Updated: Oct 15, 2022
Tia Maria Montemurro was born and raised in the Bronx by an Italian mother and father. She currently lives in Westchester, with a business office in Manhattan. She has been in the real estate industry for over 27 years and has been an event coordinator at Event by Tia Maria for 13 years. She’s well-known for her event coordination and the events she hosts.
At what age did you realize you wanted to be in business, and did you reach your goal?
When I was 15 years old, I was obsessed with clothing. I love to dress up and knew I wanted to own my clothing store someday. I would talk about it often, and surprisingly when I turned 18, my father gave me the option to go to college or open up a store, so I chose the store. I reached that goal and made it a reality. The store was called Tia’s Clothing Outlet. Everyone shopped there, and it was very successful.
Are you excited about opening up your brand-new boutique?
Very Much So! This fall my brand new “Fashions by Tia Maria Boutique” will be opening. It will be located at 104 Maple Avenue in New City, New York. It will be a collaboration of Women’s sportswear, evening wear, and casual wear.
What business concepts are unique to your new Boutique?
It's clothing shopping the old-fashioned way where you go to a boutique and get personal attention and services.
Was there someone that influenced your decision to become a business owner?
I don’t know if I was influenced, but I can say my entire family owned their businesses. My brother had a restaurant, and my father had a restaurant, my uncles and cousins all had restaurants. You could say that the Entrepreneurial spirit was deep in my family. It was pretty much written on my birth certificate that I would be an entrepreneur.
What were some of your favorite childhood activities or hobbies?
I don’t know if I did many activities or had hobbies as other kids did. I did not get into sports or musical instruments; I focused on school and spent most of my time in my family’s restaurants. I frequently visited the restaurants, especially my father’s in Manhattan, New York. I would spend hours there doing my homework at the bar and being a part of the environment. Once I turned 18, I got my clothing store and focused mainly on that.
Who is your biggest supporter, and why?
My mother & father. Not only did they raise me to be a strong entrepreneur, but they had faith in me to run the family real estate business at the age of 28.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your free time?
I spend my days working in the real estate business, but I enjoy hosting and planning events. I love the networking, the glitz, and glamour, the dressing up, the entertainment, socializing, and all the great memories captured afterward.
What are your thoughts on social media? Does this help or hurt society?
It doesn’t hurt me. It actually helps me in business, especially for my events. It hasn’t affected my adult children in a negative way; however, I know it affects the younger generations that have insecurities.
What is one of your favorite inspirational quotes?
“Life is short. Enjoy it.”
What are your five- and 10-year goals?
I really have been blessed to have most of my goals reached, but right now, I am focused on becoming a full-time “snowbird.” I want to spend the summers in New York City and spend my winters in Florida.
Name three things on your bucket list and tell us why each was selected.
I would love to get a little dog. One that I can put in a Louis Vuitton dog bag.
I want a fairy tale wedding because I have met the man of the dreams
Being on the front cover of a magazine – Achieved!
What health and beauty tips do you swear by?
I tell everyone to get and enjoy facials. They are key to staying healthy and youthful, and it’s great for your skin, not to mention relaxing. And as a tip to the ladies, never leave the house without lipstick!
What is the first thing you think of in the morning?
Every morning when I wake up, the first thing on my mind is my to-do list! I have always been focused on business and the goal for each day is to get things done!
Tell us about your business and what you do for a living.
Since I was 28, for a living, I ran my family’s real estate business full-time. My parents trusted in me to run it, and I have been doing it ever since.
I also am the owner and event coordinator for Events by Tia Maria. My events are social gatherings that I originally started doing with my son Guy in 2008, but before I did it professionally, I was always the event coordinator in my family and friends.
I always organized and had parties for my kids, their birthdays and special events were a priority. I never did anything small! Every celebration was an all-out affair with plenty of decorations and glitz. Once my kids were grown, I started planning events for adults. The first event I did with my son Guy was at the World Bar, in Manhattan at the Trump Tower. After his Passing in 2014, I continued to do events in memory of him. We do an annual toy drive around Christmas time in memory of my son.
My events have always had themes, from featured colors to wear, musical artist nights that feature a tribute singer, like Sinatra and Cher, and dinner events with a relaxing lounge vibe with singers like Chris Ruggiero or a solo violinist. I really enjoy planning and organizing the events, and I love the ladies and gents that attend.
I am also a big advocate for women empowering women, women supporting women. I have organized a group of ladies that are called the diamond divas. We are all business owners, and we support one another.
What has been your favorite part of real estate so far?
My favorite part of the industry is renovating and remodeling apartments for new tenants.
What is your future goal within the industry? How are you working towards those goals?
My goals are to maintain and update the building and the apartments when needed.
Have you ever had that “I made it” moment? What & When was it?
After 27 years in real estate and 13 years hosting events, I would have to say my “I made it” moment is now! I am very comfortable with myself and who I am!
Can you tell us about your least favorite experience so far? How did it change your approach to success?
I was in my 20’s and took a job working for a retailer, and after only two days, I realized I was 100% an entrepreneur and could never work for someone else.
Tell us about your perfect partner and what qualities they possess?
I have him! And he is old-school charming. He reminds me of my father and possess qualities like being protective, loving, supportive. He is a pleasure to be around, and the sight of him makes me smile.
What is the most important relationship advice you have received?
The key to a relationship is not only the physical necessity but also communication between the two partners.
What is the most important relationship advice that you have given?
Ladies, never wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt in the house. Always wear something cute and sexy.
What do you think the key to happiness is?
My key to happiness is knowing my children are healthy and happy and having a partner in life that I adore.
What is your personal definition of the word CONFIDENCE?
Confidence to me means that you are secure within yourself in every aspect. Physically and mentally.
Was there ever a moment that you doubted your abilities, and how did you overcome that?
Whenever I doubt myself, I remember all I’ve done and everything the future holds!
Name an opportunity that you missed out on, and what was your thought after?
I like to live in the moment so any opportunity I missed lead me to greater opportunities!
Tell us about a moment when your confidence was the key piece to your success.
If a young girl/boy wanted to break into your industry, what advice would you give them?
Be supportive, don’t be judgmental. Be honest no matter how hard it can be, and always be generous, not only with your money but your time. Share a smile as often as you can.
How do you prepare yourself to network with others? What is your thought process going into those interactions?
I have to attend other people’s events, more specifically charity events. I love to give back and support other people. I am still getting used to the attention I get when I walk into a room, but I love that people know who I am and recognize me.
I love to be supportive and be a part of everything I can, so the one thing that gets under my skin about this industry is when people create and do other events on the same nights as mine. I know a lot of people, and when someone else does an event on the same night, it splits the crowd and really gets me upset because I want to go to their events and support them, and I can’t.
Do you possess the insight to understand other people’s sincerity? Tell us about a moment when this happened.
I think so. My father was an amazing man, and I have some really great childhood memories that are about him. When I was a little girl, my father would sit and let me put all kinds of things in his hair from clips and bows and even let me put his hair into a ponytail. Ha-Ha. My father owned a restaurant, and I would often go to the restaurant with my mother and visit my father at work. I would sit at the bar and color, and I would meet so many cool people. My father’s restaurant was star-studded, and many celebrities would come in. I met Frank Sinatra and Joe Namath at my father’s place.
When do you personally feel more confident?
I feel most confident when I’m planning an event. I love the logistical part of the creation, and when it all comes together, and you see people having a good time, it’s the perfect compliment. It’s the highlight of my night to see people smiling, dancing, and having a good time because of my hard work and dedication.
Do you feel comfortable engaging with a group of people? Do you listen to or lead the conversation?
When I walk into the room, I am very Boisterous, loud, and outgoing. I love to meet new people and make people feel welcome around me. I like to have a good time when I am out, and I want my energy to be contagious so everyone around me can have a good time. I like to listen and lead, depending on the situation.