The Silver Lining

Salon owners Therese De Vos and Kaci Braunecker accentuate the positive during the pandemic shutdown.

  • Category
    Fashion, People
  • Written by
    Laura L. Watts
  • Photographs & Jewelry by
    Lindsey Rose

It’s been an unprecedented challenge for all of us. Dealing with this pandemic has tested many relationships, and only the strongest survive. A perfect example of this resilience is the business partnership of Therese De Vos and Kaci Braunecker, owners of 505 Salon in Hermosa Beach.

It was their friendship and like-minded career goals that led Therese and Kaci to open 505 Salon in 2018. They gathered a team of expert stylists, found a terrific location in the heart of Hermosa Beach and opened their doors to great acclaim. Clients flocked to the full-service hair salon to enjoy cuts, color, extensions and Brazilian blowouts.

And then COVID-19 hit, and 505 Salon closed its doors in March, reopened in May and closed again in July as California’s coronavirus cases soared. Through it all, what has remained are the strong bonds of friendship and loyalty with Therese, Kaci and their clients.

“Kaci and I have certainly had our business relationship tried and tested,” shares Therese, “and we are stronger together than ever before.”

Kaci agrees. “At a time like this, we are so grateful to have each other as business partners and to have such wonderful, supportive clients. We are not alone in this, and that helps.”

The salon industry has suffered an enormous blow, especially in California. 505 Salon made great strides to offer their services while maintaining safety guidelines as mandated by the CDC, the state board of cosmetology and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. In fact, they even had plexiglass dividers installed between each hair station in June.

But the next month, California required hair salons to move outdoors—making most of the services offered by 505 Salon difficult or impossible to provide. “I think we all agree this year has had more challenges than any other year we can remember to date,” says Therese. “This pandemic has completely turned our worlds upside down, and no one has gone unaffected.”

While they are unable to function normally as a beauty shop, 505 Salon is pivoting and trying to make the best of the situation. Their online store now carries hair accessories such as clips, barrettes and headbands; safe, fashionable face masks; and a variety of Oribe hair-care products.

The positives that have come from the pandemic are not lost on Therese and Kaci. “A silver lining is that during a shake-up and shift like we’ve experienced recently, you inevitably grow, learn and rethink things,” Kaci says. “You realize what is important and what isn’t. We can say without a doubt that we have gotten so much closer and stronger as a team.”

The two value the extra time they’ve been able to spend with their families and children during the shutdown. While it’s tough to find activities and fun locations that are open, some places have been a respite for them, like the South Coast Botanic Garden. “That’s how we find peace amongst all the chaos,” shares Kaci.

They also appreciate their Hermosa Beach community, where area businesses are making an extra effort to lift each other up during this time. “We love being in Hermosa and supporting our local shops here,” says Therese. “Frequenting local organizations—especially businesses led by women—is more important now more than ever. Women supporting other women in business is key.”

As female business owners, Kaci and Therese find it rewarding to be role models for other women. “We both have daughters at home, and we love to show them, ‘Look what mommy can do. We kick butts!’” Therese laughs. “We want our girls to feel they can do anything they put their minds to when they grow up.”

With 505 Salon, their daughters and everyone else who crosses paths with Therese and Kaci will see that hard work pays off, dreams can come true, and strong women can survive anything and become even stronger through the process.

505 Salon

Therese De Vos & Kaci Braunecker  |  505 Pier Avenue  Hermosa Beach  |  310-698-7808  |