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Meet Kelly Cardenas of Kelly Cardenas Salon in Wicker park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Cardenas.

Kelly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My parents always raised us to be the best we could at whatever we set out to do. This was always wrapped in tons of love and support. Through Hair school I sought out anyone who was willing to teach me. This desire helped to foster some amazing relationships that helped me to see a different side of life. I became a National Educator for Paul Mitchell 24 years ago and it has been a blessed ride ever since! From assisting The Global Artistic Director, to opening salons in Las Vegas, Chicago, Carlsbad CA, Salt Lake City, and most recently The Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas! All that being said it has been the people that have been at the heart of our concept since we began! Our mission has always been to put people first and to invest in their stories! I have learned that true success is not measured by your bank account but rather by the depth of your relationships. I have learned this by giving myself and others the permission to make mistakes (lots of them) as long as we are committed to making it better! Our company is set apart by the true relationships that our team has with each other! Our culture is very important to us, and we cultivate it daily with group gatherings before and after each day to celebrate our accomplishments and to focus on how we can better our best, weekly all 5 locations meet every Tuesday via video call and each person in the company shares who inspired them the week before in addition to celebrating all aspects of the brilliance of our team. I truly believe that we have the greatest team of people on Earth that just happen to do hair! These are not just hairdressers they are difference makers, world shakers that know in order to change the world we must start with ourselves, have a positive impact on our community, industry, and our family!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Our road has not been void of challenges, but we feel that if we stick to our core then success is inevitable. I think the biggest challenge was opening in Chicago in the winter and not knowing anyone in the city. We had no guests and no marketing budget so we sent our team out in the cold to meet people and offer complimentary blow dries! My favorite story was we were at the Blue Line Cafe and our team approached a table of girls to offer them a service in the salon. Fast forward 9 years and they are still guests of our salon! These kind of stories really connected us to the wonderful city of Chicago. We believe that if you make true relationships then all else will fall in line! Every challenge and there have been a multitude, can turn into a blessing if you choose to see it that way!

Please tell us about Kelly Cardenas Salon.
We are in the people business that happens to do hair. We specialize in making people happy through clear communication. Our salon offers Haircuts, highlights, Balayage, color, conditioning treatments, and the best shampoo experience that you have ever had or all of your services are complimentary. I am most proud of the team of people that we have and there integrity. Our company is set apart by the simple fact that our team is connected to each other and the bi-product of that is an exceptional experience that includes technical expertise, communication, and a positive environment.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory has to be when I was in sixth grade and we lived in a one bedroom apartment, there was 5 of us but all of my friends wanted to stay the night at our house! We didn’t have much money (or any) so we had to get creative to have fun. We once to a bicycle rim, knocked out the spokes, nailed it to a piece of plywood and it became our basketball hoop!!! Those were some of the greatest times of my life! And the most valuable also, I learned that it’s not about the lavish things that you have, the most important things in life are love, joy, and the people you get to share it with!


  • Haircuts 45 & up
  • Highlights 120 & up
  • Conditioning treatments 35 & up

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1909 west North ave
    Chicago Ill 60622
  • Website:
  • Phone: 773-342-4474
  • Email:

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