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BlackMen Digital Profile: Tahiry - Building A Movement

Monday 13th, October 2014



Building A Movement 




By: Kathy Iandoli




Very few people can boast their personal brand by just using their first name, but when you hear the name “Tahiry,” you know exactly who it is. The model, businesswoman, and star of VH1 reality show “Love & Hip-Hop” has been pounding the pavement for years, building a brand that few in the current landscape of entertainment can touch. Tahiry, born Tahiry Jose, got her start on YouTube and print work, leading her to create her own calendar. Bigger opportunities followed, as Tahiry’s big debut was gracing the cover of King magazine. "That was kind of like the beginning," Tahiry says, as her first cover opened doors to a whole new world. "The next step was clearly TV."


Of course, many know her as the ex-girlfriend of rapper Joe Budden, an obvious focal point in the "Love & Hip-Hop" series. The world met me being Joe Budden's girlfriend, so it wasn't something that upset me at all," she recalls. However, she's since eclipsed that title, yet she keeps the experience of dating the de-facto leader of Hip-Hop collective Slaughterhouse in her back pocket. Dating a guy like Budden taught Tahiry how to be a stronger budding celebrity. 



“The industry teaches you very fast that if you don’t have a thick skin, you’d better grow one real quick,” she says. “And then I come from the School of Joe Budden and his not-giving-a-fuckness. When we started early in the blogs, people were attacking us and he’d say to me, ‘You shouldn’t care. Those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind don’t matter.’”




Even someone as gorgeous as the Dominican-born beauty is not immune to the hate. “People support anti-bullying, but every day I get bullied on social media,” she says. “People say I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m too dark. My hair is too coarse. I deal with a lot.” With the fame comes the shade Tahiry points out. “Nobody seems to care because you’re a celebrity. Everybody thinks you’re an alien,” Tahiry says. “No, I’m a human. I’ve learned not to care, though, because the industry is fickle and one day they love you, but the next day, they hate you.”




So much of Tahiry’s career has been the product of proper planning, as her personal empire is her first priority. “I remember having conversations with some of my friends who have been in the industry for a very long time and them saying it’s very important for me to stay Tahiry and let the world know who I am,” she says. “From then on I would sit back and always strategize on what would be next for Tahiry, what I envisioned myself doing. I also took my time with every cover. I paced myself, you don’t want to oversaturate the market. To me it was common sense. It was important for me to brand myself.”




Tahiry keeps a vision board to keep inspiring her, and she’s no stranger to inspiring others as people keep asking when she’s going to write a book. “I just sit here every day and try to make a fuckin’ dollar out of fifteen cents,” she laughs.




So what’s next for Tahiry? While hosting nightlife events has evolved into correspondent work — and she’s currently shooting her 2015 calendar — that’s not all that’s happening for the model-turned-mogul. “I just finished speaking with ‘Love & Hip-Hop,’ so it seems like a new season is coming soon,” she says, in addition to continuing her red carpet correspondence and possibly shooting films in London and the Dominican Republic. Tahiry is also working on a jewelry line, while continuing to run Harlem nightclub Suite 135, which she calls her biggest “headache” and “baby.”




From being a bartender to owning the club, Tahiry is making moves. And she’s just getting started. “There’s brains to the booty,” she jokes. “I just knew that I was here to stay, so I had to make things happen. I’m trying to leave a piece of me everywhere.”