Twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi, owners of La Jolla-based Surf Diva, were recently featured on Yahoo! Shine – a women’s lifestyle blog on Yahoo.com They were part of an article in the web-series, “Secret to Your Success.” The surf school and retail shop met a niche market by starting out for women only, though the copmany now offers classes for both men and women.
The Tihanyi’s were interviewed for information on how the business got started, how they operate (joking Izzy is the “Surf” by running the school and Coco is the “Diva” by designing the clothes), and how they attained success.
Newsweek Magazine has called the school “The Starbucks of Surf Schools.” In 2005, the Tihanyi’s were named two of Inc. Magazine’s “26 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs” – alongside Craigslist.com founder Craig Newmark and Dell Computers founder Michael Dell and others — for “kicking sand in the face of conventional wisdom.”
Of their business model, Izzy Tihanyi says in the video accompanying the article, “I realized that women want to be taught in a different way. We have a lesson plan that’s geared toward women where they understand everything before we go out in the water. ... We take the pressure off.” Coco Tihanyi adds, “For me, it was really important to design clothing that would fit different body types and know that you don’t have to be 14 years old and a size two. You can be 45 (years old) and a size 14 and still have a wetsuit you can buy and wear and feel good.”