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Story #93Nell’s Wigs & BoutiqueGreen Bay, WI

It’s mentally and emotionally draining, but it’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had.

Stacey Nellen-Kolze was working with makeup and wigs in the theater production industry when she decided to get back to her salon roots. In 2007 she founded her small business, Nell’s Wigs and Boutique, a salon that focuses on women going through hair loss, typically due to chemotherapy. The boutique side of the business, which opened in 2011, focuses on women who have undergone breast surgeries and are in need of special bras and postsurgical fittings. 

When Nellen-Kolze started her business, she was renting a space in her mentor’s salon to focus on wigs. The first customer who walked through the door was experiencing hair loss from chemotherapy. “That was my ‘aha’ moment,” says Nellen-Kolze. “This is who I want to focus on, this is where my drive is.” Together with her mentor, “We created this studio that felt like home. I thought that this is what these women needed. They spend all their days in front of nurses and doctors, and they need to feel like they’re doing something outside of that world.” 

For Nellen-Kolze, the biggest challenge has been accepting the fact that she can’t fix everything. “It’s an emotional roller coaster every day – our guests are either laughing, crying, or pissed off.” Despite the emotional challenges of her line of work, there are moments with her customers that make it all worth it. For example, when a customer passed away before they were able to pick up their wig, the family offered to donate the wig to the next person in need. “It’s moments like that in our little blue collar community, people doing simple things like that, that are my happiest.”

In addition to providing women in need with a place where they can feel comfortable and confident, Nellen-Kolze does her part to give back to the community through volunteer work with local cancer organizations. For her, it’s all about providing women with the individual attention and compassion that they need and deserve.

“A lot of times cancer defines you, and we have a lot of guests who try not to let it. We learn so much from them, and it betters me as a person.”

 

Photos by Christina Clusiau

  • “It’s an emotional roller coaster every day,” says Stacey Nellen-Kolze of Nell’s Wigs and Boutique. “Our guests are either laughing, crying, or pissed off - you have every emotion going through you.”

  • When they enter her small business Nell’s Wigs and Boutique, owner Stacey Nellen-Kolze wants guests to feel like they are at home. “What makes my business my business is the compassion.”

  • Kris Hucek shares her cancer journey through photographs at Nell’s Wigs and Boutique in Green Bay, Wis.

  • Alice Dretzka looks at her wig in a mirror at Nell’s Wigs and Boutique. When fitting wigs, the staff ensures that each guest gets a one-of-a-kind look personalized just for them.

  • Cosmetologist Samantha DuMarce selects wigs for a guest to try on at Nell's Wigs and Boutique in Green Bay, Wis.

  • Stacey Nellen-Kolze selects wigs for a guest to try on at her small business Nell’s Wigs and Boutique.

  • Licensed massage therapist Casey Guilfoyle expands Nell’s Wigs and Boutique’s services through restorative massage therapy for guests in need of relaxation and recovery.

  • The boutique offers individualized care to ensure that each customer feels comfortable, confident and beautiful.

  • Judy Schroeder fits Nancy Copeland in new bras at Nell’s Wigs and Boutique in Green Bay, Wis.

  • A photograph on display at Nell’s Wigs and Boutique of a pink ribbon for cancer support.

  • Judy Schroeder, a certified mastectomy fitter, helps Karen DuChateau select bras at Nell’s Wigs and Boutique. The boutique side of the business helps women who have undergone breast surgery and need to be fitted with special bras, swimwear or recovery care garments.

  • Stacey Nellen-Kolze formerly specialized in wigs and makeup in the theater industry, before deciding she wanted to get back into the salon. When her first customer needed help due to chemotherapy, she realized her passion for helping women who are fighting cancer or other ailments causing hair loss.

  • Stacey Nellen-Kolze, owner of Nell’s Wigs and Boutique, applies a scalp therapy treatment to Kylie Kostichka, who suffers from Alopecia. The salon focuses on women suffering hair loss from chemotherapy or other afflictions.

  • Wigs on display at Nell’s Wigs and Boutique in Green Bay, Wis., a salon specializing in providing women who are fighting cancer or suffering from hair loss with individual attention and compassion to meet their exact needs.

Business Details

Proprietor: Stacey Nellen-Kolze
2031 S. Webster Ave, Suite B Green Bay, WI 54301
PH: 920-393-4912 / Website
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