Gem Salon & Spa

The former FiveTwoSix Salon gets a fresh look and community emphasis

Inside Gem Salon & Spa in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Gem Salon & Spa

photo by tj turner

When veteran hairstylist Molly Black bought FiveTwoSix Salon in 2015, she didn’t expect to change much about the space, a longtime fixture of the Cathedral Hill neighborhood. But she soon realized its untapped potential, so last year she rebranded it as Gem Salon & Spa, a stylish, full-service salon that now offers nail services, waxing, and massages in addition to hair cuts and color. 

The remodel gave the salon’s interior and branding a fresh, modern look. It wisely highlights the industrial space’s plentiful natural light, high ceilings, and raw brick walls, and incorporates stylish vintage furniture from Retro Wanderlust. The treatment rooms for facials and waxing treatments feel modern and chic, yet approachable and unpretentious. 

After remodeling the space, Black realized it had possibilities beyond just a salon, so she partnered with a couple of nearby fitness studios and Truce Juice to host after-hours events, including yoga sessions and performances by a local dance collective. She also plans to revive the neighborhood business association to support the area’s vibrant mix of old and new shops, such as the gift shop Corazon, Solo Vino wine shop, and women’s boutiques Idun and Primp. “Between Selby Avenue’s history and how much it’s changed over the last few years, the area has a rich story to be told,” Black explains. “We care about the neighborhood and want to see it become the best it can be.”