“Thanks to Centro, I was able to create an organized business structure and complete my goals step by step” – Karla Padilla

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Karla Padilla, always dreamed about creating a beauty salon that would cater to a diverse community. Karla wanted to provide the perfect service, where clients felt comfortable, could relax, and get beautified. She dreamed about creating a place where her clients walked out feeling confident and empowered by their hairstyle.

She understood that her passion could actually become a business. Her determination and motivation towards a better future for her and her family made her work hard towards making her dream come true. She decided to start her entrepreneurial journey, opening her own business House of Beauty by Karla. From the beginning, she knew it was not going to be an easy journey, but she was determined to make it happen no matter what, and she did!


Karla took the first leap, the Basic Entrepreneurship Program at Centro. A 9-session training program for entrepreneurs which guides them from the stage of creating their idea to developing a business plan to helping them launch their business.

She didn’t stop there. She enrolled in the next course, the Advanced Entrepreneurship Program. A 10-Session program for established entrepreneurs who want to grow their small businesses to reach $100K in annual revenue.

Throughout the program, Karla worked with other entrepreneurs and MBA student advisors to analyze her current business, develop improvement goals and execute action plans to achieve her goals. “Thanks to Centro, I was able to create an organized business structure and complete my goals step by step” said Karla.

Thanks to this program, Karla identified her target market, established a mission and vision, improved her understanding of the operational processes, learned accounting, marketing, and organizing the different areas of her business, from A to Z. She also projected the potential earnings of the salon. “Centro also gave me professional skills like working on my tasks one at a time, which has really helped me in my daily work”.


When asked about the advice she would give to others about Centro’s programs she said: “It’s a great way to start, and will help you to map out all your thoughts, ideas and goals. Don’t give up”. She acknowledges it has not been an easy journey. For

Karla, the most challenging part was finding a way to balance business and her personal life, but she was able to achieve it. “I feel like all the learning I did has helped me to set bigger goals” which provides a better future for her family and community.

“My family has been a great support for me and for my business. They encourage me to keep going. Their comments about me are always good, they are proud of me and the passion I put into my business. My friends and the community highly value the quality of my services and they always come to me for a makeover.”


Covid was a hard moment for Karla’s business, she had to shut down for over 6 months. Karla worked with Centro’s Small Business Advisors as she considered options for her business, receiving support to create her marketing strategy and pursue the California Relief Grant.

She has now opened the doors of the salon but was forced to make big changes to her business: reduce capacity, keep everything spaced out, and develop a new work protocol in order to follow all health guidelines and reopen safely. “It’s been very challenging after pandemic lockdown, but we are slowly getting better.”


Her advice to other entrepreneurs is: “It’s all about learning and being focused on your goals, a work in progress every day. I’m always excited for what will be next, in business, with clients, and in the future.” She also highlights the importance of active social media, interacting with the community, and networking as part of the recovery of her business after the covid shutdown.

Today, Karla feels empowered with how her business is performing and slowly recovering from the pandemic. She currently has one person working for her and aims to be able to hire more people who share her values. When thinking about the future, she hopes to scale her business and envisions opening another business.


We say goodbye visiting Karla at her business to know more about her daily work and life. She opens up with us and tells us how much her clients and Hispano community mean to her, and how her business is not just a hair salon, but a safe place where her clients feel that they can speak about their issues, and Karla is always there for them.

Join us in congratulating Karla for being brave and following her dreams. Check out her website and make an appointment if you live in San Jose! Visit House of Beauty by Karla