Photo courtesy of Lisa Wolfson.

Downtown’s newest boutique is actually a tattoo parlor, at least in the legal sense.

Speaking to NEXTpittsburgh, 306 Forbes Boutique & Brow Bar’s co-owner Lisa Wolfson explains that her business partner, Jojo Sanchez, has many talents, including certification in microblading. It’s a beauty process in which small injections of semipermanent pigment are added to the skin under the eyebrows.

While the process is common and increasingly popular around the world, under Pennsylvania state law Sanchez was unable to add the service to her existing salon on Forbes Avenue, Cardamone’s.

“It is legal,” Wolfson assures NEXTpittsburgh. “But not in a hair salon.”

Photo courtesy of Lisa Wolfson.

In order to bring fuller eyebrows to the masses, Sanchez decided to expand her business into a new space, with legal designation as a tattoo parlor. She joined forces with her childhood friend Wolfson earlier this year, and 306 Forbes Boutique & Brow Bar was born.

The semi-salon had its grand opening last week.

Along with Sanchez’s microblading services on the second floor, the boutique includes a ground-level retail area featuring clothing and artisanal crafts.

Their current product lineup includes crafts from local makers such as the Mt. Washington-based Soyil Candles by Greta, as well as clothing from national brands including Soia & Kyo.

Wolfson, who previously managed restaurants in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, says her memories of growing up in Pittsburgh were among her main motivations for partnering with Sanchez on this burgeoning business.

“As a child, it was something that I loved to do — come down here and shop with my mom,” she recalls.

As they developed the space, the store’s staff, as well as friends and family, pitched in on the interior and exterior design. Wolfson’s boyfriend and her brother, both ironworkers with Local Union No. 3, helped create the store’s sign.

While the main audience for their clothes and eyebrow services is likely to be fashion-forward adults, Wolfson is quick to add that local Point Park students are encouraged to drop in.

“We have the vibe for the young kids as well,” she says.

306 Forbes Boutique & Brow Bar’s hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.