Haley Vananh is ready to lay down her scissors.
Vananh took over the barbershop about seven years ago, but the store has been at 272 Cedar Lane since at least the 1980s under three previous owners, including the late founder Charles Wright.
A business profile for the store indicates that it was founded in 1984. Vananh says Wright opened it after serving in the Navy.
“I don’t know much about the history here. I just know stories from customers, older customers,” Vananh said. “They tell me…this barber shop been here since this shopping center opened.”
While she has loved running the store, Vananh says it has become unsustainable since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, upending customers’ habits even as rent keeps going up.
With more people working from home, customers have been inclined to go three to four months between haircuts, rather than getting one every few weeks, according to Vananh. She says kids have also been letting their hair grow longer.
At the same time, rent for the 525-square-foot space has been increasing every year. With the current lease concluding on Aug. 31, Vananh says she unsuccessfully asked the landlord for a reduced price, noting that the business’ location inside the shopping center makes it tricky for customers to find.
First Washington Realty, which owns Cedar Park, didn’t return FFXnow’s requests for comment.
Vananh told FFXnow she has enjoyed the freedom of running her own business, and many regular customers have become more like friends, but considering the challenges facing the shop, she believes the time has come to retire.
“[It’s a] little bit sad, but…after I pay for the rent and utilities, there’s not much left. So, why do it?” Vananh said. “I keep telling my customers: try to understand, if I work for somebody else three days a week, I make more money than I do today, and now, I work six to seven days a week.”
The nation’s largest beauty retailer now has a location in Tysons.
Ulta Beauty will open its doors in Pike 7 Plaza (8387A Leesburg Pike) at 10 a.m. today (Friday) for a soft launch. A grand opening has been scheduled for April 11.
“We’re excited to join the area and start servicing both customers and clients,” Shanyce Chambers, the Tysons store’s service manager, said.
Adjacent to Staples, the new store is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
In addition to selling beauty products, including cosmetics, fragrances, and skin care items, the 9,749-square-foot store features an eight-chair hair salon and a “brow bar,” according to an Ulta Beauty spokesperson.
Pike 7 Plaza property owner Federal Realty Investment Trust announced in August that Ulta Beauty would open a store at the shopping center this spring. This is Ulta Beauty’s fifth store in the Fairfax County area, joining locations in Fairfax’s Fair City Mall, Springfield, Fair Lakes Shopping Center and Bailey’s Crossroads.
According to the property website, Pike 7 Plaza has leased a 3,605-square-foot space to the upcoming restaurant Ingle Korean Steakhouse, and the chain Grill Kabob obtained a commercial gas permit from Fairfax County on March 14 for its new location in the center.
Federal Realty got the county’s approval on March 8 to build a drive-thru restaurant facility in the Pike 7 Plaza parking lot. Representatives for the property owner previously stated that the new building will be occupied by Shake Shack.