,” she said when asked where she finds her unique boutique items.
Undressed has found support in social media particularly with Instagram and Facebook.
“Instagram is simple and creative — we are able to capture our business in an image. It’s more user-friendly that a website,” she said.
BUSINESS IS BOOMING
Since opening, both women are pleased with the success of their endeavor. There are six stylists working in the shop, and Shontz has been voted No. 1 hair stylist the last two years.
“Business has been better when we ever expected. Our chairs are filled,” Shontz said. “We have a good working relationship with our stylists. Our goal is to create a space that is intimate and comfortable.”
“We want our shop to be a place where our fellow stylists can express themselves.”
Both women also are deeply committed to building community. They support local organizations like Girls on the Run and The McConkey Foundation by donating items and gift certificates.
“We plan to offer more community events and customer appreciation nights,” Fagan said. “We plan to be here a long time.”
Priya Hutner is a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s great when you look hot leaving the salon, but we want you to look hot every day.”