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Purefex Salon

In every small town across America, there’s at least one salon that raises the bar for everyone else. Stillwater, MN (population 18,542) has Purefex Salon.

Just 25 miles east of Minnesota’s capital city St. Paul sits Stillwater, a historic lumbering town situated on the bluffs of the St. Croix River, which borders Wisconsin. Considered the birthplace of Minnesota and established in 1848, Stillwater is a charming mecca for locals and tourists visiting from the metro Twin Cities area. The buzzing downtown is complete with welcoming bed and breakfasts, antique shops, used bookstores and boutiques; in the heart of town on Main Street is Purefex Salon, a full-service beauty hot spot in a building constructed just 12 years after the town was founded. Stillwater-bred Laura Hoefler opened Purefex Salon in 2010 after spending a year renovating the storefront space within the historic building she owns. Though not a hairdresser herself, Hoefler understands the importance of the craft—her oldest daughter is a stylist and employee of Purefex Salon—and knew the community would benefit from a shop with experienced stylists.

Offering top-notch services in cuts, color, wedding updos and nails, Purefex Salon’s staff of four stylists and three nail techs provides clients with stylish looks as well as good company. “Everyone is like family here,” Hoefler says. “People come here to get their hair and nails done, but they also come to see the girls.” The 2,000-square-foot space possesses a homey atmosphere while retaining much of the building’s historic charm, including hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and tin ceilings. “On some walls I did cover the brick and painted it to add a warm feel,” Hoefler says. Other enchanting touches include mismatched mirrors, wooden salon stations and a decorative hutch that houses the Kevin.Murphy line of haircare products. The salon also carries Moroccanoil, and representatives from each company visit regularly to teach new techniques to the staff.

A member of the Main Street Stillwater Minnesota Independent Business Association and with strong ties to the community, Hoefler is very involved in improving the downtown area while preserving its history. She works at events across the town and ensures her salon takes part too, such as offering specials for the town’s Ladies Night Out events and Harvest Fest. While the shop certainly shares the appeal of historic Stillwater in its ambiance, Hoefler says it’s the staff that makes Purefex Salon a true success. “We have a great group of women here; they respect one another and the customers, and they really love what they do,” she says. ✂ —Jolene Turner

In stock: BB makeup, Kevin.Murphy, Moroccanoil, OPI

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About the Author

Jolene Turner

In addition to serving as senior editor for American Salon, Jolene Turner is responsible for spearheading the publication's digital media activities. Turner writes and researches topics related to hair and skincare, from new technological advancements to what salon owners are doing to make their businesses a success. Outside of work, Jolene volunteers for the NYC-based non-profit Anjellicle Cats Rescue and writes and performs comedy theater.