Tina Aldatz

Against All Odds: A Latina Success Story

From burn victim to a million-dollar fashionista, Aldatz walked the road to success.

Walking the road to success in high heels can be painful. For Tina Aldatz, whose feet were badly burned on hot coals when she was a child, it used to be excruciating.

Did that stop the fashionable Latina from wearing the latest stilettos while pounding the pavement in New York City? Absolutely not. Aldatz was on a mission to succeed.

She didn’t have to look far to find her million-dollar niche, either. It was right in her Jimmy Choos.

As the eldest daughter of a physically abusive Mexican drug dealer and a high-living mom who used the family’s food stamps to buy alcohol, Aldatz learned entrepreneurship – and resilience – early in life. She lived in the gang-dominated Crenshaw neighborhood of South-Central Los Angeles, and often had to sell candy to kids at school just to feed herself and her two younger siblings.

When her mother started to physically abuse her, she knew she had to escape. She moved into the home of a friend at age 15, before she was old enough to drive. To pay the rent, she quit school and walked every day to the local supermarket to box groceries for minimum wage.

Yes, she walked. Aldatz wasn’t one to wallow, and building her reputation was important to her. Her strong work ethic brought her up the ladder through various retail positions until she landed her dream job: selling at Victoria’s Secret.

As soon as she could, she took in each of her younger siblings and step-siblings, one by one, to provide them with a stable and loving home. But her innate resourcefulness shined brightest when she seized an opportunity to get a job transfer to New York.

That’s when her feet really started to hurt.

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