For NAWBO member April Tinhorn, business is on the way up as a ‘lifestyle entrepreneur’ | NAWBO

This Native American Entrepreneur wants to work with tribes around the country and businesses who want to do business with them. “I am about disrupting perceptions of indigenous people through media,” she said.

She founded Tinhorn Consulting in 2010. “Our business is to share our clients’ stories,” she said. “We want to positively change perceptions internationally.”

Her tools include public relations, outreach and digital marketing. Her capabilities include web development, social media, collateral development, and training. She also builds and maintains relationships with tribal decision makers and influencers.

Tinhorn, a 44-year-old Hualapai/Navajo/Chinese woman, joined NAWBO through the Rise Up program, the organization’s initiative to bring more diversity into business entrepreneurship. Raised on the Hualapai Indian reservation near the Grand Canyon, she earned B.S. from Arizona State University and a M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, became an IBM software engineer and worked as an Indian Health Service webmaster before launching her consultancy.

NAWBO rise up seeks diverse women business owners, who want to grow their businesses. Those chosen for the program receive a NAWBO membership scholarship.

Tinhorn refers to herself as a “lifestyle entrepreneur” whose goal is to lead comfortably with the flexibility she needs to raise her seven-year-old daughter, Zoey and not miss any of her milestones. Using this as a criteria for her success, she regards the past year as her best year ever. She often takes Zoey to work with her so that she can see the opportunities available to her. “My daughter has met Native American congresswomen, Deb Haaland of New Mexico” she said. “I take her to functions like the Native Women’s Business Summit and show her what ‘s possible.”

“I am cognizant of my daughter, what she sees and how it becomes her normal,” she said. “She comes along, brings her own roller bag and is ready to go.”

A founding member of Native Women Entrepreneurs of Arizona, she reflects on the strides her mother made and what she has to do to carry it forward. “I think about my mom’s generation. They had it tough,” she said. Her mom went on to earn a masters degree in education. “My generation is better off because of our mothers and grandmothers. There are incredible things happening in Indian Country. We can be anything we want to be. We are living our dreams.”