Daniel Vazquez scrolled through clothing websites online.
Nothing seemed quite what he wanted. And the prices? Why were they so expensive?
The quest for attractive, affordable clothing and accessories led the freshman to start his own business.
“My business is called TunTeen,” Vazquez said. “At first it was TunTeen Apparel, but I really don’t want to be limited to that in the future. The general purpose is to help everyone out by getting them clothes that are much more affordable than retail price and markups at stores.”
Vazquez started TunTeen this school year after winter break and came up with the idea randomly, while sitting at his desk.
“I just started looking for suppliers and I guess it kind of just grew from there.”
Currently, TunTeen’s merchandise focuses on apparel, but customers are able to find outerwear, beanies, bags, and blankets starting at $6. He’s working on several projects, but he is most excited for his spring collection.
Vazquez has put a lot of effort into the construction of his website, and has taken advantage of current situations. The self-quarantine caused by COVID-19 provided time he was able to invest in his business.
“I’ve been trying to add as many things on there while also keeping it simple,” Vazquez said referring to his site. “I don’t know when the official drop date will be…I will be seeing how the CDC and Alief responds to the coronavirus and I’ll adjust the business accordingly. As of now though, Tunteen isn’t open.”
As any path taken, bumps were to be found along the way. Money was the main concern.
“I started off with nothing but like maybe 60 bucks in my pocket. I think even less than that if I’m being totally real with you. It was difficult trying to get it off the ground at first.”
Starting out, Vazquez faced humiliation and received hurtful commentary regarding his goals and his capability of success.
“But really I think that as long as I keep up with what I’m doing, keep growing, [and] keep trying to innovate on the things I’m doing, eventually I will be.”
Despite the obstacles, Vasquez propelled forward.
“Put in more work than anyone else for a while and you’ll thrive. Whatever you do, just move forward. Use your past and let it propel you forward. The bad things that happen to you need to become opportunities. If nothing else, then use it for self improvement.”
From a different perspective, his family has had a great influence in the purpose behind the business.
“My parents are immigrants: I’ve seen some of the stuff they’ve been through,” he said. “I think that how I build my future will totally change theirs. They’ve given me everything they can and I’m grateful for it and I hope one day I can pay it all back.”
As for Vazquez’s goals, he wishes to someday be a billionaire and live his best life in Los Angeles.
“I know my parents would want that for me. I know I’d love to be able to take care of my family just like they have,” he said. “My dream is to not let down my family. I aspire to be great. I aspire to build a future for myself and the people around me where we all live peacefully.”
Vazquez has learned many things throughout this journey, and has made it a great experience. “Business is a big passion. I don’t care how cruel it is at times, the rewards are huge and the people make it worthwhile.”