Tonnia is almost one of a kind.
What I mean is, she would be one of a kind if weren’t for her twin.
But they’re fraternal twins with different birthdays. He was born before midnight and she was born after midnight, which makes her that much cooler.
Tonnia is also the youngest of 13 kids. Her dad wanted a football team, then came nine girls. While she wasn’t on the football team, she was a cheerleader in high school. She was also a flag girl in college. Hey! I used to twirl baton. Now all we need is a tuba player, maybe a trumpet player and a drummer and we’ll have a Hygge band.
Tonnia is a builder. She runs her own consulting company, but growing up she always wanted to own a construction company. While she’s not building real estate, she is building businesses.
“That is my construction,” she says. “(Helping businesses grow) is like seeing a new building come up or refurbishing an old building.”
Tonnia has a background in material science engineering and mechanical science engineering, but she is constantly learning.
“I like to see things come alive,” she says.
Her smile grew bigger as she talked about all the new things she discovered on “How Stuff Works.” I had never heard of it, but now I have another show to add to my binge-watching list.
Tonnia is a twin with tons of terrific ideas. Say that ten times fast. She started a nonprofit called TWIN which stands for Training to Work an Industry Niche. TWIN’s mission focuses on three pillars: workforce development, career development and small business development.
TWIN works to prepare both young and old for success. It recently hosted a fundraising event filled with games and fun to benefit the career development pillar here at Hygge.
TWIN will kick off Grooming an ACE, a free career development workshop for kids between 8th and 12th grade, in Charlotte on October 22. Tonnia started the program in her hometown in Alabama and hopes to expand to more cities in the future.
Tonnia is full of enthusiasm for the work she does with both her consulting business and her nonprofit and it shows on her face.
“I’m at the part of my life where I’m enjoying the journey,” she says. “Enjoying the journey, not so much the destination.”