PAXTON — At first glance, it might not look like a new beauty salon is open in the long-vacant building at 125 N. Market St.
"I think when people first look, they’re like, ‘Is that really open yet? I can’t quite tell,’" said the salon’s co-owner, Dawn Stack, admitting that the building appears to still be under construction from the outside.
Once people enter the front door, however, "they see it’s all complete and it’s really beautiful" — and open for business, too, Stack said.
Stack and co-owner Brenda Fox opened their new full-service beauty salon — Bijoux Hair Boutique — in the historic building in downtown Paxton on Nov. 16, filling a void in one of the busiest blocks of the city’s business district.
Inside, the building has been fully renovated by rural Paxton resident Corey Tavenner, who bought the nearly 120-year-old building in June 2017. The building’s exterior, however, is not yet finished, as Tavenner plans to install a new custom-made door and new facade early next spring.
Stack, the former Dawn Atkinson, said she is pleased with how the building’s transformation has come along so far. Tavenner did almost all of the renovations himself, including the installation of new drywall and woodwork and the restoration of the building’s original hardwood floors and tin ceiling. Chandeliers have also been added to the ceiling, and there are three large cabinets on the front room’s north end, which are original to the building.
"We love it," Stack said. "I think it’s cool seeing how far Corey has brought the building. It’s so beautiful, like how he maintained the history of the building and its era."
Before opening Bijoux Hair Boutique, Stack and Fox had co-owned and operated Salon 222 one block to the north at 222 N. Market St. for about five years. The relocation and renaming of their salon was prompted by their lease expiring at 222 N. Market St. on Nov. 30 and the chance to have an even nicer space and in an even better location, Stack said.
"We just wanted to kind of upgrade our salon space," Stack said. "And what a beautiful building. It’s so nice, and it’s so cool that the cabinets that were originally there from when the building occupied a jewelry store were repurposed and now are our (salon) stations. They’re just so beautiful. Everybody, when they see the ceiling and the stations, they’re just like, ‘This is cool.’
"And it’s nice to now be in (the 100 block of North Market Street), too, because (the 200 block of North Market Street is) a little bit more quiet. This is kind of like the main block of town, so that’s really nice (for exposure). We really love it."
After falling into disrepair, the building at 125 N. Market St. had been used for the past several years for storage. Commonly referred to as the Overstreet building — a reference to its first owner, Fred Overstreet — it was last occupied by a pawn shop. According to Tavenner, the building was built by Mr. Overstreet around 1900 and had housed Mr. Overstreet’s jewelry store for its first 11 years. Mr. Overstreet’s brother, Ben, later bought the building, also running a jewelry store out of it. The jewelry store was later operated by Ben Overstreet’s son and grandson, staying in business there through the mid-1970s.
Besides making an ideal location for her new salon, Stack, a native of Paxton, said it is nice to see the building finally used again.
"It’s pretty cool because my parents have several jewelry pieces from the jewelry store and they would talk about ‘that ring I had’ that was from Overstreet’s Jewelry," Stack said. "Since I’ve grown up, that (building) has always been (used by) a bunch of businesses that never really made it — they were just open for a little bit — and then it kind of got rundown and the front got really bad. ... So I think it’s pretty amazing just seeing the business come back (to that building), bringing these old buildings back to good use and repurposing them for something positive."
Bijoux Hair Boutique — "bijoux" means "a jewel" — will host an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and free gift bags featuring "Sexy" hair products will be given away to attendees.
"People can come in and check the place out," Stack said.
People can also come in and see the place for themselves anytime the salon is open, Stack stressed.
"They can come in anytime," Stack said. "If they see the lights on, come in and check it out."
Bijoux Hair Boutique — whose three employees are Stack, Fox and stylist Lauree Parker — has no set hours of operation, Stack said. The salon is open by appointment, and walk-ins are welcome, too, Stack said.
To contact the salon, people can visit its Facebook page.