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Posted: August 14, 2014 Best friends bring fun to Artboxx Salon


Close friends Nikki Luft and Brogan Hofstedt teamed up to bring a different salon experience to downtown Eau Claire this summer.


"We're very excited about the upcoming change, if there's anything I'm passionate about, it's growth. I like to see old become new and that's exactly what downtown is doing. We're excited to be a part of that," said Luft on why they chose Barstow for their location.

 Luft, originally from Eau Claire, went to school in Minneapolis for Cosmetology and worked there for a couple years before returning to Eau Claire. Hofstedt is also originally from Eau Claire, who returned after working in Milwaukee. The two worked at the same salon for a couple months in Eau Claire before opening Artboxx together. The duo describes their relationship as they are practically married.

Inside the salon, the walls and decor are painted different colors, complete with a mural by artist Steve Bateman. They also recently opened Modern Gypsy Boutique, a clothing, jewelry and gift shop within their salon.

 The name Artboxx came about from the combination of the various creative types, within the salon. Luft said it reminded them of a toy box with the different creative pieces in their salon. The name idea also came from the color line Luft educates for, which is called "Aloxxi." Aloxxi has two "X's," which is why Artboxx Salon is spelled with two "X's."

 Suite rentals are what make their salon different from other salons. Luft explained when a stylist ventures off to rent a chair, they essentially start their own business, but rent a chair in someone else's salon. However, Luft said their salon rents out whole rooms, complete with their own chair, shampoo bowl and an entire space for them.

 "It'd be a lot like renting an apartment, you do what you want with the space, you just pay rent and whatever you do behind your own closed door is your game," said Luft.

 With involving different shops, artwork and suite rental opportunities, Luft and Hofstedt are able to make Artboxx more than a salon.

 "We're definitely very much a part of this downtown as far as this is where we hang out, our favorite places to go are down here," said Luft. 

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