Biz Buzz Monday: Longtime salon owner readies for retirement, but new owners to take over

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this development from Dubuque, we will have additional developments in Tuesday’s edition.

The owner of a downtown Dubuque salon and spa soon will retire after more than four decades at the helm of the business.

However, she emphasized that the operation will start a new chapter once she steps away.

Carole Nauman said Thursday, Dec. 23, will mark her final day as owner of Amirage Salon, Day Spa & Hair Loss Center, 890 Main St. She purchased the salon, then known as The Hair Gallery, in 1980.

At the time, it never crossed Nauman’s mind that she would still be there 41 years later.

“I don’t think I looked that far ahead, to be honest,” she said. “The longer you are in it, you love it more and more. And all this time later, here I am.”

The salon has remained in the same location for the duration of Nauman’s career, although it has changed in other facets.

Nauman joined forces with co-owner Barb Hohmann in 1997, and the business started operating under the Amirage moniker.

Many of Nauman’s clients have been with her for decades and, in that span, have developed a close bond with her.

“The interaction with the clients is the best part of the job,” she said. “They appreciate what you do for them, and you get to know them very well.”

Nauman frequently worked with clients dealing with hair loss, oftentimes a development that took hold as her customers were battling cancer. She also played a pivotal role in planning the annual Images & Information Breast Cancer Awareness fashion show featuring those dealing with cancer. And while that show no longer takes place, Nauman still assists with fundraising and grants for those battling breast cancer.

“It’s very rewarding when you can help people going through a bad time,” she said.

Nauman said the salon will live on in a different capacity after she has retired.

Ben and Cindy Graham, who operate the adjoining Graham’s Style Store, will take ownership of the salon, according to Nauman. The Grahams could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

“It is a great opportunity for Graham’s and for our employees and clients,” said Nauman. “I am glad I will have a place to send my clients once I leave.”

Amirage can be reached at 563-582-8832.