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Every Day I’m Hustlin’

Shanel Stallings

Photo: Edward Ericson Jr., License: N/A

Edward Ericson Jr.

Shanel Stallings says lugging 40-pound bags of ice and rolling her three hot dog carts up Calvert Street have gotten her in pretty good shape.

She started Ty-Ty’s Hot Dogs six years ago after declining to commute even further to her job at a D.C. law firm that was moving. Inspired by vendors she saw from the train, she started Ty-Ty’s and named it for her daughter. “Ty-Ty is a nickname,” Stallings says. “She always says it’s her stand.”

Getting a coveted spot in front of the circuit courthouses was a matter of luck. “You have to go before a downtown vending board,” she says. “You have to get voted into a location.”

She’s at the grocery store each day at 7 A.M., buying supplies. The carts yield up about $150 each day, she says, as long as the weather cooperates. “You’re relying on other people for your income,” she says. “You have to wait for people to purchase the dog.”

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