Here’s a Naga entrepreneur with his own story of living the American dream. Atouzo Neihule, a native of Nerhema village under Kohima in Nagaland, is a true explorer, who dared to follow his passion and achieve something what most Northeasterners have not heard of till date. He is the co-owner of Los Angeles luxurious beauty salon named “Niehule”(meaning – To live a happy life, in his Angami-Naga dialect) and co-founder of Dreams by Niehule, a nail lacquer label.
His salon – launched in 2008, caters to America’s entertainment biggies and events; you name it – The Oscars, MTV Awards, The Grammy’s, Los Angeles Fashion Week, Television Shows such as the American Idol, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno among many others. . Atouzo is described as a multi-faceted and beyond-the-cutting-edge hairdresser. Currently the salon employee about 25 staffers and it is growing.
One of the two Niehule salons is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’ South Olive Street, just few blocks from Staples centre and the Nokia centre, which is also the annual venue for Emmy Awards, ESPY Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Latin Music Awards and the Grammy. “So it is very convenient for our clients. Most of our clients get their hair and make-up done here before speeding off in their limousines for the awards”, Atouzo Neihule told to Nagaland’s journalist Al Ngullie during an interview for the Morung Express, sometime back.
In the beginning, Atouzo began his foray in the beauty industry with a fashion magazine. However, the magazine business did not click out. Least bothered, he proceeded to launch a line of fashion wardrobe. There again he failed at it. “Maybe it wasn’t the right time, failure only made me stronger; even though the earlier ventures failed to work out, I did not give up; there are so many things in life that you have to keep trying until you find your niche” the expert hairstylist confided, recalling the depth of effort and ambition put into his earlier unsuccessful ventures.
His business partner and wife Yvonne Parrilla have been in the beauty industry for a good more than a decade. “Basically when we started, my wife and me, from day one, engaged in intensive market research; downtown LA has grown so much and poised to grow even more. With the fashion and beauty industry growing rapidly especially in downtown LA, all major entertainment awards are shifting here, just blocks away from my salon” disclosed Atouzo.
Atouzo Neihule passed out his college degree in Business Management in Texas in 1998, before moving to California thirteen years ago and got into the beauty industry. He trained and solidified his expertise at the renowned celebrity salon called Warren Tricomi in West Hollywood, California. Atouzo Neihule was honoured with the Young Naga Achievers Award 2012 during the annual Hornbill Festival by the Government of Nagaland.
According to their website, the salon is involved with various global relief campaigns in helping those less fortunate. Another interesting worth of note, the Neihule Salon’s interior was designed by Atouzo’s close friend and acclaimed interior designer Seyie Putsure, from Nagaland.
(Profile photo: Atouzo Neihule with his wife and business partner Yvonne Parrilla)