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Girl Power Shines Bright Along F Street Corridor
Carly Rodrigues of Bronze Beauty Bar happily greets clients in her quaint space located at the back of the recently opened Cotton and Sage on East F Street. Photo By Teresa Hammond

It’s a collaboration which will not only serve the business owners at large, but offers variety for shoppers as well.

The newest East F Street business in Oakdale hosts welcoming window fronts highlighting not one, but three separate business names. While Cotton and Sage (featured previously) offers the shopper personal style and fashion to impress and turn heads; partner businesses Bronze Beauty Bar and Bend the Trend create a one stop shopping experience for the savvy shopper.


The Beauty

Tucked in the back corner of the 226 E. F St., Oakdale building, Carly (Keith) Rodrigues feels right at home in the space she’s created for Bronze Beauty Bar.

“The before and after of this room was just … it turned out exactly as I had envisioned it. It turned out even better,” Rodrigues said of the space which took a couple of months to complete.

Services offered in the cozy area include: spray tan, LED teeth whitening and micro needling facials.

Working as a registered dental assistant for 16 years, Rodrigues first began doing spray tans on the side eight years ago and micro needling facials at the start of this year once she made the decision to open her own business. While being self-employed has long been a dream, it was thanks to being approached by Cotton and Sage co-owner Ashley Cogburn which made the dream reality.

“She’s always known that I’ve wanted this over the years and to own my own business,” Rodrigues said of Cogburn, adding that the longtime friend had invited her to stop by and take a look at the building which they were getting ready to renovate.

“COVID was kind of the much needed little push that I needed,” Rodrigues said of the shutdown and the time to think about her ultimate goals. “It was just a good time for me to step away (from dental assisting) and do my own thing. Ultimately I just want happiness really. I’ve always wanted to own my own business. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss.”

Now as her own boss, she works by appointment only offering services which she is not just passionate about, but utilizes herself.

Transitioning to her own space, which was customized for her own business needs, included building a room for spray tan clients. The room includes extraction fans, which eliminates excess solution as well as provides ample room for clients of all heights and sizes.

“I just love this work, especially with the spray tan, because it’s pretty instant gratification when the girls come in,” she said.

All in all Rodrigues shared she’s been beyond pleased with both her decision, as well as the community support since the business opened last month.

“I love just wanting to come to work,” she said.

To book an appointment for services offered at Bronze Beauty Bar call or text Rodrigues at (209) 743-3594. Customers can also find her on Social Media at bronzebeautybar209 on Instagram or Bronze Beauty Bar on Facebook.


Creative and Cozy

Bringing over 25 years of design experience to the fold, Lena Muniz, along with daughter-in-law, Danielle Muniz, round out the three part shop options in the East F Street building as the owners of Bend the Trend.

Spending the past 16 years working for a Turlock based company, Lena shared the challenges of COVID also prompted her to consider making a career change. While the interest for a storefront had already been considered by the Muniz mother and daughter-in-law, securing the right space was the challenge and in came Cogburn once again.

First contacting Lena for design guidance on the retail shop she was developing with her mother and daughter, the consultation between Cogburn and Lena quickly morphed to collaboration as both businesswomen saw the room for opportunity.

“This is a new venture as far as buying, putting our own money out there and being more creative with what we select,” Lena said of the home furnishings and home decor side of the building. “A lot of these pieces are handpicked, a lot of these pieces are one of a kind. It’s just so the store has a new look weekly, monthly some of these things you’ll never see again. I think people appreciate that.”

Also formerly employed with the Turlock based business prior to the shop opening, Danielle Muniz was more on the business side of things, while Lena worked in buying, designing the show room as well as interior design for clients.

The two-woman team now works closely together with Danielle giving as much time as possible in the shop as she juggles full time work and two young children.

“When she wanted to start this, I was like of course,” Danielle said of the East F Street space. “I’m there to help and do my part and handle the business paperwork and that type of stuff.”

“She’s super creative, extremely talented, she has a great eye,” Lena said of her daughter-in-law. “It’s always been a family decision. It’s never been just about me, so Danielle always would have been a part of it.”

Currently the shop space is filled with a variety of handmade quality products. There’s also a variety of industrial inspired items, organic, wood and metal.

“I don’t follow trends. I never have as a designer,” Lena stated. “I believe you can incorporate your own personal style with a little bit of what’s trending. But we all have pieces that we love that have been passed down, that are very sentimental and maybe not be what’s trending but you love them.”

Danielle shared she also loves the idea that the shop hosts a number of one of a kind things. Items you won’t necessarily see coming and going as you might in a major retailer or chain shop.

“I just love the one of a kind pieces that no one else is going to have,” she said. “That has a story behind it. That’s not just, I picked this up at the store and everyone else has it too.”

Melding the unique, with the common in one’s own personal style is what defines ‘Bend the Trend’, Lena shared.

“I love making spaces beautiful for people in general,” Lena explained. “My whole motto has always been live beautifully. Enjoy your space, you spend so much time in it. Be surrounded by what makes you happy.”

As for the community, as well as the shop’s success since opening last month, both women shared appreciation as well as happiness.

“The community and the feedback have been amazing,” Danielle said. “It’s been beyond what we expected.”

Trend bend
The beautiful duo of Danielle, left, and Lena Muniz round out the overall shopping experience of the 226 East F St., Oakdale location as the owners of Bend the Trend. Photo By Teresa Hammond