Native Max Magazine - March 2018

Page 30

The Insider Founder of Tinhorn Consulting When she found herself on the metaphorical cliff, April Tinhorn (Hualapai/Navajo) leaped from leaving her job and starting her own business. Not only does Tinhorn offer valuable advice to Native women, she mentors and makes connections whenever she’s asked. Where did you grow up? ​I grew up in Peach Springs, AZ, home of the majestic Hualapai Grand Canyon West and Colorado River. If you haven’t experienced our side of the canyon with our newlyopened zipline, skywalk, and river rafting, you are in for a treat. What is your business? When did you decide to start your own business? ​I’m the founder of Tinhorn Consulting, LLC. Tinhorn Consulting was born at a significant crossroads in my life. Professionally, I had achieved my dream as I was an executive with a corner office, an assistant, was doing meaningful work in Indian Country, but something was missing. In my mind’s eye, I flashed forward and saw myself in my 60’s, comfortable, but still living for the weekends. I​ stood on the edge of the metaphorical cliff and knew it was now or never. Was I going to start a business? No one’s happiness depended on me. And so I jumped! Tinhorn Consulting was incorporated on September 10, 2010, and I’ve never looked back. What’s the hardest part of having your own business? ​The best and, often, the hardest part of having my own business is the freedom! I love the freedom to choose the projects we work on and the clients that we partner with. When and where I work has been a game changer as I have not missed a significant milestone in my six-year-old daughter’s life. Why is it essential for Native women to help each other and work together? Why do you think that is? I believe in abundance, not scarcity. When I see another Native woman rise, I cheer her

Loretta Guzman Founder of Bison Coffeehouse Loretta Guzman, from the Shoshone Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall Idaho, is the founder and owner of the well-known Bison Coffeehouse located in Portland, Oregon. But what inspired her to open up Bison Coffeehouse was a tough journey. In 2008, Guzman was diagnosed with stage 4B cancer and with the help of her family and tribe, she underwent aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment. According to Guzman,


on because her success does not take away from you or me. It was meant for her. There is so much goodness in the world that there is plenty for us all. There aren’t that many statistics about ​ Native Americans, much less Native American women. According to, two-thirds of all Native women were the family breadwinners in 2017. Twothirds! For every dollar earned by a white, non-Hispanic male, Native women only earn fifty-seven cents.​Women reinvest 90% of our incomes into our families and communities according to https://dreambuilder. org/. When we help our Native sisters, we ultimately are supporting our communities. In your opinion, what are some ways Native women can help each other? ​Power of the purse! Make deliberate buying decisions​. Buy your burritos, jewelry, and marketing services directly from Native women entrepreneurs. How do you personally or professionally help other Native women? I vividly remember the excitement and fear of starting a new business, so I share lessons learned and resources through my company’s blog, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts. I help other Native women through my training, workshops, volunteerism, referrals, and mentoring efforts. If someone reaches out, I try to help or at least connect them with someone who can. What are your words of encouragement for any Native women who are interested in maybe starting their own business? Seek mentorship and support. Look for resources and peers in the same field. Mentors are willing to help and funders interested in your ideas. Find them. Ask the person who is where you want to be to become your mentor. Respect yourself and others. You are your brand, especially in Indian Country where we are all connected, be intentional in everything you do. Lastly, give back. Just as you needed help, there are others like you needing advice and support.


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April Tinhorn

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