Not Exactly a Household Name — Yet.
By P.K. Greenfield
This dynamic diva and entrepreneur has her claws in several gold pots. She is the owner of the very successful Tippie Toes Nail Salon in Miami, and has jettisoned her business smarts into a career in reality TV. Recently married, Dana is now embarking on several new projects. Millennium Magazine talked with the beauty behind the business façade.
MM: Talk about your childhood. Where did you grow up?
DC: I grew up between Miami, Florida and Auburn, Alabama. I participated in show choir, dance team, band, flagette, chess club, and was an editor for the school newspaper. I stayed very active in my youth. I attended a performing arts high school and received an A.A in business from Miami-Dade College. I opened my first business at 18 so I couldn’t focus on school. I always wanted to be a millionaire or at least make a million by the age of twenty-five and I did it.
MM: What are several lessons you have learned as a business owner?
DC: It is never personal; it’s always strictly business. Many small business owners take things very personal when it comes to staffing. Or at times we give too many discounts etc., forgetting that we are in business to make money! Learn to cut your losses. Smart business owners must understand when to pull out of some investments.
MM: What advice would you give young female entrepreneurs?
DC: Just because you are female, do not expect any special privileges, in fact, be prepared to work harder. It’s important to keep your emotions and feelings locked away when making executive decisions.
MM: Talk about your television career. What are your future goals in the entertainment field?
DC: Oxygen [a media company] reached out to do a show that would empower young people. I’m currently working on a few projects but because of contractual agreements I cannot speak about that at this point. I have fallen in love with broadcasting and I’m currently taking acting classes. I’m very excited to transition from “reality” into acting.
MM: Which do you prefer, being in front of the camera or in the Tippie Toes Salon?
DC: I love, love, love my business — it is my home. I try to create a positive and fun environment that makes me just as much money as being in front of a camera.
MM: Who is your hero?
DC: My mother was/is my hero, despite being a single parent she created an empire that she was able to leave to me and look where it’s at now.
MM: How is married life?
Dana is married to septuagenarian George Teichner, the father of Real Housewives of New York, Aviva Drescher.
DC: I love being married! Of course its hard work, so is everything else that’s worth having. Yes, George and I had a honeymoon in Hawaii and it was well needed. I love the way George has patience with me and my crazy ideas. More importantly George has showed me what unconditional love is really about. Many people leave this planet without knowing what that type of love is from someone that is not their biological family member.
George and I have a 90″ plasma screen in our beach condo which he likes to blast as if he’s at the cinema, and his hearing is better than mine. I still don’t understand why I can hear our TV from the parking lot (she laughs).
MM: Tell me about your charity work.
DC: I work with a group called Alwayz Lady Like, their mission statement is “Teaching girls of today to be ladies of tomorrow.” Each year at my salon I do a back to school giveaway providing 200-300 children with school supplies and book bags. I do a turkey giveaway every year and a gift giveaway for Christmas. I’m also a very proud sponsor of the Carol City Chief Cheerleaders here in Miami. I am a Carol City Alumni and I love my old cheerleading team. As far as the giveaways, my community supports my company every day, therefore I can support them every year.
MM: If you weren’t in the nail business and on TV, what career would you have chosen?
DC: Law. I will debate all day every day (one thing George and I have in common) and I have a passion for doing research. I always wanted to be an attorney. Now I make just as much money and I have more fun.
MM: Share with me a secret that you haven’t told anyone else in the media.
DC: In 2016 expect to see Tippie Toes in a few international hotels. Also, be prepared to see more of Dana Cody on other networks.
This concluded our talk but if you haven’t already heard about her record-breaking nail designs, some include customized jewelry molded onto your nail using 14-karat gold, sterling silver, rose gold or platinum with real precious gems — diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, etc.This process has been patented and trademarked. Popular with fashionistas and the glitterati,the process also comes with a Harry Winston price tag.
Dana Cody is wise, ambitious and as tough as nails.
Follow her on Instagram @tippietoediva