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Shores sisters to be featured on ‘Big Idea’

Surf Diva founders Coco and Izzy Tihanyi of La Jolla Shores were invited to share their combined wisdom and wit on an upcoming episode of CNBC’s “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.”

The duo will be flying to New York to shoot the segment May 21.

A producer from the show contacted the sisters earlier this month, and following separate preliminary interviews, asked how soon they could come to the Big Apple.

The interview with host Deutsch will cover how they got started in business, some of the hurdles they overcame and advice for other entrepreneurs.

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Twins Izzy and Coco - Izzy is older by nine minutes - and younger sister Valerie Tihanyi-Gelencser opened Surf Diva in 1996 after making UCSD history as the first set of three siblings to graduate together.

Rent on their dinky upstairs office was $425, but their bank account balance was only $328.

Undaunted, the sisters Tihanyi went on to make some serious waves in the surf industry.

The first all-girl surf school in the world, Surf Diva has since expanded to include a shop at 2160 Avenida de la Playa and a surf school in Costa Rica. They employ more than 65 instructors, many of them women.

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Although Val Tihanyi-Gelencser now resides in France with her husband, the sisterly bond is core to Surf Diva’s mission.

“Everything we do - in terms of our shop or the lessons - is done out of a passion,” Izzy Tihanyi said. “We’re trying to change things for women in this industry and in the ocean.”

Surfing is a lifestyle, not just a business, and the Tihanyis want everyone, no matter their sex, age or athletic ability, to discover the magic that has inspired their success.

“A lot of surf schools guarantee you’ll stand up,” Izzy Tihanyi said. “We guarantee you’ll have fun.

The May 21 segment, expected to air the same night, is a chance for the Tihanyis to reflect on the impact their La Jolla-based surf school has had around the world.

“I think the best business moments have been seeing the smiles after a surf lesson,” Coco Tihanyi said.


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