Owning a salon has always been Juja Sylvestre’s dream. When other kids were playing sports or running around, she grew up by “opening” a beauty salon on the playground. That is where she found the joy in life. And it’s that zest that has kept Perfect Endings Hair Design and Day Spa along South Washington Street in Falls Church for the past 35 years.
It’s been a journey for Juja over the three and a half decades.
She has grown her original shop to double its size, which also allowed her to grow the number of services she offers to clients.
She started her business offering hair services, but eventually expanded it to now include skin care services, a large selection of manicure and pedicure options, facials and comprehensive beauty packages.
Juja has always kept herself and her staff up to date with training on the latest styles and services.
She annually travels to Europe to learn more about current trends.
“If a person stops wanting to learn more about their work, then it’s time for them to go,” Juja said.
She and her longtime staff have seen a lot of local clients from the Falls Church area, but they also have customers from Fredericksburg and other parts of Virginia, as well as Pennsylvania and Maryland, who regularly come back to Perfect Endings.
Like most small businesses in 2020, Perfect Endings was hit hard by the pandemic.
They had to close entirely for three months, which of course was hard on the owner and her staff.
But several things have happened that helped her get her business headed back in the direction of normal.
For one, Juja didn’t take a paycheck for a period of time. Her landlord also reduced her rent for a bit, which was welcome help.
Microgrants from the City of Falls Church’s Economic Development Authority put some much-needed cash in her hand last spring when the checks were sent out, and she also received stimulus money through the federal government programs.
And best of all, her clients are coming back. Now, maybe not as often — they make appointments months apart instead of weeks apart — but they are coming back. And she knows the frequency will improve as more people get their shots and resume their normal events and activities.
Her son is working in the salon now and may eventually take on some of the management responsibilities, but she says she misses the salon and the staff if she is away any longer than three days.
Juja plans on being around for a very long time.