After graduating from South Brunswick High School in 2002, Dave moved on to Rider University where she was working towards a degree in English. It was then that she felt the bite of the fashion bug.
"Fashion is something that kind of fell into my lap five years ago," Dave said. "Since then I feel like I've been at one with fashion. I'm so passionate about it and the designers I work with are amazing people. There are so many amazing designers in North and South Brunswick alone. It's amazing to think there's so much talent in our backyard."
Dave's journey into the world of fashion began at Rider when she found herself unsatisfied with the magazine she was interning for, feeling that the guidelines she had to follow left no room for creativity, as the pieces she was writing felt sterile and lacking in personality.
"My professor told me if you're unhappy then create your own platform, which was her own way of telling me to go start my own magazine," Dave said. "I knew nothing about that, so I spent a semester researching how to start a magazine."Soon thereafter, Bravura Magazine was born. Launched in 2007, Bravura is an online South Asian fashion, entertainment and lifestyle magazine. With her roots settled in the diverse population of South Brunswick, Dave said Bravura fills a gap that was lacking in the South Asian community.
"When I was writing for my internship in college, most South Asian publications were geared solely on music, or Bollywood, but nothing encompassed everything under one umbrella. Bravura does all that, but also includes culinary, travel, fashion and more."
Dave's first break came when she landed an interview with America's Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker. She was granted 20 minutes for the interview, but ended up talking to Barker for over four hours.
"(Barker) opened up the fashion world to me in a way I never thought a little girl from South Brunswick would be opened to," she said. "It made me think about how I could bring awareness to the South Asian community. I started with local shows in the area working with designers and coordinating photo shoots."Bravura has since grown enough to allow Dave to add five staff writers, along with interns from major colleges such as New York University, among others.
"I recently got a new writer from India who found me on Twitter and said she considers me an inspiration," Dave said. "She said I want to become like you. To hear such a thing is so profound and makes me proud to realize that I made such an impact to where I can inspire other people."
Last year, Bravura Magazine became the only South Asian to publication to receive an invitation to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama at the Inaugural Ball hosted by the State of New Jersey. She also had the chance to meet and interview Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Since Bravura started Dave has interviewed Bollywood celebrities such as Hrithik Roshan, Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, Shahrukh Khan, and Manish Malhotra.
As a result of her success with Bravura, coordinating photo shoots and getting designers placed in shows, Dave landed a job as Social Media Director for Atlantic City Fashion Week, one of the largest fashion events in the state.
As part of Fashion Week, Dave was named one of seven nominees for the prestigious Fashion Executive Award, as the only South Asian nominee.
"The most important thing to me, for somebody working on such a small scale, is to be up against huge people in the industry who have been doing fashion shows and taking part in shows for many more years than I've had the magazine," she said. "To be nominated makes me a huge winner. If I win it would be such an honor and I could say it would be in large part due to the support of South Brunswick, because so many of my neighbors are voting.
"It's so funny to walk down the street and have my neighbor's daughter tell me they saw the magazine and thought it was so cool that they told their friends about it. But to win Executive of the Year would really solidify the work that I've done."
The Fashion Awards will be held on Sept. 26. Click here to vote for Tirusha Dave of Bravura Magazine. People are allowed to vote once per day from all electronic devices.