ST. CROIX FALLS, Wisc. – A local health and style entrepreneur, Amanda McBride, has unveiled an ecologically minded new business of her own creation in St. Croix Falls, just across the river from Taylors Falls, Minn. Menagerie AVEDA Concept Hair Salon, located in the Heritage Mall at 102 S. Washington Ave., opened Sept. 16.

It features McBride’s signature aromatherapy head and shoulders massage, which starts with a brief consultation, a stress relieving massage, a cleansing shampoo followed by hair and scalp conditioning and finally a personalized styling experience.

"When people visit us for a hair service or a cup of tea, it’s one of the only times they will allow themselves to relax," McBride said. "You can certainly relax here."

McBride chose to relocate in St. Croix Falls from Minnesota because of the scenic St. Croix River Valley and the high awareness of health and wellness in the area.

"A friend gave me a tip that there was a historic salon location that was open and at that moment I just knew it was time to begin offering my own style of the AVEDA experience to people," she said. "We are everything that is ‘Aveda,’ but we are also a unique boutique salon that offers a slower pace, an enchanting environment and a customized client-stylist relationship you might not be able to find elsewhere."

AVEDA [www.aveda.com] is an environmentally conscious hair and body product corporation that partners with like-minded companies worldwide to foster health and wellness in the beauty industry and throughout the world. McBride has worked at JUUT Aveda Concept Salon in St. Paul and the Minneapolis AVEDA Institute, among other fine salons in the region.

Attached to the salon you will find the Menagerie Organic Cafe. Guests of the salon enjoy a complimentary cup of AVEDA Comforting Tea or Menagerie House Brewed coffee. Wireless Internet service is also available in the cafe for people who want to bring in their own portable computer to access the web. The espresso and tea bar offers a European-style menu of "proper espresso," cold beverages and quick edibles that are created with deliberate environmental and humanitarian sensitivity. The menu offers cruelty free products that are organic and free of additives, artificial flavors, herbicides, pesticides or unnatural hormones. The cafe features the fair trade Peace Coffee brand, roasted and distributed out of Minneapolis. Fair trade is a particular classification insuring that the people who created or cultivated the product are paid a living wage and treated fairly [www.peacecoffee.com].

"Not everyone can maintain a personal goal of living truly all-natural or organic all of the time, but here you can count on it," says Cafe Barista Woody McBride. "We are 100 percent organic with a variety of creative items from around the world."

As a complement to its salon business, the cafe will offer art, entertainment and education programs geared at bringing health, fun, conversation and energy into your life. Starting this winter, on Friday evenings at 8 p.m., a series entitled "Salon Sessions" will begin. Programs will feature a wide spectrum of topics, including children’s story author S. Anthony Smith’s mini-seminar on cultivating lucid dreaming. In addition there will be a presentation on Organic Fair Trade Coffee from the Peace Coffee Company and a CD music retrospective on Women in music.

"We didn’t realize it at first, but St. Croix Falls is home to a disproportionately large number of friendly locals, urban ex-patriots, healthy people and free thinkers," says Amanda McBride. "A rural Bohemia germinated in the St. Croix River valley here years ago, and it appears to be blooming."

Menagerie is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and has mid-day hours on some Sundays. It also offers space for special meetings for groups and friends. The salon welcomes wedding parties and special occasion hair services, such as portrait styling, make-overs and updos. Appointments are needed. Call (715) 483-1250. Check in store or at www.menageriesalon.com for an event calendar and special promotions.

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Tim Miejan
Tim Miejan is editor and co-publisher of The Edge, as well as a writer, editor and graphic designer who assists small businesses and individuals. Visit Miejan.com. Contact him at 651.578.8969 or email editor@edgemagazine.net.

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