Rep. Nydia Velazquez was in the neighborhood this past weekend, helping to celebrate the grand opening of Johanny's Beauty School on Clinton Street. Johanny was featured in a small business report last year done by the community organization, GOLES. A Dominican immigrant, she opened a salon on Avenue C, but was forced to move below Houston due to high rent.
The rent is also high in her new location, 23 Clinton Street, but the foot traffic is better. The beauty school will offer job training for people interested in being a cosmetologist, hairstylist or nail technician.
Velazquez, chair of the House small business committee, noted that more Latino women are starting family businesses than any other demographic group. As the economy recovers, she said, the success of people like Johannie will be critical.
Damaris Reyes, executive director of GOLES, praised Johannie for following her dream and for helping others pursue their dreams. In the fight against gentrification, she said, Johanny's is a prime example of the type of business that deserves the community's enthusiastic support. Reyes said she began taking her daughter for haircuts at Johanny's when she was a little girl.