We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanya Ilustrisimo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tanya, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision I have had to make….. When we started our business in 2009-2010 we were still coming out of a recession and I was still working as a Spa Consultant and luckily getting hired for projects to make ends meet but it was not consistent enough. I would make a lot of money for a few months then nothing for a few months which was really stressful, I really wasn’t thinking starting our own brand was going to financially sustain both myself and my husband on a full time basis. When our business starting to make a profit and we were able to pay ourselves a little bit, I was offered a few different full time Spa Director jobs with great companies and great pay. So my decision had to be, do the obvious and responsible thing and take a job with steady income, insurance benefits, bonus plans etc. or take a leap of faith and work towards growing our business with my husband (which was/is so much fun) and pray that we can make ends meet. Well we know what decision I made and it is no easy task to be small business owners but, it is the most rewarding.. I count my blessings everyday! I knew I could always fall back into hospitality but I would have been miserable!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I don’t really know how to answer what set’s me apart from others because I know as makers and micro business owners we are all trying to do our best and put out products that we love and hope other people will love also. I am most proud and excited about a new product launch Luxxe Vintage Candles. Re-purposed + Reusable vintage glassware candles! I am in love with vintage and love the thought of taking something old and re- purposing it and then have someone else reuse it. I have always been a hard worker and have always loved living a creative lifestyle so that definitely helped with where I am today but it was also my time in the Spa + Hospitality industry that taught me about business and financials which is key to running a profitable business.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A fun weekend itinerary: Eat + Drink – Le Papagayo in Leucadia, Casa Reyes in Old Town SD, False Idol for tiki drinks Stay- Pendry San Diego Visit + Hang Out – La Jolla, Carlsbad and Old Town San Diego

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to do a shoutout to my always amazing husband Topper House! (Ugly crying now) Being in business is hard enough if you have a business partner let alone your spouse! He is unconditionally loving, patient, calming and supportive of all my madness. Without my best friend by my side, life would not be filled laughter and fun!

Website: www.modernluxxe.com
Instagram: @modern_luxxe @luxxe_vintagecandles