Salon snazzes up city

Photo: Bonnie Obremski/RepJNorthfield

The owners of the new “a.renee salon” on Clinton Lane off Route 3 hosted hundreds of beauty-seekers and those in search for hair stylists on Thursday evening during its grand opening luau, with a few attendees even arriving in an ebony limousine.

Business partners Amanda Renee Mulligan of Apple Valley and Kim Swanson of Burnsville first opened the business in June. Swanson said during Thursday’s celebration the business offers services and an atmosphere arguably found nowhere else in Minnesota.

The salon’s two European Touch Murano pedicure spa chairs, for example, are likely the only ones of their kind for miles around, Swanson said. The chairs cost about $12,000 each according to Internet sales Web sites.

“We had some trouble getting them to meet building code,” Swanson said of the chairs, smiling on the salon’s rear patio.

Apparently, the luxurious footbaths at the bases of the chairs had fallen into the category of “wading pools,” which could present a drowning hazard for small children, Swanson said.

More than one lei-wearing party guest seemed to look forward to drowning daily worries while reclining in the chairs. Lina Schultz of Farmington, for example, said she planned to schedule a pedicure at the salon soon.

“This salon seems more elaborate and makes me feel like I would be more pampered than others I’ve been to,” Schultz said beside the “nail bar,” which is a manicure station next to the pedicure chairs designed to look like a martini bar.

Photo: Bonnie Obremski/RepJNorthfield; Caption: Lina Schultz examines a glass maraschino cherry in a decorative martini glass at the salon’s nail bar.
Swanson said he believes Northfield’s market is prime for supporting the new business. And, the salon is simultaneously lending a hand to other local entrepreneurs. Artist Barb Matz for one is displaying work there. One of her sculptures of a woman stands in a window facing the entrance sign with her hand raised in seeming triumph.

“It shows how my dream has come true,” Mulligan said of the figure.

For Discussion:

During our conversation, Mr. Swanson wondered aloud why higher-end restaurants in the Northfield area seem to come and go on a regular basis. Is there truly a demand in Northfield for cutting-edge cuisine? Or, for that matter, for a salon that offers (among many other things) a permanent lip make-up service priced at $525?

Photo: Bonnie Obremski/RepJNorthfield Caption: Alisa McCusker of Cannon Falls peruses jewelry sold at the salon.


  1. Martha Cashman said:

    Fermentations seems to do just fine, tucked away as it is in sleepy little Dundas. It consistently serves up terrific food and wine by keeping it small, focused and fresh. It is a destination dining at its best.

    July 18, 2008
  2. I was out at a.renee salon today and they said they gave away over 400 gift bags at their grand opening. They are a GRAND group of people. Thanks for writing a story about the opening.
    By the way, Faribault’s restaurant Monte’s closed recently after only a year in operation.
    Support your local restaurants. (And give big tips to your servers, especially at Froggy Bottoms. Should I give the disclaimer now that my nephew works there?)

    July 18, 2008
  3. Vicki Dennis said:

    When you’re accustomed to paying $20 each for tubes of lipstick that melt in the dryer when you forget and leave them in your blazer pocket, bleed, feather, fade, etc. – $525 for permanent lip color (i.e., 26 tubes of lipstick) doesn’t seem like such a bad deal.

    July 24, 2008
  4. How about some a.renee customer testimony?

    July 27, 2008
  5. Sure, Bright. I have followed Amanda and Amy (for pedicure and hair needs) from their previous work places and can attest to the great care and high spirited atmosphere they provide, along with their new co-workers. Their new, glossy home just makes everything even more special.
    No, I haven’t tried a chocolate truffle body wrap or Hungarian herbal mud treatment yet, but who knows? Maybe someday. I did win a deep pore facial in one of the drawings and am giving that to my daughter in August, at the same time that I have an appointment with Amy. Bonding at the beauty parlor. I can see the fun that groups of women would have at a.renee, having their nails done together at that “nail bar” manicure station, before a wedding or other special event.
    So, good luck with this gorgeous new venture!

    July 27, 2008
  6. […] Mulligan opened the business. Bonnie Obremski follow that up in July 2008 with a RepJ story titled Salon snazzes up city. AKPC_IDS += "12364,";Popularity: unranked [?]SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "a. renee salon shuts […]

    August 23, 2009

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