Rayette - 1979

History of Rayette Building

From a hat and clothing company, to the place where hair styles were born, to producing one of the top-selling hairspray brands in history, The Rayette Building hasn’t missed one second of style in an entire century. The unique historical architecture and style of this building has served as an inspiration for much of the design work that went into the rehabilitation of Rayette Lofts.



Joseph Strong and H.F. Warner became the first tenants of the Strong and Warner Company building. Their business was advertised as the “finest and largest wholesale millinery building in the world.”


Raymond E. Lee, a University of Minnesota graduate, cashed in a $400 life insurance policy to sell a “permanent” treatment he created for women’s hair. The company built their reputation on the “Raymond Wave”.


The building was renamed Raymond Laboratories and the company began to market its salon products under the name “Rayette”.


Rayette Raymond Laboratories officially changed its name to Rayette.


Rayette introduced “Aqua Net” which became the top-selling hairspray in the United States.


Local developer converts the building into a parking garage. Due to the buildings historic location, the developer maintains the exterior’s brickwork and finishes.


Sherman Associates restored the building form and parking garage – creating a unique blend of modern amenities with historical sensibilities in the heart of Saint Paul’s Lowertown Neighborhood.


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