New salon business in Sparks welcomed by tribal officials
This story was first published in the March 2017 edition of First Nation's Focus.
SPARKS, Nev. — The special guests who attended the ribbon cutting for a new aesthetician salon in Sparks have an ancestral history that predates the state of Nevada.
Members, officials and staff of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony gathered Jan. 23 for the opening of Alluring Beauty and to welcome owner Johni Bill, a member of the tribe, as a participant in the community’s economic engine.
Tribal Chairman Arlan Melendez talked about the vision to step out to become a business owner and the importance to the tribal community as a whole.
“Having some of our members step out that others may follow, and to recognize that we need more small businesses, leaders within our community, (that’s really what it’s about),” Melendez said, speaking to the dozen or so people, mostly tribal members, who ventured out on snow-covered roads for the ribbon cutting.
“With that, we’re looking forward to good things here and congratulate Johni for really stepping forward and being one of those pioneers …”
While welcoming guests and giving tours, Bill took a few minutes to talk about how important the tribe’s encouragement has been.
“It means a lot to have the tribe’s help and encouragement to start a business,” she said. “I’m very thankful.”
Alluring Beauty is located at 1962 Pyramid Highway, Suite B, near the corner of Greenbrae Drive. It shares space within the Pyramid Smoke Shop, which is owned by the tribe.
Melendez told the NNBW that the arrangement is similar to a business incubator, which lowers costs to getting a business off the ground and is an incentive for entrepreneurship in the tribe.
Bill began training at Marinello School of Beauty. When it closed, she transferred to Milan Institute of Cosmetology.
She became a licensed aesthetician in August and began plans for her own business.
Currently, she focuses on waxing, tinting and eyelash extensions. Later this year, she expects to add facials.
“… When you really think about self determination of the individual, we see an example of that here,” Melendez said referring to Alluring Beauty, “of somebody just stepping out and not totally dependent on the tribe but saying ‘I can do this myself.’ To have the vision and tenacity to go out, step out and really be successful, so with that we really want to congratulate (Johni Bill) and look forward to good things to come.”
Stacey Montooth, a member of the Walker River Paiute Nation who works currently as Public Relations and Community Information Officer for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, will start her new role Sept. 1.