Photos by Mathew Scott

Micaela Solís

A Dream Turned Reality

Since she was a little girl, Micaela Solís has always had to be independent. Originally from Puebla, Mexico, the experiences and lessons she learned during her childhood have deeply impacted her current role as small business owner. Growing up, she learned about the importance of punctuality, being serviceable and attending to the needs of others, politeness, hard work, and above all having faith in God, all of which have helped her to accomplish many of her lifelong goals. 

In the late 80s, Micaela immigrated to the United States in search of better work opportunities. She learned how to cut and style hair in Mexico, where she developed a deep passion for cosmetology. Immigrating to the U.S, she hoped to one day open her very own beauty salon. 

“I started working and cutting hair in Mexico. I arrived here about 35 years ago because I wanted to continue with this profession. I had to attend school to earn my cosmetology license because that was my dream, to have my own salon to be able to get ahead in life and be able to raise my children.” 

To make this dream a reality, Micaela has had to overcome ongoing obstacles that life has thrown at her. Without knowing how to drive and without knowing any English, Micaela enrolled in cosmetology school to get her license. There for eight hours a day, she studied and worked hard to be the best in her class. 

She recalls, “When I was at school, my children were also at school. It was very difficult …because I am a single mother, but I believe that you can accomplish whatever you want, even if life puts obstacles in your way.”

After finishing school and receiving her license, she found a job at a beauty salon in Glassell Park. Although she was happy to be able to work and support her family, Micaela still had a dream of opening her own salon, a place where everyone could see that her sacrifices were worth it.

Accomplishing this dream would take time, and she worked to save money, dedicating herself to cultivating a clientele that would follow her when she had the opportunity to open her own salon. Nine years ago, that opportunity presented itself in the same neighborhood of Glassell Park. After fixing up the space, giving it a good deep cleaning and several coats of paint, her dream started to come true. Michelle’s Beauty Salon was finally open to the public, a dream-turned-reality based on a whole life of work, commitment, and sacrifices.

This work continues, and Micaela continues day after day working to stay afloat and survive as a small business. Although some challenges are stronger than others, like the Covid pandemic that threatened to shut down the business, Micaela remains positive.

“I never thought about the obstacles in life, although they do exist— I just hold on to God’s hand. I’ve always said that whatever you want to do, it is all based on how hard you are willing to work for it, nothing can stop you and your determination”

Micaela Solís immigrated to the United States 35 years ago in search of a better life. Originally from Puebla, Mexico, Micaela came to the U.S. and lived for a while in Glassell Park before moving to nearby Glendale. With the dream of opening her own beauty salon, Micaela overcame many obstacles and hurdles to finally be able to open “Michelle’s Beauty Salon” located in Glassell Park, a neighborhood that has granted her many good memories and friendships.