For years, Johni Bill has wanted to help people with an issue she encountered as a teen—skin health. Now, as the owner/operator of Alluring Beauty, Bill is not just providing aesthetician services, but she is a role model for other budding entrepreneurs.
“I’m still learning, but I am really excited,” Bill said. “Becoming a business owner is a big step for me.”
Her business, located at 1962 Pyramid Hwy, in a shared space with the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony’s Smoke Shop V, focuses on waxing, tinting and eyelash extensions and Bill plans to offer facials soon.
Since high school when Bill herself dealt with problem skin, she has explored the field of cosmetology and has had an interest in being a hair and makeup artist.
It was this ambition which led her to a Jan. 30 grand opening of her open salon.
“Johni had a vision and has stepped forward to be one of our small business pioneers,” Chairman Arlan D. Melendez told the crowd of about 20 which gathered for the celebration. “When you really think about self-determination, a term that we talk about a lot in Indian Country, Johni is showing us a real example.”
Bill said that she does feel a little pressure, but she is excited to show other people that operating a business is a worthy, attainable goal for anyone at the RSIC willing to work hard.
“There are a lot of laws and rules, and that is a good thing,” Bill said. “Creating a business plan and a safety manual took a lot.”
According to Steve Moran, the director of the RSIC Economic Development and Business Enterprises Department, one of the goals of the RSIC Tribal Council is to offer more help to tribal members who want to go into business for him/herself.
In addition to providing information about local resources which can help an entrepreneur secure funding, write a business plan, file for a business license, and the like, the Colony has partnered with other agencies to hold workshops to assist small business owners.
In the case of Alluring Beauty, the RSIC’s operation of a business incubator—retail space for multiple users-—allows the tribe to offer low start up costs to help Bill get her business started.
Chairman Melendez said that because Bill has the tenacity to be independent and not totally dependent on the tribe, she is fulfilling an important role for the entire community.
“We recognize that we need more small businesses,” Melendez said. “That will take leaders in our community and we congratulate and thank Johni for taking on that responsibility.”
Alluring Beauty is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m., until 7 p.m. Bill can be reached at 775/722-4880.