by KELLEY GUSICH | photo by Roon Brown Photography

Living the Dream

family_cardenas2On their one-year wedding anniversary, Brooklyn Cardenas told husband Kelly her dream of raising her family by the beach. Three years later, the family moved to Carlsbad, making Brooklyn’s dream a reality. “Within 45 minutes of moving to Carlsbad, we fell in love and never looked back!” he shared. “It was the biggest blessing. As much as we travel, nothing beats coming back home.” The Cardenases cherish their Waters End neighborhood. “We have made some of the greatest friendships living there.”

Brooklyn and Kelly met as coworkers first at Robert Cromeans Salon in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. She began her career in a hotel salon, and feels there’s nothing better than to have someone fall in love with their hair. “What I enjoy most about my job is the connection I get to have with my guests and the way you can change the way a person feels,” Brooklyn shared. She continued, “Kelly started cutting his friends’ hair in high school, with a pair of old dog clippers from his dad. Never did he realize this would be a career. Now he loves every minute of it.”


Parent: Kelly and Brooklyn Cardenas
Children: Makena (8), Maddox (5)
Pets: Dog – Skyler the Cavapoo
Community: Waters End
Hometowns: Kelly – Lompoc, CA; Brooklyn – Salt Lake City, UT
Occupations: Owners and hair stylists at Kelly Cardenas Salon
Favorite Local Spots: South Ponto beach and campground 


The Cardenas children, Makena and Maddox, enjoy riding bikes, swimming, playing softball and baseball, and their new Cavapoo Skyler. The family loves frequent travel, but at home they enjoy sunset beach picnics, the pool, or just hanging out with the neighbors in the cul-de-sac. Their passion for the Carlsbad community expands to volunteering. In addition to sponsoring many events at the kids’ school such as the Pacific Rim Elementary Jog-a-Thon, TGIF Music in the Park, Lancer Dancers, and local football/baseball teams, the Cardenases also seek to help raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and those affected by type 1 diabetes.

Every year in August, the Cardenases celebrate their neighborhood through a block party complete with food trucks, games, a photo booth, and all-ages music. “This year will mark five years in the greatest community on earth, and we plan to celebrate on a grand scale!” they confirmed. “Stay tuned!”