December 16, 2020

DADS INSPIRE DAUGHTERS TO DREAM BIG: Young entrepreneur and gymnast continues family legacy

DADS INSPIRE DAUGHTERS TO DREAM BIG: Young entrepreneur and gymnast continues family legacy DADS INSPIRE DAUGHTERS TO DREAM BIG: Young entrepreneur and gymnast continues family legacy DADS INSPIRE DAUGHTERS TO DREAM BIG: Young entrepreneur and gymnast continues family legacy DADS INSPIRE DAUGHTERS TO DREAM BIG: Young entrepreneur and gymnast continues family legacy
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By Dane Hess and Saia Langi

“Dad grad’s tenacity inspires family” reads the headline from the Salt Lake Tribune on May 11, 2007. Tatiana Cuellar would not arrive in the world for another year and a half, so she’s missing from the accompanying photo of her dad, David, and her sisters. However, the legacy of grit definitely did not pass her by.

Her abuela was a migrant farm worker in California who marched with Cesar Chavez. David remembers the marching, the backbreaking work and his mama’s words – “If you want to leave these fields for better work, get an education.” David did just that, going back to school in his 40s after his mechanic job was outsourced to Mexico.

He laughs as he remembers showing up to the entrance exam with a No. 2 pencil. “They just stared at me wondering what I was going to do with that.” Everything had moved to computers since he was last in school. “I was proud, though, because I got a B+ on my entrance exam after not being in school for almost 30 years.” He then went on to get 34 straight As, graduating from Salt Lake Community College with a perfect GPA. He commented proudly, “I wanted to set the bar high for my kids. The bar can never be too high.”

Tatiana definitely doesn’t think so. Flipping around high bars is something she regularly practices at Epic Gymnastics and Dance where she just made the gold level team. She hopes her dedication will take her to the junior Olympics and the Olympics one day. She knows these are lofty goals but fearlessly fighting for one’s dreams seems to be written into the family DNA. “Scary is not in my vocabulary,” she proclaims as she talks of the inherent dangers of balance beams, flipping and tumbling. 

 Dad smiles with pride as he considers all that Tatiana is doing to push herself to learn and grow.  “She’s getting her education in her own way,” he says. Formal learning within the school system has been confined to Zoom meetings and canvas courses since March. “It's really weird and I wish I was going to middle school,” she says about her disrupted 6th grade year. Tatiana is not letting that stand in the way of her learning, though. 

She began experimenting with making her own beauty products earlier this year in hopes of finding something more friendly to her skin. Her dad saw the potential and encouraged her to start selling it. A small-business owner himself, David mentored her through the ins and outs of starting a business, and on April 4, Tatiana launched TC Beauty, a vegan, cruelty-free and organic beauty products line. 

“I want people to have healthy skin and have what they buy not just be good for them, but for animals and the environment, too,” she said. 

Tatiana’s persistence in learning about health, beauty, communication, marketing, finance, and social media are getting put to the test with trying to keep her business going during the unpredictability of the pandemic. If this were a class in school, she is confident she would be pulling off some great grades. Talking of her studies, she states with conviction, “I have learned a lot about health, beauty and business.”

She has been excited that people are purchasing and promoting her product. The support is motivating her to take more risks and expand what she offers. When asked about her hopes for the business for the coming year, she replies, “I want my website to be up. I want to create more products and go viral.” Dad beams with delight as he says, “She’s not waiting around with her hand out looking for money from me. She’s getting after it herself.” 

She seems to wear confidence as if it were one of her company’s products. How else could you explain her open-armed embrace of all the challenges of being an Olympic hopeful, small business owner and 6th grade student all while dealing with the uncertainty created by the COVID pandemic? For Tatiana, it seems pretty clear. “I’m following my passion. I’ll keep going no matter how hard things get.” 

To explore more of what TC Beauty has to offer:

  • Instagram: @tcbeauty_1
  • Snapchat: @lipglossesbyt20
  • TikTok: @tcbeauty1