Society has long held onto rigid and narrow views of achievement, mainly related to wealth accumulation, prestige, and societal status – factors that have been particularly limiting toward women. However, the modern era has brought in the winds of change, with the definition of success branching off to unconventional paths driven by women shattering glass ceilings and rewriting the rules of the game.
These new measures of success are not merely financial. They also entail stories of resilience and the audacity to defy the odds. One such story belongs to Italia Tornabene, known to her online fanbase as Brianna Dymond—a woman who has not only questioned societal norms but proved that women can shine in diverse roles, traditional or not.
From a teenager grappling with a number of adversities to a self-made millionaire, Tornabene’s journey has been a masterclass of courage and grit. As a teen single mother, she overcame one stumbling block after another, facing homelessness and poverty at one point.
These obstacles would have failed many, but they only made Tornabene stronger, motivated to leverage her experiences and inspire countless others along the way.
In her memoir “From Suits to Stilettos,” she reveals these experiences, offering a raw and unfiltered look into her life. Still, she points out that the book isn’t just about her evolution as a businesswoman. It’s also about her growth as a person and a mother, the lessons she learned, and the wisdom she gained.
“Just because there is a societal stigma about something, it doesn’t mean it’s the only perspective,” she says.
She adds that she approached each line of work earnestly and honestly from day one. Instead of squandering her new riches foolishly, as she says, she invested the money wisely, all intending to build a secure and worry-free future for her son.
“I may have taken the road less traveled many times, but each time, I learned my true strength and what I was capable of,” she shares. “I want people to know that you can shape your own reality no matter what. Sometimes, the unconventional route is the one we’re meant to embark on.”
While writing “From Suits to Stilettos,” Tornabene reveals that, beyond sharing her stories and life lessons, she wanted to inspire a broader societal change – or at least ignite a spark that can lead to a shift.
As someone unafraid to challenge the (un)written rules and norms imposed on women, a part of her mission with the book was to underscore that professions like hers, irrespective of society’s perception, can be done with dignity, honesty, and strategy.
Reflecting on the writing process, Tornabene says it was like climbing a mountain – each chapter a steep climb, each memory a precipice. As she revisited some of the darkest corners of her past, she relived those intense moments – some pleasant, others painful. She states this process was both challenging and cathartic.
“I just kept going, one step at a time. In the end, as I reached the summit and looked back at the journey, I knew it was all worth it,” she says.
The ink has barely dried on “From Suits to Stilettos,” and yet, Tornabene has already started the next chapter of her life. Fresh off her recent move to New York City, she is gearing up for new adventures, opportunities – and a possible sequel.
“From Suits to Stilettos was just the beginning,” she says, “I have many more stories to tell and lessons to share.”
No doubt, many more stereotypes to shatter as well. With her track record, one can’t help but anticipate the tales that lie ahead. As Tornabene continues to reshape our narratives on success, she leaves behind a trail of inspiration, reminding us that no one has to settle. With the right attitude, determination, and positive mindset, the possibilities are endless.