Black-owned salon in Reno discusses entrepreneurship and equality
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Less than 15 states have passed The Crown Act, which stands for creating a respectful and open world for natural hair. It was created in 2019 to eliminate discrimination based on hair texture and protective styles such as braids, dreadlocks, twists and other styles.
California was the first state to pass the law. Governor Steve Sisolak signed it into law for Nevada in June 2021.
Black women are one and a half times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hair. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re featuring a local hair salon, discussing the power of entrepreneurship, equality and the undeniable joy of making women feel even more beautiful.
Gliding through the scalp of a woman’s crown, this is what brings Alicia Wright joy, “My whole objective with being a cosmetologist is to make people feel good,” she tells us. She’s the co-owner of Audacity Beauty Parlor off Wells Avenue in Reno, at 260 Wonder Street, Suite 101. Her sister, Brianna Epps, also an owner, handles nail services. Wright says they both have the *audacity* to dream, as she explains the title of their establishment, “It means to be bold, to have a bold experience and that’s exactly what I want every one of my clients to have every time they step through the door and step out of this door.”
Its been a seven year journey for the North Carolina natives. This space has been open for almost three years. “To me, that’s what Black hair is, its everlasting life. We created the evolutions of perms and different ways that your hair could be styled. We created in the 1950′s, frontal services, we’ve been all over the place and earlier than that,” Wright states.
Black hair, over the last few years has become a national conversation as she adds, “At one point, I thought it would never even be televised, where you can see a woman with natural hair or twisties or locks of things that accentuate who we are as Black people.”
Lawmakers across the country are pushing The Crown Act, making it illegal for workplaces to discriminate against natural hairstyles for men and women. A major step towards fair and equal treatment as Wright says proudly, “With a crown, its unbreakable. You can mold a crown anyway you want to and it still won’t break. You can drop it from the highest tower in the world and it still won’t break, you can’t beat that.”
Reno and Sparks don’t have a plethora of Black-owned businesses. The Black population at last check is less than 5 percent in Washoe County. The duo hopes to not only continue to thrive in this field, but inspire future entrepreneurs, “If you’ve been braiding hair since you were a kid and you’re like hey, I really have a knack for this, I really like to see people beautiful with braids...then make sure that’s what you’re doing and stick to it,” Wright says.
It’s another industry that’s been hit hard by the coronavirus, but when it comes to your passion, “Some things stop you in your tracks but at that moment you can get up and keep going, sis get up and keep going,” Wright says, and she is certain that patience and consistency, will always see you through.
For hair services with Alicia Wright, call 775-420-5009. For nail services with Brianna Epps, call 775-380-8816.
Here is more information about The Crown Act: https://www.thecrownact.com/
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