On Ocean Avenue in downtown Santa Monica, CA, you’ll find Brambila Salon in an unassuming building only a couple hundred yards from the Pacific. “After years of working in fast-paced, hectic environments, I realized it wasn’t the right fit for me,” says owner Mary Brambila, who opened the oceanfront salon after years assisting and apprenticing in Beverly Hills and Brentwood. “After going to a luxury hotel for a spa treatment with some friends, I quickly realized that it was the type of environment that I wanted to create for my clients and other stylists—slow and serene.”
Eager to mimic the laid-back environment and sense of tranquility she found in those five-star retreats, Brambila stumbled upon an available space in Santa Monica and knew right away that it was the perfect fit. “Working near the ocean makes it feel more like a vacation than work, and that has been the biggest blessing,” she says. “We can see the waves from our windows.”
To complement the salon’s coastal location, Brambila outfitted the open-concept salon with simple black and white hues, neutral furnishings, and bright flowers and plants. “We always have some type of calming music playing throughout the building and our Nest candles float a sweet smell through each room,” she says. Brambila also installed quartz crystals into the ceiling of the main waiting room, a small detail that she credits for the salon’s calming energy.
What’s more, clients can choose from a variety of herbal teas, wine, sodas or water along with some sweet treats. “They can even order takeout from any of the restaurants nearby and enjoy lunch or dinner during their appointment,” Brambila says. “If they want more privacy during their appointment, we have an area to accommodate their needs."
Needless to say, the comfort of the client is the utmost priority at Brambila Salon but maintaining a warm and inviting space is a close second—two things Brambila dreamed of combining long before she opened up shop. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience, it’s to always go with your gut,” she says. “I wasn’t a fan of the fast-paced environment in my previous job, so I created the one I wanted. Trust your instinct.”