Community Focus: Living the American dream through interesting career

Oklahoma girls and instructor Marti Rickman pose after class at Clips n Hips hair and dance studio (KOKH).

In a report released this month, the US Small Business administration researched how Latino entrepreneurs are affecting the United States. The latest information shows the Latino community has a large impact in the US economy.

Creativity can often breed success, and for one Oklahoma City small business owner, her passions lead to a creative career.

From a room full of kids, to a private lesson, or a haircut-- Marti Rickman says Clips n Hips hair and dance studio is how her two joys collide. have for nearly the last 10 years.

“I feel blessed to actually have my two passions. I have done hair for many years, and also dance,” says Rickman, Clips and Hips owner.

The Colombian immigrant first came to the US in the mid-80s and later became a US citizen. It was dance that brought her the opportunity to speak at her own ceremony.

“I love the fact that they asked me to come, and I was able to show that. It made me feel really good as an immigrant,” says Rickman.

As an immigrant and small business owner, Rickman is part of a small group.

According to the Small Business Administration, 1.1 million Latino immigrants own a small business. Of that only 5-point 4 percent are women.

While working in her studio, Rickman says she thinks about how connecting with the community through hair and dance make her feel.

“I just feel like it is my therapy. In life you have ups and downs, but to me dance is a therapy for all those problems,” says Rickman.

Rickman and her fellow small business owners seem to be at the start of a trend at a national level. The latest stats from the US Small Business Administration show that there are now more Latino and Hispanic small business owners under 35 years of age than the average of all owners in the same group.

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