Before the pandemic, hairstylist Carla Goldberg never thought she would be a salon owner. But life has a way of making things happen. Goldberg had been a hairstylist at Domani Salon for the past 13 years when owner Janice Rhea told her she was going to close the salon.
Goldberg was in a conundrum. She started asking herself what options she had, and where she would work next. “What am I going to do?… there was an option to take over the lease. My husband and I talked about it. It was not in the plans. I was doing hair and never really wanted to open a salon - which comes with its own headaches,” she said.
But Goldberg saw the opportunity and grabbed it. She bought the salon and named it Salon Nado, which has now been open since the end of August. Now Goldberg could not be happier about her decision.
Goldberg, who moved to San Diego from Chicago, always loved doing hair growing up, often doing her mom’s hair before she went out and her friends’ hair before prom and special events. Inevitably she went to beauty school and has been a hairstylist since 1997. For the first 13 years of her career she worked in Chicago. When she moved to San Diego in 2008, Goldberg first worked for Domani Salon at the first location and continued there when it moved in the courtyard by Miguel’s Cocina. Asking how she found Coronado she said, “I was looking for a laid back beach town and fell in love with the area,” she said.
Salon Nado has five stations but because of COVID-19 only three are being used right now by Goldberg, another stylist and a barber. Just like every salon owner these days, Goldberg takes all the precautions required such as disinfecting chairs after every client and using different capes for each client. “Clients feel safe, everybody wears a mask. There are so many windows, doors open, fans running… people feel there is enough circulation,” she said. Goldberg also offers masks to clients if they don’t want to get theirs dirty
Before opening the salon, she picked a name that reflected the town and put personal touches on her new business to make it her own. During the lockdown Goldberg stayed in touch with her clients to make sure they were ok and now they have come back to see her to get their hair done. “Everybody has been so supportive. So far it has been great and I’m busier than I’ve ever been. Being an owner, there is more responsibility and I’m doing things I was not doing before,” she said.
Salon Nado is a full service salon which apart from cuts and color, offers highlights, extensions, keratin treatments, and balayage - highlights popular these days for a lived in look. Just like before Goldberg took over, the salon is also is a blow out bar. Special events and wedding hairdos are also part of the services offered.
Walking down the path in the courtyard to get to the salon, clients get a spa-like feel enhanced by the many plants and the sound of bubbling water from the fountain across from the entrance. Goldberg keeps all doors and windows open and it almost feels like you’re in a garden when you’re inside the salon. “I want clients to get an elevated experience in a relaxing atmosphere,”she said.
Goldberg and her staff stay current with the trends and continue their education to offer the best services. With fall coming, many clients are looking at colors like browns and reds for their hair. Goldberg says while she offers many services, some of the popular ones at the salon are highlights, balayage and keratin treatments, especially since locals have to deal with frizz being so close to the ocean.
The salon has a good mix of clients between locals and tourists, especially those coming from the nearby Hotel del Coronado. The salon sells the products used by the stylists like Redken, Enjoy and It’s a 10.
Goldberg looks forward to having more stylists at the salon once the pandemic is over. “Right now I’m happy with what we have, we are easing into it, everybody has their own hours,” she said.
Goldberg continues to do what she does best. “Making my clients happy, putting a smile on their face makes me happy,” she said. “It blows me away to see the final results. How you can change people’s looks and transform them just by doing their hair.”
Salon Nado 619-435-4500. Hours everyday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sunday.