Our Spotlight series is all about highlighting fellow female entrepreneurs and Tina’s success as a jewelry designer and personal trainer puts her squarely in that category. After working as an equity trader for five years, Tina realized her lifestyle was stunting her creative growth. A beading class reignited her passion for working with her hands and in 1998 Tina Tang Studio was born. Today she has two jewelry lines, Tina Tang and Iron Strong, and a personal training business focused on empowering women. We sat down with her to talk about the creative process, common workout mistakes and the message behind her work.
The best thing about a bitter divorce is that life gets even better after! After my divorce in 2013, I added personal training to my eclectic toolbox of life skills. I wanted to learn how to do it right. I had always been diligent and disciplined about working out and when taking classes I would always ask instructors detailed questions about form. But with so many unanswered questions, I decided to enroll in a personal training course with Equinox to learn the skills for myself. In the process, the idea of training others was seeded.
Essentially, human beings enjoy helping others. There is a joy in teaching; seeing a face light up when someone realizes they have grasped a new skill.
One that occurs after weeks of small steps. The most memorable session I've had was with Lauren, who was working on her first pull up. Each week, I would have her do a new baby step and assign her homework. After 6 weeks, I felt she was ready. When Lauren walked into that 6th session, I said, "Today you are going to do a pull-up." She grabbed the bar and did it. That's a successful session.
FORM! Whether in class or on their own, I see often someone working out doing things they "saw" without being coached properly. In time, they will get injured. Always ask a professional how to do it properly before repeating it yourself.
Leg exercises - not just running on a treadmill. You need to strength train your legs as they are what carry you into old age. Squat, lunge, step up. Don't just run.
I usually start off with an early morning training session with one or two clients. Then I work out myself. I have a 4 day a week lifting program I follow. Each day is a major lift like deadlift or squat with barbells. After the big lift, I do a 3 exercise circuit with dumbbells. After my workout, my jewelry business life begins. I'm either working in the jewelry district or working in my studio on marketing.
I've been working with my hands since I was a kid. At age 8, I was designing and selling my own stickers. I made my own prom dress. Making jewelry was a natural progression of an artistic soul. Now I have two lines. Tina Tang Jewelry, feminine handmade jewelry. She believed she could, so she did is the message behind this one. And Iron Strong Jewelry is modern jewelry for badass women.
The inspiration for the pieces comes from my own desires and from customer requests. Artists and designers are their own best customers! I sketch - a lot. Trace the design onto wax. Then start carving the wax with a Xacto knife until the piece is a tiny little sculpture.
A charity piece, a slim barbell necklace of which 50%of the proceeds go to The Women's Strength Coalition.
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From the beaches of Peru to the mountains of India here are some of the places that have inspired us.