Hill Now regularly publishes profiles of locals — from longtime residents to newcomers, from government officials to ordinary folks. Know someone we should feature? Email us at [email protected].
Betty Hart opened With These Hands Hair Gallery 30 years ago and named the business after her love for being a caregiver.
“I like working where I can lay hands on people,” she said yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. “I’m a woman of God, and I believe in laying of hands and praying. That’s what I like to do.”
Hart, 70, grew up in Roanoke and began styling hair as a teenager. She studied business at Florida State University, bought 521 H St. NE in 1984 and then opened for business.
The 11-chair salon spans two stories and was decorated on Thursday with garland in fall colors, Washington Redskins posters, and signed photographs of U.S. presidents and Michelle Obama. Hats that Hart makes and sells hang behind the counter.
Speaking before she headed home to bake 14 sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving, Hart said she opened her business in the area because it was a “beautiful place.”
“I love H Street,” she said. “In any of the restaurants and shops I have been, they’re so beautiful and kind.”
Lives: In Northeast D.C. with her husband, 50-year-old son, a shih tzu named Pup Pup and a pit bull named Kojo
Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant: Hart said she tries to sample local restaurants, and often orders oxtail from Taste of Jamaica (528 H St. NE).
What Changes She’d Like to See on the Hill: Hart said she would like to see local parking overhauled. “When I have clients and they have to come so far to come to me and then they have a $100 ticket, that’s not pretty,” she said.
How to Be a Better Neighbor: Hart said she loves that locals look out for her. “I’ll come in with an armful of supplies and people will ask me, ‘Ma’am, can I help you?'” she said. “When God blesses you, you have to bless others.”