LGBTQ+ Small Business Owner Spotlight: Tyra Dizon-Clark’s Niche Passion Leads Her to a Bright Future
3 min read
August 30, 2022 • Block Advisors
At Block Advisors, we’re built for small businesses. All small businesses. We’re proud to highlight the LGBTQ+ small business community by providing $5,000 microgrants to 10 LGBTQ+ small business owners from June 2022 to March 2023.
Tyra Dizon-Clark loves how candles spark memories and emotions. Even when life is hard, the warm glow of a candle brings her a feeling of safety and stability. Tyra’s first candle-making experience was a gift from her wife, Darline, after moving to Dallas in 2019. From the start, she loved the therapeutic process of pouring candles, and her own spirit, into creations for loved ones.
The arrival of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 paired with a move to St. Louis hastened Tyra’s plans to take her hobby to the next level. In April 2020, Virago Candle Studio officially launched, creating “home fragrance products with the intention of giving you space to show yourself compassion and care.” Tyra is the third of 10 LGBTQ+ small business owners receiving microgrants from Block Advisors, a part of H&R Block.
Looking back, Tyra wishes that she could reassure her younger self. “If I could go back 10 years and show the scared, closeted version of me what I’m doing now, I think she would not even believe me. But she would have a little more peace of mind for the future.”
Tyra is grateful for the opportunities she has had to build a community beyond the world of entrepreneurship because of her company. “To be a small business owner and a member of the LGBTQ+ community means visibility for my community. I’ve been able to meet and connect and create friendships with so many other queer small business owners.”
The thought of expanding her business and the community surrounding it excites Tyra. “I want to open a storefront, host more workshops, meet more of my customers, and continue to love what I do each day!” Since starting Virago Candle Studio, she has been energized and inspired by her growing fan base to overcome challenges. She shared, “Starting my business at the beginning of the pandemic has come with so many struggles. I’m not able to do what I do each day without the support of my customers.”
Tyra offers this advice for others trying to find a path to supporting themselves with their passion. “Find your niche. Find your people. Do whatever makes you happy.” For this small business owner, the key to success is authenticity and intentionality. “At the end of the day, your business should represent who you are. Make sure it’s something you love doing.”
Block Advisors a part of H&R Block has small-business-certified tax pros available in-person and virtually to assist with your small business tax, payroll, and bookkeeping needs, helping you ensure your personal passion turned small business has the best chance of success.