MEET YOUR MERCHANT: More than 12 years after Rachel Baldwin first worked as a hairstylist at Stray Cuts, she’s back — only now she’s the owner |

MEET YOUR MERCHANT: More than 12 years after Rachel Baldwin first worked as a hairstylist at Stray Cuts, she’s back — only now she’s the owner

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Business: Stray Cuts & Co.

Address: 215 Sacramento St., Nevada City

Phone: 530-265-3888


Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday

More than a decade ago, when Rachel Baldwin first worked as a hairstylist at Stray Cuts in Nevada City, she fell in love with the rustic yet chic atmosphere and “vibe” of the historic building, built in 1860.

A renovated horse barn with sweeping beams and a wood floor repurposed from an old Sacramento dance hall, the unique setting seemed the perfect melding of old and new.

“Honestly, I’ve always felt like there was a pull to this building,” she said. “Years ago I remember saying, ‘I want to own this business someday.’”

That’s why it was no surprise that, when the business came up for sale nearly a year ago, Baldwin jumped at the chance, and left the Grass Valley salon where she had been working to take the plunge. By February documents were signed and she took official ownership of the salon where she had spent 10 years working more than 12 years ago.

Clearly a testament to the happy work environment, six of the stylists that Baldwin had worked with were still there, as well as nail designer Stacy Dove.


Since getting the keys to Stray Cuts, Baldwin has put her heart into painting and remodeling the salon, as well as bringing in sleek, new furniture and fresh beauty product lines. Her carefully selected signature styling products are organic and vegan, as well as paraben and sulfate free. Among salon favorites are the Olaplex line of products, which are expressly designed to rebuild broken hair bonds from within by repairing, protecting, and strengthening hair. Baldwin also loves the hard-to-find Goldwell Color System, which she has used on her clients for more than 20 years. Additional items also for sale include lotions, combs, shampoos, conditioners, oils, smoothing treatments and more.

“I have a ‘tricky’ head of hair in that it is sort of my signature,” said longtime client Jennifer Nobles. “I think a lot of people know me by my long, red hair, and there are few people I trust to help me care for it. Rachel is just the utmost professional. It’s hard to say how long she has been doing my hair, since I have moved away and come back over the years.

“One thing that always astonishes me is Rachel’s desire and passion to keep learning — every time I see her she is talking about a new class or a new technique. Her passion for hair is genuine,” Nobles continued. “I think that drive is so instilled in her, and I think that she is one of the lucky ones. Not everyone finds their calling in life and it is abundantly clear to me that she certainly has. She cares. She has a great eye for detail. She has a huge heart. I trust her immensely not just with my hair but with all the stories I share with her while in the chair.”


Services at Stray Cuts include haircuts, hair color, Keratin treatments, Brazilian blow outs, deep conditioning, styling, bridal packages, extensions, manicures, pedicures and more.

The family-oriented salon serves men, women and children of all ages. Baldwin’s customers range from seniors who have been with her nearly two decades to third-generation little ones coming in for their first haircut.

“The best part of this business is the camaraderie of everybody working together,” said Baldwin. “If you’re with the right people, it really is a supportive team and we love to bounce ideas off of each other. I love following my passion in an area where I’ve lived my whole life. Owning a salon was always a dream — I feel very lucky.”

To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email or call 530-477-4203.

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