Moving beyond

(First published in the January 30, 2020 issue of City Pages)

Blonde and Beyond’s new east downtown space adds massage


Blonde and Beyond owner Jalena Boden, right, with massage therapist Keirsten Cossette at the new 2,500-square-foot salon.

Last October Blonde and Beyond moved from its downtown location on Third Street to its current building four block east at 623 Washington St., across the street from Red Eye Brewing. The move more than doubled its size, from 1,000-square foot storefront to a 2,500-square foot building.

The move not only allowed the extra space to keep up with demand, Blonde and Beyond owner Jalena Boden says, it allows for future growth. She now has the ability to add expanded services such as a lash extension and skin care, and possibly more stylists to the current cadres of seven.

The space also allowed Boden to add a new massage business. Nature’s Choice Massage held its grand opening in January at the salon. Owned by massage therapist Keirsten Cossette, the business started in a space at Ignite Nutrition, a downtown business selling smoothies and herbal teas in the 500 block of Third Street.

Blonde and Beyond’s new location points to an interesting trend in Wausau’s central area. While city planners and consultants have focused on the western portion of downtown—the Towers Area and Riverlife— the area directly east of downtown has been quietly growing with business. Red Eye’s opening on that block just off Sixth Street helped kick off other businesses. Patina Coffeehouse opened next to Red Eye, Croi Croga Yoga Studio opened on the corner of Washington and Seventh Street, and Bull Falls Brewing Supply store gives another reason for visitors to seek out that block.

Blonde and Beyond’s new space, with a unique black accented exterior and a remodeled inside that took about nine months to complete, is the latest addition to that 600 block. Formerly an online office supply retailer, the building sat vacant for many years. “It was an eyesore,” Boden says. “It needed a complete renovation.”

Boden opened Blonde and Beyond in 2007 on Third Street, and said downtown was undergoing a change at the time. There was a lot of energy and Boden liked that her salon was part of that. “There was a new generation of business owners coming in and that’s something I wanted to be a part of,” Boden says. “As you know, when you’re in business 12 years, obviously your goal is growth. We simply outgrew our space and needed more room.”

Good customer service has been a priority at Blonde and Beyond since day one, Boden says, and the new location helps that too. Customers have liked being able to park near the salon.

Also adding to the experience is having a massage therapist on site. Cossette started at Ignite Nutrition more than three years ago but wanted a bigger space and one that was a little easier to find. A friend mentioned Boden was looking for a massage therapist and Cossette jumped at the opportunity.

The space has proven easier to find for her clients and they’re seeing a lot of crossover — customers of Blonde and Beyond are noticing the massage space when they come in and scheduling massages. “I feel like the change has allowed me to open up my clientele, being in more of a spa setting,” Cossette says.