A hula hoops shop that caters to young and old alike in the Little Havana area of Washington, D.C., has a reputation for being one of the prettiest shops in the city.
But this week, a new beauty salon opened in the area, and the community is already talking about what the future of the place might hold.
“I hope to see Sally Beauty open another location in Little Havana and expand to other areas in the D.c. area,” says a resident named Sally who asked to be identified only by her first name, Ilia.
“I hope it is something that’s going to be more of a destination place.
I hope there are more opportunities to go to Sally Beauty.”
Ilia and her husband, Eric, moved to Washington from Mexico three years ago.
Their dream is to open a shop in the United States and set up shop in Little Cuba, but they don’t have much time to plan.
“We can’t get permits or anything like that, so it’s a big challenge,” Ilia says.
“It’s hard to find a space in the U.S. that’s large enough to have a store.
So we have to work hard to get permits.”
It has been nearly three years since the couple moved to the Little Cuba neighborhood of Northwest Washington, and since then, they’ve seen the neighborhood grow and change.
They’ve seen a resurgence of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
And when they opened their shop last summer, they had a very special opportunity to open their shop in a neighborhood they knew well.
“The neighborhood is a beautiful place,” Ila says.
Ilia and Eric are also a couple who love to dress up for Halloween, and they wanted to show their love for their favorite tradition in the neighborhood.
“A lot of people come here and there’s a lot of costume parties, and that’s because of Halloween,” Eric says.
“My mom always said, ‘I want to go for Halloween,'” Ilia adds.
“And it’s been a tradition for her for 20 years.
It’s been this tradition since she was a little girl.”
Ila and Eric opened Sally Beauty Shop in Little Haiti in January, with the goal of making a difference in the community.
“There are so many people in the street, so many different communities, so much energy,” Eric tells me.
“We’re so happy to be here and to bring a lot more of that energy into Little Havana.”
Ilie, who moved from Mexico to the United Kingdom four years ago, says the shop will be her new place to shop, because she feels like she can do so much better in Little Washington.
“If we’re not here, there’s not much we can do,” Ilie says.
Ilia, who is in her mid-30s, has lived in Little Hope, a small neighborhood in Northwest Washington for four years, for her entire adult life.
Ili says that after she moved here, Little Hope became her “new home,” and it has allowed her to expand her business, and to get the help she needs to make ends meet.
“It was really difficult,” Ili explains.
“A lot was just overwhelming, and we were really looking for help.”
“I moved to this country because of my mother, and I had a lot going on with my health,” Iulia adds.
Iulia is in the process of applying for a work permit, and she says she hopes that the new shop can provide her with the financial stability she needs.
The shop has two locations in the District, and it will likely open a third one in Little Harbor in the coming months.
But the most exciting thing for Ilia is opening a new shop that will be part of the community for the foreseeable future.
“Hopefully, this is going to inspire more people to come to Little Hope,” she says.