After a four-year hiatus, Gina Tarbell, former co-owner of Karma Spa & Boutique, partnered with hairstylist Monica Baxter to bring spa services back to Oneonta Main Street.
The duo opened Lux, located at 254 Main Street, behind Oneonta Coin Co., on February 7. Together, Tarbell and Baxter bring over 30 years of experience in the beauty industry to the many services they provide.
Asked about the trip that eventually brought her back to downtown Oneonta, Tarbell explained that when she sold Karma, it was to give her more time to focus on her family.
“But my youngest is now in kindergarten and I’ve always nurtured my clientele,” said Tarbell, who launched Lux solo at a rented space in Delhi. “When my husband and I sold our Delaware County home and moved to Goodyear Lake, I really started to think about going back to Main Street. “
It was at the end of December that Tarbell explored the potential excavations of Lux. “It had been just a thought during the summer, and then I found this space and it kind of came to life pretty quickly,” Tarbell remarked. She knew Baxter from years of shared gigs in wedding hairstyling and makeup and, once “the perfect space” was found, encouraged Baxter to join forces for Lux.
Recounting his recent and surprising foray into small business ownership, Baxter said, “Gina was really what inspired me. Before her, I never wanted to own my own business.
The couple’s combined areas of expertise make up a comprehensive list of spa services. Tarbell offers exclusive Lux facials, using Farmhouse Fresh Goods; full body hair removal with the help of hard and soft waxes; a variety of manicures and pedicures and, for special occasions, an on-site airbrush makeup application. It’s even available for spa-themed birthday parties.
For its part, Baxter specializes in haircuts for men, women and children, styling services, and highlighting and coloring treatments. Tarbell and Baxter are long-time licensed cosmetologists.
Tarbell and Baxter agreed that their customer base is a diverse mix.
“We see all ages,” said Tarbell, who noted that spa services aren’t just for women. She stressed: “Men should be pampered just as much as women. Especially their feet.
Both women said they would like to cultivate a local retail aspect of the show. Already selling items such as locally made aprons and tote bags, Farmhouse Fresh produce and artisan leaf tea, Tarbell said, “We want to introduce more local vendors.” Baxter echoed, “I would like to turn the commercial part into a boutique. It has always been a dream of mine if I were to own a business.
“I always come back to the hair [because] it’s in my blood; that’s what I do, ”Baxter said. “I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser from the sixth grade. It never changed. To that, Tarbell added, “I really love downtown Oneonta and I missed that sense of community. Once we got our house on the lake it was obvious this was happening.
Lux services are by appointment only.
“We’re both there whenever our customers need us,” Tarbell said.
Tarbell can be contacted at 267-9840 and Baxter at 441-6163, and more information can be found on the Lux Nail & Spa Facebook page.