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Tirsa Marie Vazquez is one of the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
Tirsa Marie Vazquez is one of the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty honorees. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty Honoree: Tirsa Marie Vazquez

Tirsa Marie Vazquez, CEO & Founder of VX Apparel and COO of Milan Candles, will be honored during the 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty on Aug. 26.

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The third annual AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event serves to highlight and showcase some of the most diverse and impactful young professionals across the Philadelphia region. 

At this year's event, taking place Friday, Aug. 26, Tirsa Marie Vazquez will be one of the 40 honorees. 

Biography

Tirsa Marie Vazquez is a business owner & entrepreneur, and a military veteran with nine years experience within HR & Operations in corporations, such as Comcast and Day & Zimmerman. 

In her roles as CEO & Founder of VX Apparel and COO of Milan Candles, Vazquez has demonstrated a deep understanding of how to develop a startup's infrastructure to prepare for growth, and operating successful and profitable businesses, as well as acquiring strategic partnerships. 

Her journey into entrepreneurship has been aided by her desire to inspire, support and motivate people into reaching their fullest potential. 

As part of the lead-up to the AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event, AL DÍA asked each of the honorees a set of identical questions and collected their responses. 

Here are Tirsa Marie Vazquez's responses: 

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your professional career?

The biggest challenge in my career would have been when I transitioned to a full time entrepreneur. I started my business with very little knowledge about business and entrepreneurship, but I had a dream and I was determined to be successful. So over the years I worked my 9-5 and worked in my business. I knew how to hustle, but building something was new to me. During my transition, I ended up having so much free time that I was unprepared for. What I did during this time was revisited my business plan to see that the goals I had for myself I have accomplished. I had to dream and plan bigger so I adjusted my business plan and educated myself on what it truly means and requires to grow my business, maintain the growth of my business, and balancing my time between working in the business vs on the business.

What are steps that can be taken to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your industry? Why is it important to do so?

Growing up in North Philadelphia with parents who had very little education, but did their very best to provide did not possess me with the opportunity to truly see what the world had to offer because we constantly were in a survival state of mind and that was all we truly knew growing up in poverty. It was not until I went into the military that an entire new world truly opened up to me because the military represents diversity, equity, and inclusion very well. It is very important to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within my industry because representation matters and individuals have the right to feel welcomed and valued while being introduced to new opportunities that can positively impact their life forever. Being an entrepreneur it would be particularly hard to point out specifics that can be done to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion but I believe my industry does provide unique opportunities for entrepreneurs of different cultures, age, gender, religion, etc. to partner and collaborate who's values align and share a common goal and I would love to continue to see the amazing growth and partnerships throughout the years between us.

What does being a leader mean to you?

Being a leader to me means to set my team up for success, acquiring extreme ownership, leading by example, and maintaining my integrity. I believe it is my responsibility to build my team's confidence by providing them what they need to succeed, being ultimately responsible for the success or failure of my team, showing them I am there to support them, all while building and maintaining their trust. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In the next five years I see myself still maintaining my entrepreneur role as I continue to make a difference not only in my community but throughout the world. 

Within the next 5 years I will still be running my clothing brand, VXXXV Apparel, where I design clothing specifically for my fellow entrepreneurs and our lifestyle to maintain comfort and quality. My second business Dream Hustle Demand will be focusing on providing business scholarships and funding for start up business owners. My third business, Four Haven Home Care will be making a difference within my community. Last but not least, Milan Candles, where I currently am the COO, will be halfway through our 10-year goal to help end sex trafficking domestically and internationally. 

The 2022 AL DÍA 40 Under Forty event will take place Friday, Aug. 26 at The Vie at Cescaphe. To learn more or purchase your ticket, click here

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