The LaMae salon and boutique in the former Salvation Army thrift store at 230 Main St. has opened its space to a diverse group of local artists and designers.

The recent expansion, less than a year after LaMae opened in June 2009, means LaMae is now a place a woman can get a haircut and manicure, then pick out a new purse and pair of heels, polish off her look with a handmade necklace, and while she’s at it, outfit her living room with a new painting and a side chair reupholstered in a bright, funky pattern.

Jenny Gaaskjolen, whose Chartreuse Garage furniture and home decor items are some of the newer additions, said the partnership among the different local artists opens up more opportunities for both the artists and shoppers.

“The more collaboration you can get with people, the better it is,” she said.

All the offerings are different, but complementary, with a modern yet practical aesthetic not available at many other local shops.

“We try to stay focused on really unique and one-of-a-kind,” Gaaskjolen said.

They include the Chartreuse Garage items, like a lacquered black dining set, the table inlaid with a silvery foil coral pattern, and a bright orange end table made from an old suitcase and some table legs.

Among the furniture and around the walls are troves of custom screen-printed T-shirts and sweatshirts by Ray Hans J, notecards by Oh Geez! graphic design, paintings by Angela Thorson, photography from Angie Keimig’s Photos by Angela and jewelry from Shaviq Designs.

Some of the artists, like the women behind Shaviq, work and display their items elsewhere downtown, and others, like Ray Hans J, mostly operate online. But in both cases, the extra showroom space puts their designs in front of a different audience.

And as LaMae has expanded, so has the original salon, recently adding manicures and pedicures along with a relaxing room for facials. Two new stylists will join the group in May, owner Krista Byrne said.

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And LaMae boutique owner Meghann Hansen, currently taking maternity leave, has continued to change her lineup of shoes, bags and other accessories.

“She tries to get stuff in that Rapid hasn’t seen,” Byrne said. That includes gladiator sandals, leather flats, glossy leather satchels in animal prints and a pink bag studded with a skull and roses emblem.

If all that isn’t enough, the cashier counter is sprinkled with more to explore, such as mirrored compacts by Melody Larsen, the other side decorated with pretty bird and floral patterns.

What else could LaMae possibly add?

This summer, expect to hear live music, accompanied by every girl’s first business — an old-fashioned lemonade stand.

Contact Barbara Soderlin at 394-8417 or barbara.soderlin@rapidcityjournal. com.

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