Biz Buzz: New Dubuque salon makes downtown debut; dog groomer opens Platteville location; Dubuque photography studio in new location

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In this edition, we highlight developments in Dubuque and Platteville, Wis.

A new salon has opened in downtown Dubuque with a focus on the “art of hair.”

River City Hair Co. recently opened at 1072 Central Ave., the former location of Bicycle World, which now is located in the Historic Millwork District. The five-chair salon is focused on offering cut and color hair services in a relaxed, comfortable environment.

“I wanted a space that was artistic but still kind of simple,” said salon owner Kayla Tyson. “I wanted it to be more relaxed so people can feel comfortable coming in as they are and getting the services they need.”

Tyson, of Belmont, Wis., has worked as a cosmetologist for almost 20 years — most recently at a studio in Madison, Wis. Last year, she began to look for something closer to home and eventually selected Dubuque for her newest venture.

“I like the feel of the city here (in Dubuque),” Tyson said. “I like the downtown area and its industrial vibe, and I really like that it seems like there’s a strong sense of community in the downtown business area.”

She said she chose the former Bicycle World building on Central because of its downtown location and proximity to other area businesses. The space has undergone a series of renovations since last fall to match her personal vision, she said.

With those renovations now complete, the studio has opened for cut and color services, and Tyson plans to add bridal services, too, once she has built up the salon’s staff.

“We’re very focused on the art of hair and how to take care of your hair,” Tyson said. “As much as I love a good spa environment, this is more of a place where you can come for those classic, more (foundational) services.”

River City Hair Co. is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The salon can be contacted at 608-338-8124 or online at

Dog grooming business opens in Platteville

A new dog grooming business has opened along Platteville’s Main Street.

Elite Canine Grooming recently opened at 55 W. Main St. in the former Elements LLC building. The business offers grooming services by appointment as well as a walk-in retail area featuring various pet products.

“We do all kinds of dogs. We just ask that they be vaccinated so it’s safe for them to be in an area where other dogs have been,” said manager Mia Longnecker. “Other than that, we’re just excited to get to know people and their pets.”

The grooming business is an offshoot of Elite Canine Training, a boarding and training facility just outside Platteville. Longnecker said the decision was made to establish the grooming portion of the business in town for clients’ convenience.

The store also includes a retail portion with products for dogs and cats including food, treats, toys and more. The focus is on high-quality products that might otherwise be difficult to find in the Platteville market, Longnecker said.

“The supply of high-quality products in this area can be pretty limited, so we wanted to bring in some higher-end products for our customers,” she said. “It’s an easy location to get to because it’s right here in town.”

Elite Canine Grooming is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Grooming is by appointment only, but the retail area is available for walk-in shopping. The store can be reached by phone at 608-568-4558.

Dubuque photography studio makes cross-town move

A well-known Dubuque portrait studio has relocated.

Scott Kelly Portraits, formerly S. Kelly Photography, recently opened its new studio at 150 John F. Kennedy Road, Suite 1, after the building from which it previously operated in the Historic Millwork District was sold.

The new space is equipped with two rooms for indoor portraits, a consultation space and office, as well as a dressing room for clients’ hair and makeup.

“We really aim for quiet luxury,” co-owner Scott Kelly said of the new space. “Not a lot of people still offer these kinds of elegant, high-quality indoor portraits, and that’s something we take pride in.”

Scott Kelly is the studio’s sole photographer. Kris Kelly, Scott’s wife, handles the business management and client relations. The two have been in business for over 20 years, 18 of which were spent working out of their home.

They moved into their Millwork District space roughly two years ago before learning the building would be sold. When they again began looking at available commercial space, they were drawn to the JFK building for the second time.

“Three years ago, when we were first looking for our first retail location, this was actually our second choice,” Scott Kelly said. “When we learned that it was still available when we started looking again, we decided to go for it.”

The studio is best known for its indoor and outdoor portrait photography ranging from senior photos and family portraits to more personal women’s beauty and boudoir shoots.

The goal with each session is to ensure that clients feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera, Kris Kelly said. That is particularly important with the women’s beauty sessions, she added, which focus on building women’s self-confidence.

“It’s great to get to watch people grow,” she said. “We’ll have clients who come in and will sit at this table just scared out of their minds during the consultation who, as we talk it through, really begin to relax and get excited to have their portraits taken.”

The best way to contact Scott Kelly Portraits is by texting 563-543-0306. There also are Facebook groups for the business’ family and senior portraits as well as a separate group for women’s beauty clients.