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March 2017 People

March, 2017 Issue


Beauty Brought to Your Door

Kelli Reno is the owner of a beauty salon in Novato. The salon offers the usual upscale services, styling women’s hair and makeup for weddings, proms, or just for fun, with one distinct difference. Reno runs her business from a 30-foot-wide RV—dubbed Elevations Mobile Salon—specifically remodeled for the purpose.

“Shortly after becoming a single mom I realized there is a huge untapped market for women,” explains Reno. “Whether we stay at home with kids, work from home, or work away from the home, we’re constantly struggling to find enough time in the day to get everything done. So I created a business model that is all about convenience—I come to you. It saves my clients time.”

So far, says Reno, the response to her business has been fantastic. “I also had a good foundation of clients when I launched this business because I had worked in a salon for just over five years.”

Reno is listed as a cancer resource for Kaiser in San Rafael, and her business provides a safe haven for women who are going through chemo. It’s a service Reno regards with pride. “Providing a safe place and a more intimate experience to women, while they’re feeling so vulnerable is important to me,” she says.

The most rewarding part of her work, says Reno, is making her clients feel beautiful. “Seeing a woman look at herself in the mirror and smile because of my work is everything. That’s what I strive for every day.”

In the future, Reno hopes to “continue making brides feel absolutely stunning, and creating looks for women that give them confidence when they look in the mirror.” In the mean time, Reno continues to take classes to improve her skills. Says Reno, “In this business, the learning is never done.”


The Baldwins and Baking Life

Do you ever think about bakers’ hours? To have fresh-baked treats ready for opening time, bakers need to have ovens hot and racks full of dough going in long before the first commuters of the morning rush hour stop by for a fresh cup of coffee and a danish to go. For Bruce and Cybil Baldwin, owners of the new Bright Bear Bakery + at 2620 Lakeville Highway in Petaluma, the red-eye hours are just part of the morning ritual.

“The ovens turn on and we get in at around 2 a.m.,” says Bruce, who bakes on the weekends, but spends the weekdays at his other job: handling East Coast accounts for IBM in Novato. “We typically stop baking at 10 or 11, then close up at 2 p.m.”

“It’s especially heartbreaking to see people drive in from far away, like Napa or Marin counties, at 2:30 only to find out we’re closed for the rest of the day,” adds Cybil, who left her job at IBM to manage the bakery full-time. “But we always encourage them to come back!”

The menu at the bakery is fluid, based on what the bakers want to sell, but Bruce and Cybil love incorporating ingredients that evoke brightness, freshness and light into their goods that also pair well with their Intelligentsia coffee (which is collected via direct trade with bean growers). “We want to use fresh, beautiful ingredients in all our treats, and some of our favorites include lemon and rosemary for our savories. We are also very receptive of feedback, from new recipe ideas to ways to improve what we already produce,” says Cybil.

“Most important, we make everything from scratch,” says Bruce. “From the syrups for the coffee to the baked goods, we’re combining our love for baking with the dream of owning our own bakery. We received a lot of help from the Small Business Development Council, and we’d like to share our dream with people that enjoy fresh baked goods and excellent breakfast and lunch items."



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