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A spot for all your treat-yourself needs

Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique offers a one-stop-shop in Kaukauna

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September 5, 2023

KAUKAUNA – A one-stop shop – that is what Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique – located at 116 W Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna – aims to offer its customers.

Patrons can get their hair and nails done, treat themselves to a facial and pick out a new outfit complete with accessories – all in one building.

Owner Kristy Stumpf said Uptown Girl is the perfect shop for those looking to do a little self-care.

However, Stumpf said the boutique didn’t start out as a physical shop – or have the name it has now.

How it all began
Closet 612, Stumpf said, got its start in 2016 in her she-shed.

“We were doing home parties and parties in the she-shed – so we traveled similar to a Tupperware party,” she said. “People would earn free clothes and whatnot.”

Then, Stumpf said, an opportunity to house and sell some of Closet 612’s items out of a local woman’s shop presented itself to her, which “was too good to be true.”

“I asked, ‘Well, how much do I have to pay?’” she said. “She was like, ‘Just give me enough to cover my credit card fees and we’re good.’”

So, Stumpf said she decided to use the backroom space as a “clearance closet,” and would continue to run that portion of her business there until the owner decided to retire about a year and a half later.

“When she decided to retire, I was like, ‘Oh, goodness, now we don’t have enough room in our she-shed to bring back the clearance stuff,” she said. “Because of that, we then needed to look for a place. So, we moved into a place across from Kimberly High School, and we were there for just shy of two years.”

Stumpf said it was never her intention to open a brick-and-mortar location.

Kristy Stumpf said as much as possible, Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique offers clothing in sizes small to 3x. Photo Courtesy of Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique

“It was never my goal,” she said. “It was something I do as my side hustle, something to get out, be with women, have fun.”

When her lease at the location across from Kimberly High School was coming to an end, Stumpf said she began looking for a new location.

“It wasn’t the best place (anyways),” she said. “Lots of people had not seen us, even though we had been there for almost two years. And I was more looking for a building to purchase.”

Lo and behold, Stumpf said the owners of the shop’s current location – a 20–plus-year-old salon in Kaukauna – were looking to sell.

“(After we purchased the building), my husband said, ‘I don’t know if we should tear out all of these salon chairs,’” she said. “I said (you’re right), we may need to do a mesh. So, we decided we would blend the two businesses together.”

Two weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down.

Blessing in disguise
Though not part of the plan, Stumpf said the shutdown worked to their advantage.

“It worked out to our benefit,” she said. “The remodel got to be a little bit bigger and better because the stylists weren’t working – therefore, we could be a little more aggressive.”

When things began to reopen, Stumpf said the shop opened under a new name and business model – combining the former Uptown Girl Salon and Closet 612 to make Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique.

“And it’s working – it’s a great thing,” she said. “We probably would not have survived COVID had we not blended the two and moved. Hair and nail appointments weren’t a necessity, and people weren’t coming out to shop. But people were more than happy to come out and get pampered and get their hair done again after they were not allowed to get their hair cut for, what was it, two months?”

Stumpf said the original owner of the beauty salon she purchased has remained on as a stylist.

Nail services were added to the list of Uptown Girl’s services because Shop Owner Kristy Stumpf said “a good salon should have a nail tech.” Photo Courtesy of Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique

“She wanted to move away from an owner role as she gets closer to her husband retiring,” she said. “She didn’t want to own the business anymore, but she was established there and she’s been with us ever since. And it’s been going smoothly.”

Stumpf said four of the salon’s seven original stylists are still with the shop today.

“There were a few less chairs on site, so therefore, we didn’t have the need as much for many of them,” she said. “And so it was a mutual parting of ways.”

Natural growth
Stumpf said when things began taking off for Uptown Girl, and the customer base continued to grow, so did its offerings.

“I felt like a good salon should have a nail tech – I mean, I like my nails done, I like to be pampered,” she said. “When I decided to mesh the two businesses – (the boutique and salon) I wanted to create a place where people could come and we could offer them at least a few of the pampering services.”

Up next, was skincare.

“We have an esthetician who has joined our group, so we do facials and body waxing and that kind of stuff – we have a small treatment room for that,” she said.

Stumpf said she puts a focus on the shop having something for everyone.

“As for size inclusivity, we work hard to do the best we can to offer from small to 3x in as much as we possibly can,” she said. “Now, not all of our vendors are able to offer us that, but whenever possible, we try to do that – because we have women of all shapes and sizes in this world, and we want everybody to feel and look good.”

Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique – located at 116 W Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna – is a one-stop shop for clothing, accessories and salon services. Photo Courtesy of Uptown Girl Beauty and Boutique

The one-stop shop convenience Uptown Girl offers customers, Stumpf said, is a perfect fit for the small community of Kaukauna.

“People who are local don’t want to go to a Big Box to shop (clothing and accessories), they don’t want to go to the bigger cities to get their spa treatments,” she said. “So, by offering all that in a small town together – it flows nicely together.”

A nod back to its roots, Stumpf said Uptown Girl still offers private parties. 

“Customers can earn free clothes or jewelry,” she said. “We do permanent jewelry parties in the shop as well.”

Stumpf said at this point, she doesn’t plan to add any additional services.

“Right now, we don’t look to add any new items for a while,” she said. “We recently added the permanent jewelry, which seems to be trending and picking up speed.”

Stumpf said she will be stepping back from the shop in the coming years.

“A gal who has been with us since we started the business – Taylor Hennes – is going to be taking over in the next 18 months,” she said. “We’re slowly training her as a young entrepreneur and getting her settled and ready to run her own business. I feel strongly about helping to mold young female entrepreneurs, so it’s a perfect transition.”

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