Journal your Dreams from Principal to Vamp Inventor: Real Role Models

At 37, Tanya John quit her job as an acclaimed, young, successful and transformative principal at a Bronx High School to pursue her dream of becoming an inventor and entrepreneur. She has invented the Vamp, a clutch that is perfect for going out when you don’t feel like shlepping your big purse- it holds all the essentials, looks chic, and is your go to dance partner.
Tanya also helped expand a mobile phone storage business called Pure Loyalty that allows inner city NY kids to store their electronic devices in a safe van, as they’re not allowed to bring them to school, and it’s been super successful.

This interview is part of a series of interviews with kicka** LivLunatics we call Real Role Models who are doing awesome and inspiring things with their life and manifesting their dreams.

Maria: Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?

Tanya: No.  Not at all! I was a mathematician.  Never saw myself as the “creative” type.

Maria: What was it like having a leadership role of principal at such a young age?

Tanya: Exciting and empowering.  I couldn’t wait to change the world starting with a group of high school teenagers entrusted to me for a great education.

Maria: Do you ever want to go back into education, or have you considered politics?

Tanya: I will never leave education! I am a teacher at heart.  I now teach aspiring principals in the Summer Principals Academy (SPA) at Columbia University.  The association of me and politics has been ringing in my ear a lot lately.  I consider EVERYTHING!!

Maria: How did you come up with Vamp?

Tanya: I’ve never really given up my party side, thank God.  Having fun keeps you young.  I wanted something that could carry just the girly essentials to get to and from the club.  Most importantly I would need to be “hands free” to be able to hold the drink and dance with my guy!

Maria: What is your vision for Vamp and how are you going to get there?

Tanya: Right now Vamp is designed solely for iPhone users.  I would like it to be designed for all smart phones and jazz it up with different styles.  Animal print and hot pink are a common request.  I see it as the new purse for all girls/women on the go.

Vamp is going to make it’s first appearance on the market when the iPhone 5 drops.  I plan to do tons of “Tanya style” marketing.  If sales are excellent I have been promised by quirky.com that a product line will follow.

Maria: What’s been the most challenging thing about quitting your job for your dream?

Tanya: People might hate me for saying this but it really hasn’t been that challenging.  I have a supportive husband, I saved tons of money and never for one second did I doubt the fact that I could do it! Not only do it but do it well with much success.  That’s what I was taught all my life and I taught my students the same thing.  Always go for your dreams.  It is those who believe they can attain it, will.

Maria: How did you have time to expand the phone van business?

Tanya: I partnered with Vernon Alcoser, the owner of Pure Loyalty.  He does most of the field work and I do more of the behind the scenes.  We have an excellent team and everyone does their part well.  We place the right people in the right places and that always helps save time an allow for all to run as smooth as possible.

Maria: What advice do you have for other young women interested in inventing products?

Tanya: If you don’t come from that world, which was a world that was totally foreign to me as an educator, you have to work on your thinking first.  Whatever fears you have, change them to empowering statements.  Repeat them daily until they become part of you where there are no doubts in your mind your can achieve your dream.

Then, take action.   Little by little the right people and information will come to you.  Tell everyone what you plan to do and you will find the universe will connect you with just the right people.  Try and be as clear as possible about what you want.  If you keep changing your mind the process of attaining your dream will be slower.  As they say, where your focus goes your energy flows!Believe you have already attained your dream.  Then you’ve already nailed it.  From there just walk the walk and talk the talk.

Maria: How important has journaling been to your success?

Tanya: Oh boy.  I am totally not a writer!!  At least that’s what I used to tell myself.  I’ve found when I have been able to write down what it is I’m trying to accomplish, I’ve gotten clearer and clearer.  Originally, it was an experiment to really see if I could create miracles in my life from my focus and thinking.  If I wrote down exactly what I wanted to create before I created it, I would have proof that you can create your own experiences.  I believed in this but I thought journaling would prove it through documentation.  It totally proved it!!  Like a picture perfect movie.  You couldn’t pay me to stop journaling now.

Maria: To what degree are you incorporating sustainability into Vamp?

Tanya: Vamp is designed to have less.  From it’s small style it promotes just having the essentials.  Learning to live with only essentials will open up so much space in your life for so many more great non tangible stuff.  I totally love that question and it is prompting further reflection for me.  Livluna has really broadened my awareness of sustainability.  I totally invite ideas from the Livluna community in helping me create a more sustainable product that is good for the soul of the earth and the souls of the earth.

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