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Trio Realize 10-Year Dream

New Salon Opens Down Town

The little shop on the corner of Lynn Street is attracting attention with its brightly colored walls, quirky furniture and selection of boutique items. Passersby can't help poking their heads in and asking to talk to Maude, the store's namesake.

"Mod means fashion or vogue. We wanted something more feminine, so we created Maude to incorporate all women," said Vanessa Rose, on of the three co-owners along with Celeste Williams and Catina Andros. "Celeste drew her. Most people come in and ask who's Maude."

Maude, located at 775 Lynn St., represents the culmination of a shared dream for the three friends. The women, Rose, 31, Williams, 29 and Andros, 27, officially opened the doors Aug. 26.

"I think it is absolutely wonderful. It makes me feel like I'm in Old Town," said Margo Sterling, Rose's former sixth-grade teacher at Dogwood Elementary and now loyal client. "It's colorful and fun."

THE OWNERS describe Maude as a high-end salon and beauty boutique. The trio met 10 years ago and had talked about branching out on their own, becoming serious about finding a location in the Reston-Herndon area about two years ago. The three had most recently been working at a salon at the Reston Town Center. And when the Lynn Street location became available it was too good to pass up.

"We just loved the look of it," Andros said.

"There is a beauty shop next door, but they specialize in ethnic hair. Plus we wanted to do something more than just hair. We wanted more of a boutique salon," said Williams. "We sell lots of girlie products that smell good and that we like."

Much like everything else about the shop, the boutique section has a sense of humor with bobble heads located next to soap and hand-made earrings next to hair gel.

The women also plan to cultivate their own talent. The staff is made up of the three owners, two receptionists and two apprentices who will learn the business from the trio.

"We're all kind of like a family," Williams said.

Since opening, the women said they have been accepted into the Herndon family, with neighboring businesses stopping by with flowers and other gifts. And even their old boss has wished them well with flowers and helped them transfer clients to their new location.

"It wasn't a new idea to him. It was a matter of when and where," Williams said. "I can't tell you how supportive everyone's been. Other people like seeing people grow."

GETTING TO THIS POINT had not been easy. Once the women found a location, it took another two months converting it into a space suitable for a salon.

"It was frustrating. We didn't know how long we would have to wait for everything to be finished. Then we had a small fire in the back" Andros said. "It was pretty cool when we got to open. It was a bit of a hectic day. I'm still in shock."

And already the trio is finding ways of becoming more involved in the community. Andros said they are planning to have a "Teen Night" each Friday during the Friday Night Live season, where teens can gather before catching the concert on the Town Green. They also want to get involved with fund-raising activities, join the Chamber of Commerce and participate in Herndon Festival.

"It's been overwhelming, exciting and there's been tremendous support from the local businesses," Rose said. "We feel blessed."

The prices for the shop range from $30 for a child's haircut to $65 for a woman's cut. Other services range from a $10 cholesterol cap hair reviver to more than $100 for color. Once the apprentices begin cutting hair, their prices will be a bit less.

"We're more high-end and we're doing what we do best," Andros said. "We've had a lot of education. We love doing hair. It's our passion."

Maude is open Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-noon; Wednesdays-Fridays, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The shop will be closed Sundays and Mondays.