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Home boutique Glass Box opens inside Moshi Moshi Salon on Franklin Street

The W Franklin St sign by Target pictured on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.

Earlier this month, Glass Box Shop, a luxury home accessory boutique, opened inside Moshi Moshi Salon in downtown Chapel Hill, after a fire destroyed part of the building last summer.

Catlin Hettel, the owner of Moshi Moshi Salon, said the building underwent renovations due to the smoke damage from the fire, which started on the roof of next-door Mediterranean Deli. She said the entire front half of the salon had to be removed, including the flooring. 

Hettel said the restoration allowed her to realize how beautiful the storefront of the salon is. She also said that she did not want her customers to continue getting their hair done by the shop’s window, which allowed everyone to see inside.

“At the time, I was like, ‘Gosh, what if I diversified and just made a boutique and I put a glass box around it,’” she said.

Hettel said, after she spread the word about wanting to open a shop inside the salon, she found out Gaussen Hamner, a client of hers, was interested. Within a month, they had a lease signed, she said.

To get to the salon’s portion of the building, clients have to pass by the shop, Hamner, the owner of Glass Box, said. She said that she and Hettel worked together to make sure these areas looked cohesive and not completely separate from one another.

Hamner said she is an interior designer by trade. Glass Box sells home accessories including lighting, decor, book and pillow options, she said. Hamner also said she mainly goes to markets in New York and France to meet vendors from all over the world.

She said she tries to work only with carbon-neutral companies and use recyclable or biodegradable packaging measures. She also said she is trying to use smaller companies and hopes to include more locally sourced items so that items do not have to ship as far. 

“Personally, it's important to me to lead as sustainable an existence as I can, so obviously for my business I like to practice what I preach,” Hamner said.

Right now, Glass Box is selling print artwork by Laurie Hinzman White, an artist and client of the shop. Hinzman White said Hamner approached her about selling her work in the shop, and they both agreed that the partnership would be a great fit. 

Hinzman White said it's fun to shop in a store where her artwork is being sold.

“(Hamner is) just is really good at describing her products and very enthusiastic and she has very unusual unique items that you don't find at other places,” she said.

Hettel said Hamner is down-to-earth and great at making connections with customers.

“I couldn't have picked a better person,” she said.

@DTHCityState |

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