As a little girl, Shawna Cuellar
would stand behind her grandmothers and aunts in the recliner chairs and play with their hair for hours.
As little as 2-years-old, she started to show passion and interest in hair and makeup. “I can say with full confidence, that as a very young child, I knew that hair and makeup was my calling,” she said.
Today, she owns and operates the LUX Artistry Collectivein Downtown Camas, and serves as a hairstylist, makeup artist and Reiki master.
By her junior high years, Shawna was the friend who would do anyone’s hair or makeup for any event, whether it be dance recitals, theater events, school dances, homecoming. “You name it, I was somewhere in a bathroom getting my girlfriends ready,” she said. In high school, she was going strong with cosmetology, and she started to add in working pageants and cheer and dance competitions.
After completing cosmetology school straight out of high school, Shawna aimed high and found her first job was doing hair and makeup for the morning newscast at FOX 4 News in Dallas, Texas in the wee hours of the morning, then working in a salon in the afternoons.
Life and work brought her to the Camas area, and by 2014, she was looking to build a brand for her freelance team of hair and makeup artists.
“At that time we were spread throughout Vancouver, and East Vancouver, working in various salons,” she said. “We began our journey in a single-chair suite working between there and the client’s location.”
About four months after opening the suite, they had grown their team and upgraded to the largest suite available at the time … still only 250 square feet of space with two chairs.
“Within six months, we knew it was time to search for a larger space that could accommodate all of us and create a home,” Shawna said. “My husband and I had long been in love with Camas and knew eventually we would be living here. Myself coming from a larger city, my husband from a small town … the charm, feel and community of Camas offered the lifestyle we wanted and had the perk of being closer to a larger city and easy access to PDX where I frequently work on special projects and events.”
She said they were “smitten with Camas” and already working in East Vancouver at the edge of Camas, they needed to find a space that would be an easy transition for their clients already traveling from Camas/Washougal and an easy hop down Highway 14 for their Vancouver clients. They wanted to put down roots in Camas.
Shawna said their search began and they checked out spaces for the next eight months, holding off on rushing into something they weren’t ready for … “until we came across the building on 3rd Avenue downtown. The moment we walked in we knew, we felt it, this was home.”
That was September of 2019, and they signed their lease and picked up the keys. By October, their build out was in full swing. By January of 2020, their styling stations were delivered and LUX Artistry Collective was ready to open the doors.
“We were beyond excited to start participating in First Friday events and all the other amazing events downtown provides,” Shawna said. “Our hearts have always been about community and this was another major reason we chose downtown Camas. It is unique and special to be part of a town that values togetherness in family and business the way Camas does.”
LUX held its grand opening on February 7th, 2020, and five weeks later, in March, they had to shut down due to the pandemic. They could reopen June 8th, yet there were many challenges to doing so within the Covid phase restrictions.
“And it was a challenge to reopen and bring awareness to the community of our presence without being able to offer in-store events and meet and greets, especially since our brand and function is more holistic and hinges upon in-person connection,” Shawna said. “We build relationships with clients by genuinely getting to know them. We spend time learning about our client’s life as a whole … family, hobbies, passions, careers and more. We take the time to understand individual needs and the flow of life for each client so that we can draw from this knowledge to best guide our clients into styles that fit all aspects of their inner and outer worlds.”
Shawna continues into a new year downtown with positivity and determination. “LUX Artistry Collective continues to bring out our clients’ inner light to an outward representation of the truest person for the world to witness. The way you see and feel yourself, on a soul level, can be felt by your energy and seen by the eye before the introduction. Everything we create has depth from the soul, rooted deep in the intentions of healing and facilitating our clients to be whole with their individual light. Our work has purpose, with deeper meaning and deeper motivation then just pretty hair and makeup. That’s our name … LUX Artistry Collective.”
What’s in the name?
LUX – Latin translation for “Light,” feminine.
Artistry – skill, creativity, art, skill, talent, genius, brilliance, proficiency, virtuosity, finesse, style.
Collective – common, shared, joint, combined, mutual, communal, cooperative, collaborative.
You can text 360.450.1450, visit their website at www.helloluxco.com
, check them out on Instagram @helloluxco, and inquire about a complimentary in-salon, text or virtual consultation.
LUX Artistry Collectiveis located at 217 NE 3rd Avenue in beautiful Downtown Camas.