Karen White Hess

Karen White Hess has clients who have been patronizing her since she was learning her craft in beauty school. A hairdresser for 42 years, Hess will say goodbye to Michelle’s Beautique, where she has worked for six years and through its move from 51st to 59th avenues, both locations on Peoria Avenue.

But Hess started out near home.

“I’m a Glendale girl – born and raised,” Hess said, “The first shop I started in was in downtown Glendale.”

Her father, the late J. L. White, was with Glendale Police Department for 32 years, after which he served as a justice of the peace for 10 years. He finished his working career as the No. 2 employee at the Glendale Post Office.

Hess worked 34 years for Bea Turner in a shop at Valley West Mall (now where Walmart and Lowe’s are located) at 59th and Northern avenues, then at 67th and Peoria avenues.

When Turner closed to work for Michelle’s Boutique, Hess followed her lead. So did another hairdresser, Mary Trujillo, who has worked beside Hess for 30 years.

A couple weeks ago, Hess was finishing a styling session with Ginny White, a 25-year patron. White said when she dies, she wants Hess to do her hair. If she doesn’t do a good job, White said, her husband, James White, has instructions not to give Hess the ring she has bequeathed to her.

Hess grinned at White’s remarks and said, “I have the best customers. They’re so sweet.”

White said, “She knows everything about everybody.”

She will take her stories and share with her husband, David, who retired from Sanderson Ford. Both will be making memories with their grandson and the expected arrival of his baby sister in May.

Individuals interested in giving farewell wishes to Hess can stop by Michelle’s Beautique, 5730 W. Peoria Avenue, Suite 100.