News: Abbotsford – Bombshells & Dapper Dudes (2021)


Surnames: Rau, Graves

Source: Tribune-Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 29 Sep 2021

Whether it’s a mullet, a sweet fade or a touch up on your color, Bombshells and Dapper Dudes hair salon in Abbotsford has all your hair care and beauty needs covered.

In operation since August, the salon is located on 120 N. 1st Street, in the former location of Derrico’s Blackbelt School. The floor mats and minimal surroundings of the dojo have been replaced with a wide open interior that’s a little bit rustic farmstead and a little bit vintage with a 1920’s flair borrowed from the Flappers.

The salon is part of a recent business boom in downtown Abbotsford, and is owned by a pair of Abbotsford residents, Lindsey Rau and Hilary Graves, who between them have nearly 30 years of experience under their belts.

“We both worked together at Cost Cutters in Marshfield for quite a few years, and then we kind of separated and went our own ways,” Rau says.

Graves and Rau tried working at different salons, renting chairs, but Rau said she always felt like an outsider no matter where she set up shop.

“I didn’t feel like I fit in, and I bounced along the last 10 years, moving my career from one place to another, and never feeling like I was at home,” she said.

Eventually, Rau got to the point where she realized if she couldn’t find a place that felt like home, maybe she needed to make a place feel like home.

“It got to the point where I realized if I was going to have a place I belonged to, it was going to be in my own place,” she said. “It was going to be my building, me being my own boss, and not renting chair from someone else.”

With her mind made up, Rau got back in touch with her friend Hilary, who was still in the area, and brought up the idea of going into business together.

Hilary had been going through the same experience, and they agreed to work together to create something new. In December of 2020, Rau and Graves agreed to work together, and by January of this year they began hunting for suitable locations to set up their salon.

The sites were limited in the area, but as luck would have it, Lindsay and Hilary were able to turn something new out of something old. Derrico’s Blackbelt School had closed its location in Abbotsford, and with both ladies wanting to stay in Abbotsford to be near their families, it was the perfect location.

However, they would need to spend a great deal of sweat and time to turning a karate dojo into a hair salon.

“It was the perfect space and the perfect location, but there was a lot of work that needed to be put into it,” Rau remembers.

Work started in early May, and continued into the summer. The plan underwent multiple changes, but as Rau and Graves set to ripping out the mats, changing the color scheme and putting a lot of new paint on the walls, their vision began to take shape.

Graves’ husband, Elliot, is an electrician, and he did the wiring, and Rau’s husband, Vince, helped the two with the plumbing. Decorations from their families — reclaimed wood from a farmstead, and antique hand mirrors and hair accessories from Graves’ grandmother — give the salon that personal touch.

“We call it shabby-chic,” Graves says about the new interior. “We combined the vintage look with the rustic look.”

Now Graves and Rau are open to business, and welcoming back old customers — and accepting new ones with walk-ins welcome on Wednesdays.

“The challenge right now is just to have people know we are open, and we are here,” Graves said.

Separating Graves and Rau from other salons in the area is the line of products they use. Graves uses organic products from Farmasi, and Rau chooses both organic and vegan friendly hair and beauty products from Jack Winn Pro.

“That is a big draw for people, considering Back to Bliss was vegan hair color, and they no longer exist (in Colby),” Graves said. “So if they want to continue using that, now that we’re here, they don’t have to travel as far.”

With over 3,000 square feet, there’s ample room for social distancing, and Rau and Graves are more than willing to wear a mask while working.

As owners of Bombshells and Dapper Dudes, Rau and Graves can arrange special appointments, and can work around their customers’ schedules.

“It gives me the freedom to be able to schedule however I want in order to do things with my kids,” Graves said. “I wear all the hats. I am the local Abbotsford Cub Master, I try and attend field trips, and my middle son broke both of arms this summer. If I was with any corporation, do you think they’d afford me the time to go to any of appointments? Time freedom is a big thing.”

Rau and Graves admit owning a business during COVID-19 is a challenge, but it’s one they’re happy to take on. And they’ve got big plans for the future, with hopes to add a nail salon and massage therapist somewhere down the road.

“We have more than enough room to grow and add other business and maintain social distancing,” Graves said. “Really, the sky is the limit for us.”



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