Rhonda Fisher: From Behind The Salon Chair To Innovative EntrepreneurECDI Spotlight — By Kevin Brennan on January 23, 2014 at 8:00 am
When Rhonda Fisher opened Girl & Guy Republic, a vibrant hair salon located in the heart of The Short North, she immediately felt at home. The downtown district has proven to accept any and all new brand of businesses whole-heartedly, and Girl & Guy Republic with its unique concept, fit right in.
Acting as a hair salon by day, specializing in hair services for all hair textures, and providing waxing and make-up services, Girl & Guy Republic acts as a one-stop shop for all things glamour-related. However, the change in scenery throughout select nights is what makes this beauty salon truly unique.
“I wanted to create a space, not only for hair, but also for the flourishing artistic community in The Short North,” Fisher, a hair stylist with two decades of experience, said. “I love the diversity and the open-mindedness of the area, always accepting of new ideas.”
Inspired by her husband Carlos, a local musician, Fisher felt compelled to blend their passions, cosmetology and artistry, together. This led to the inception of Girl & Guy Republic’s “Art of Republic”, a monthly showcase featuring an array of local artists. Whether you’re a musician, visual artist virtuoso, photographer, or a spoken word lecturer, “Art of Republic” acts as an innovative talent showcase for Columbus’ most lively, yet peculiar artisans.
“Art of Republic” continues to grow in popularity within The Short North District. It’s created a lasting buzz that Fisher is proud of.
Not all was painless for Fisher throughout Girl & Guy Republic’s establishment. She had to overcome many obstacles that curtailed her road to success. Fisher sought more funding for store improvements, nicer retail products and much needed marketing.
“As a small business owner, you need to keep an eye on every little detail to make sure your business is both profitable and sustainable,” Fisher said. “Every single dime that I earned had to be put back into my business. Finding appropriate funding sources is a big issue and can mark the end of your success if you are not budgeting appropriately.”
This is what brought Fisher to ECDI in the fall of 2013. After being denied a loan from typical banking services, Fisher was referred to ECDI’s loan services from a friend and fellow small business owner. All it took was a phone call to connect her to crucial financial opportunities for her business. Working with ECDI’s diligent lending staff, Fisher received more funding for her business that wouldn’t have been obtained otherwise.
Now, with the loan secured through ECDI, Fisher continues to build on her business concept. With more financial security, she recently hired a personal assistant to aid in the day-to-day duties of her business, allowing her to focus and continue to recreate her vision. When asked what advice Fisher would give to a budding entrepreneur like herself, Fisher’s message is clear.
“The joy for me didn’t come from success,” Fisher said. “It came from the lessons learned and experiences shared with others along the journey. Don’t allow yourself to be defeated. Keep trying…ask questions…find answers, and never give up on your dream.”
Girl & Guy Republic is located at 32 W. 5th Ave. in The Short North District. Their hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 am – 7 pm, and Saturday, 8 am – 6 pm. Give them a call today at (614) 299-9929. You can find them online at girlandguyrepublic.com.