Tina Tang, CEO of Iron Strong Fitness & Inspirational Jewelry
Tina Tang is a personal trainer and jewelry designer dedicated to empowering one woman at a time through her work. As a personal trainer, Tina works alongside each one of her female clients in their journey to growing physically and mentally stronger. Tina’s fitness-based inspirational jewelry line, Iron Strong Jewelry, encourages women to wear their accomplishments as a badge of honor and take pride in their hard work.
Name: Tina Tang
Company: Iron Strong Jewelry
Job Title: Designer, CEO
Currently based in: Jersey City, NJ
Originally from: Maryland
Superpower: Reading people
A woman in history you admire & why:
Scarlett O’Hara. Some might call her selfish and stubborn; I call her a determined, persistent and practical heroine.
Quote/piece of advice that you live by:
She believed she could, so she did.
What inspired you to start your current venture?
In 2008 – around the same time as my divorce – the financial crisis slammed my brick-and-mortar retail jewelry stores. In search of additional career options, I pursued another one of my passions: fitness. I became a personal trainer and chose to work with women as clients. I delight in seeing their surprise and pride when they are able to accomplish feats they had never imagined were possible. While continuing to work with my personal training clients, I returned to making jewelry. I now make inspirational jewelry with designs that celebrate female milestones.
What are you and your company doing to make history today?
My personal training and fitness-based, inspirational jewelry designs enable me to empower one woman at a time. As a personal trainer, I work with each one of my female clients to help her grow physically and mentally stronger, and through my jewelry, I encourage her to wear that accomplishment as a badge of honor.
What is one thing you and your company have accomplished that you are most proud of?
I won second place in a business pitch contest last year for Iron Strong Jewelry, and I put on my own event, The Fit Festival, in New York City for the past two years in a row.
What is one project you are currently working on that you are most excited about?
I am working on launching a “Best of Me” Contest – a two-month program of four workouts per week plus a diet that follows our healthy eating guide. Participants would be accountable to one another in a weekly Facebook group check-in. At the end of the eight-week program, we would award two contest winners: the participant with the most enthusiasm and dedication, and the participant with the greatest positive transformation. Both winners would receive free Iron Strong Jewelry, clothing and a photo shoot!
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
In fitness, the challenge is cutting through the B.S. on social media about weight loss. I believe that concepts like “beach body workouts” are often more effective in demolishing women’s confidence about their bodies than they are at getting lasting results. In jewelry, consumers have access to many mass-produced options, so it can be challenging to find buyers who have an appreciation for handcrafted art.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced at this job?
My greatest challenge was creating a company out of thin air. When my spirit goes through the usual entrepreneurial low points, I try to always remember to remind myself that I am making a living out of something that I built out of nothing. Without me, IronStrongJewelry.com and TinaTang.com would not exist. I started my personal training pursuit before I had a single client. Ultimately, my business is made of everything I put into it. As an entrepreneur, the greatest recurring challenge is talking myself out of feeling discouraged. Self-doubt is more powerful than any outside criticism I have faced.
What were you doing before your current role?
After graduating college, I worked as an equities trader at Goldman Sachs. After five years, I knew that I wanted to be my own boss and run my own business. I quit my job to start my jewelry business that I’ve kept going for the past 18 years.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders & change-makers?
Even when you think you’re being a jerk and aggressive, you’re not. If you believe, GO!
Fun fact about yourself:
I eat cookies every day. I call myself a Fitness Fatty. I work as a trainer, but I still believe in moderation and cookies!
Contact Tina Tang: firstname.lastname@example.org