From the time she opened her first shop, Gladys’ House of Hair Design, off Bristol Street and Randolph Avenue in 1977, Gladys Olmedo has maintained a steady business in Costa Mesa.
In her 20s, and pregnant with her second child, Olmedo steadily built a base of satisfied clients who came to her for coloring and styles that would transition over the years, from shag cuts to feathered bangs to Brazilian blowouts.
“I never took a vacation — for 24 years I went without taking vacations,” said Olmedo, an Estancia High School graduate. “I had to provide for my kids, and I did it through the beauty salon, just doing hair.”
Her son, Daniel Schantz, recalled growing up in the shop as the business expanded from two chairs to five and new stylists came on board. He recalled the salon as his personal childhood playground and a mainstay for Olmedo, who