For Mary Brambila, the founder and owner of Brambila Salon on Ocean Avenue, hair and beauty have always been a passion. However, when she first started in the industry as an assistant she did not find the type of positive, welcoming salon environment she was looking for, so she decided to start her own. 

“I thought, in order to do it the way I wanted to, I had to open my own place,” she said. 

Now, 20 years later, she has a team of dedicated stylists and an established and loyal clientele at her oceanfront location.

“It means so much being a first-generation American girl whose parents immigrated here from Mexico with only a 5th-grade education to now having a business and seeing our last name on Ocean Ave. It’s a dream come true,” Brambila said. “Also, being able to provide jobs to a diverse group of like-minded women and men is the icing on the cake. All of this by being able to make people feel beautiful.”

Morgan Yee, one of the salon’s stylists said she feels Brambila has succeeded in creating the kind of atmosphere she had yearned for.

“She really wants to keep it warm, inviting and appealing,” said stylist Morgan Yee. “I feel like what Mary has put out is really that she wants our clients to come in and that their visit feels like a little mini vacation.” 

“You could have just come from work or from a screaming kid, whatever it is, when you walk in, we’re like, we’re going to take care of you.”

Brambila said she took inspiration from hotels down the street from the salon where she would often go for dinner after work in the early days of her business. 

“I really loved the hotel experience, where they would be like ‘welcome, how can we serve you,’ so I really learned from the local hotels and I really wanted to offer that to my clients,” she said.

She said she hopes to offer her clients an experience that leaves them feeling “full” and rejuvenated after their visit, something Yee said people really need, especially following the pandemic. 

“People really miss getting their hair done for so many different reasons,” she said. “So we get to give them more than just touching up their roots, that root touch up can give them confidence to go kill it at work that day.” 

Since she opened the salon’s doors 20 years ago, Brambila has become a mother of two and said that the community she has created at the salon has helped her balance her business and her family. 

“I’m so grateful that I have such a great team of people that have supported me like I’ve supported them throughout the years.” 

Brambila Salon offers a full range of hair services including cuts, styling, coloring and extensions as well as make-up and nail services. For more information visit:

Grace Adams is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University where she studied Spanish and journalism. She holds a Master’s degree in investigative journalism from City, University of London. She has experience...