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40 years of helping people create their style
Karla Fredriks – who has spent four decades at Sadie’s Styling Salon in Manteca – preps the hair of customer Linda Hollnagel who has been coming to see her for more than 34 years. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
The plaque that hangs on Karla Fredriks’ wall at her station inside of Sadie’s Styling Salon says that she’s been doing hair more than four decades.

But in reality, the passion for giving people the look that they want started a whole lot earlier with her dolls and eventually her own family members. She worked her way up from styling her mother’s hair to cutting it before she got officially licensed and started working.

So when it came time to choose a career and a way to make a living, there really wasn’t much for her to think about.

“It’s something that I’ve always been interested in, and I can honestly say that I love every part about doing this,” she said. “The clientele makes it great to come in to work every day because you get a chance to build a special bond with each and every one of them.

“To see them smiling when they get up out of that chair is the ultimate reward.”

Frediks is part of the Sadie’s Styling Salon that celebrated its 73rd anniversary on Thursday. It is still owned by Sadie Cabral who started it fresh out of high school.

Relatively soft-spoken, Fredriks has her regular list of clients that come by throughout the week – most of which on a recurring schedule that rarely varies.

When Linda Hollnagel came in on Thursday to get her hair touched up, she couldn’t help but rave about Fredriks and what kind of a job she has done on her hair for the past 34 years.

“Last week she went on vacation and I knew that I had to wait because I won’t let anybody else touch my hair,” Hollnagel said. “She’s just the best at what she does, and we go back a long way.

“You develop a relationship when you sit in this chair with the person who is in charge with basically changing how you look. And I trust her all the way.”

When she isn’t cutting hair, Fredriks is usually somewhere in the Gold Country where she enjoys searching for the precious metal and spending time at the Black Oak Casino outside of Sonora – taking in the mountains and unwinding in the great outdoors.

Even though she never thought that she’d spend 40 years doing the same thing, she currently has no plans on retiring. She has gained more than enough knowledge in her four decades behind the chair to help the younger generation looking to break into cosmetology.

“It’s hard work, but don’t give up,” Fredriks said. “It’s got to be something that you love because you’re going to be working with the public every day and you’re going to want to have those positive relationships.

“Most of all just have fun.”