In a world captivated by success stories, the narrative of hardship often leaves the deepest impression. Humanity’s most inspiring tales are often weaved in the web of struggle, where life’s cruel ironies birth the most dazzling stories of triumph.
Among these often-unheard stories, those emerging from the trials and successes of one of society’s most vulnerable groups, the homeless, resonate with a touching reality, revealing a journey fraught with setbacks yet ripe with resilience.
Italia Tornabene has lived through one such narrative. A single mother grappling with unsustainable odd jobs and homelessness, Tornabene, know better known as Brianna Dymond, was caught in the crosshairs of survival and ambition. The former necessitated immediate action—a dream that stirred her soul.
“I’ve been to Hell and back in my youth. I was a teen mother, had no support from my family, was homeless for a while, and had to go through a grueling custody battle over my son for years,” Brianna shares. “There are no words to describe just how hard it was, but I never let anyone or anything bring me down because my son needed me, and there was never anything I wouldn’t do for him.”
In the seemingly endless duration of the custodial battle, Brianna donned one professional hat to another, from working at a car dealership to working for the government. This position offered stability but left little room for the entrepreneurial spirit within her.
Brianna launched two paralegal businesses working in the criminal expungements niche while still in government employment. These enterprises initially showed promise but eventually succumbed to the disruptive force of technology. When the legal industry started to migrate online, her businesses could not compete, forcing her to shift again.
“It was impossible to compete. Once business went online, people seeking expungement could apply for a fee waiver. My day job wasn’t financially and personally fulfilling, so I was once again struggling to make ends meet,” Brianna explains.
To support her family, Brianna stepped back into the unpredictable but dazzling world of exotic dancing. “It was fun, though the difficulties that come with it are unique. Still, it was a way to put food on the table and avoid ending up on the street again.”
The resolve to change her destiny resided firmly within Brianna. In a remarkable move, she had already left her government job and ventured into the dynamic investment world, purchasing land in Tennessee after withdrawing her 401k contributions. It was a risky move but one that yielded significant returns.
And, when the world shut its doors due to the pandemic, Brianna sought new ones to open. The online world offered opportunities, and she seized them, venturing into content creation. It was an unchartered territory, but one that offered Brianna immense opportunities.
As her audience grew and her income stream followed, Brianna focused on diversifying her investments, putting every saved-up penny in land, properties, and tangible assets like gold and silver.
Recognizing tangible assets’ potential for appreciation, Brianna was confident that, although her investment strategy might be risky, it would take her leaps closer to her ultimate dream— financial independence.
“I had no idea I’d made my dream come true for a long time,” Brianna says. “I was so busy grinding, working non-stop, making sure my son would have the best life, that I never stopped to look at my assets and how much I was worth.”
As Brianna reveals, it was only when she was going through her assets and her income with her sister one day that it hit her that she was, in fact, a millionaire. “Realizing this was absolutely surreal.”
Undoubtedly, Brianna’s journey has been anything but conventional. From homelessness to establishing multiple successful businesses, and even writing her own autobiography, Suites to Stilettos, she is an example of the power of the human spirit and a beacon of hope for many.
In her own words, “If you’re willing to face any challenge head-on, then you’re on the right path to success. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I know that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything.”
Photography by: Courtesy of Brianna Dymond