Mr. Dean finally opened up his heart to Wanda and sold his enterprise in 2003. Wanda would tell anyone that it was not easy feat to get this property. She was a young girl who grew up in Ledroit Park with the dream of having the ability to embrace that same sense of community. She had already spent 6 years in the U street Cardozo Area overcoming and working through some of the most aggressive street violence and drug issues facing Washington D.C. in hopes that the 7th street property would eventually become available. Her challenge to move her business to this location also meant working tirelessly through many commercial property –re-development issues. Despite all these issues she held steadfast to her dream to return to 7th Street.
Finally, after winning the acquisition of Mr. Dean’s shop in 2004, Wanda worked harder than any person to make sure she kept what she worked so hard to acquire. Wanda’s Hair Salon became celebrated as a home-based salon where the community enjoyed its two-level Salon and barbershop and felt apart of something bigger; a very similar feeling that Mr. Dean gave to the shop nearly a generation ago.
In 2010, like many other areas in Washington, DC, the 7th street corridor continued to progress and adapt to the ever-changing city. As retailers came prepared to fight for this prime real estate centrally located near the Shaw-Howard University Metro station, the small bodegas and family owned business that thrived in the late 70s closed. However, Wanda was not ready to put out this flame. With that same passion she had in 2003, Wanda made sure her shop was going to open back up after the construction finished. Wanda’s Hair Salon is living history , and is not just something that can be re-built or re-vitalized. Wanda’s Shop has been the pulse of positivity for the community for several generations and is quintessential to the Washingtonian story.
During the three-year construction period, Wanda took the opportunity to open up a second salon on Georgia Ave to support her clients without missing a beat. On September 15th, the Doors of Wanda’s will open with a new face and a new image to welcome “Progression Place on 7th Street”. The space that was once Key’s Restaurant and Mr. Deans Salon has now transformed to Wanda’s on 7th; a multi-cultural unisex establishment offering services including barbering, hair care, skin care, and spa treatments. Wanda’s Salon will be open as a supporter for all local businesses and as an advocate for the community’s growth, while still preserving its past. Wanda will continue to pass the torch and leave a legacy for her grandkids that will define her as simply ”awesome”; and what can be more awesome than embracing the new Washington, D.C.