Business Spotlight: Interview with Sue Pyatt, Co-Owner, Kinder Haus Toys in Clarendon

How long have you been in business?

My store came into being in 1982. We opened in the Lee Heights Shops in a tiny space of only 650 ft2. When we started the business, my husband and I had two little girls, ages 9 and 11. But there was a bit of a complication as I was expecting my third child! I figured if I waited for the perfect time, it would never come, so the store opened in April and a baby boy, Jeffrey, came in June.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a small business in Arlington?

The greatest advantage is our Arlington customers, who want quality toys, books, sporting goods, and clothes for their children and are very appreciative of our store. Because we had great customer support, we grew and are now a big 5,000 ft2 store. The only disadvantage is that parking can be a problem sometimes.  

How did COVID change your business?

We took a tip from the neighborhood restaurants and swung into action with curb service. We advertised on Facebook that customers could call in, see pictures, and charge on the phone. It worked!

How do you know what will be big sellers vs. duds?  

We never know for sure, and a few duds do happen. But I’ve learned which catalogs of toys are popular with our customers. I also see a few trusted reps and attend toy fairs. Reading trade magazines and the Wall Street Journal can be helpful. Listening to customers is very important, as is being flexible. Most toys in our store are winners.

What kinds of things still surprise you after so many years in business?

After 40 years, people still tell us they love our store, and it is a favorite. We never ever get tired of hearing this.

What else do you as an owner feel is important?

When you surround yourself with good people, they will make you look good. I am grateful for Everett, Laura, Dylan, and Angela and I appreciate the fine high school students who have worked for us from Lyon Park and Ashton Heights.

Sukha Center | A Unique Yoga Studio in Clarendon

After more than two years of pandemic-induced hardship and the loss of many local businesses, it is heartening to see new ones opening around Arlington. Sukha Center, located in Clarendon, is one such newcomer. Located in the heart of Clarendon, Sukha (meaning “good place” in Sanskrit) is a unique approach to a yoga studio with practice offerings from Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Rocket to the less typical Budokon — a fusion of martial-arts, yoga, mobility, and meditation. The studio includes a rooftop space overlooking the DC Metro area, which enables practice under the stars.  

When the previous studio shuttered, the building owner sought another yoga studio to balance out nearby occupants — Pure Barre, Orange Theory, eateries. Enter co-owners Ahmed Jabali-Nash and Damion Moss: local athletes who combined their expertise in yoga and martial arts to and create the only Black-owned yoga studio in Arlington. After 8 months of planning, recruiting, renovating, and navigating the county’s permit maze, the team decided on a “soft opening” last February, timed with Black History Month, giving them an opportunity to attract locals through word-of-mouth and build a membership base before the official opening in June. 

The philosophy of the studio is to “offer authentic yoga, regardless of the style, and to build a healthy community of practitioners who are comfortable being themselves in a space that promotes the belief that yoga is for everyone.” Says Jabali-Nash, “You don’t have to look a certain way to practice yoga.”

A unique element of Sukha Center is an in-house Lertified Physical Therapist (who is also a yoga instructor). According to Moss, “Our physical therapy gives our members answers to questions and treatment for pain and mobility limitations that come from a life of the daily grind.” Referring to a recent #1 ranking of our county by the American College of Sports Medicine, Moss said, “Arlington is an ideal location for this unique studio, because residents are serious about pursuing health through exercise. To be voted the fittest city in America is something special.”  

“We are interested in being an integral part of the Clarendon Community and look forward to welcoming more residents into our space,” said Jabali-Nash. The studio will take part in this year’s Clarendon Day festivities on September 24, so stop by and give them a try!

Business Spotlight: The Little Gym

By Bess Zelle

What is the focus of your business?

We are an independently owned noncompetitive children’s gymnastics facility that uses physical activity as a tool to provide social, emotional, and cognitive growth opportunities for children ages 4 months to 12 years. We offer year-round enrollment-based classes, camps with flexible scheduling options, monthly parent survival nights, and birthday parties on the weekends

What do you want the community to know about your establishment?

We have a passion for helping kids become confident in their bodies, independent thinkers, and thoughtful toward others. We love being such an integral part of our families’ lives and are always eager to see new faces! We accept new students year-round and summer camp enrollment is currently open. We are all about “Serious Fun” and helping kids shine as who they are!

What do you love about Lyon Park?

We have loved being part of the Lyon Park community since opening in 2018. The community is family-friendly, walkable, and fun! Lyon Park has a lot to offer like excellent parks, playgrounds, and restaurants. We have appreciated Lyon Park’s support and we look forward to continuing to serve the community.

Contact Information:
The Little Gym
Emily Hunt (Gym Director)
2209 North Pershing Drive, Arlington Va
Phone: (703) 201-1058
Text: (202) 831-3380
Parking: Free garage located between Bonchon and Paisano’s

Neighbor Profile:  Doorways for Women and Families

Community members who were concerned that there was no safe space in Arlington for families in crisis founded Doorways in 1978. The organization aims to address the interconnectedness among the cycles of sexual assault, domestic violence, and homelessness, and help survivors avoid having to choose between staying with abusers or facing homelessness.

What began as a single shelter to support families in crisis has since grown into a wide range of programs and pathways for people of all ages and genders. Doorways envisions a community where all people live free from violence and have safe and stable housing. Every year, the organization provides shelter and housing for more than 200 people and helps them achieve safety and stability. Doorways also supports hundreds more adults, youth, and children through their 24-hour domestic and sexual violence hotline ([703] 237-0881), mobile advocacy services, court advocacy, hospital accompaniment, individual and group counseling, and prevention programming.

  • 94% of Doorways Safehouse households did not return to abusive living situations.
  • 74% of family home households obtained permanent housing post-shelter.
  • 99% of children with social-emotional issues received services and counseling.

Services like these have been essential throughout the COVID pandemic, with many families experiencing financial and emotional strain, loss of employment, and eviction. The Doorways Family Home team in our neighborhood has supported families throughout this period to ensure that members of our community receive shelter, housing, and comprehensive support.

Doorways is a non-profit organization supported by donations from neighbors (including United Way and Combined Campaigns), matching corporate gifts, gifts, and in-kind giving. To learn more about Doorways, including ways to volunteer and help, visit