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A Return to New York and, Finally, an Apartment She Can Afford

Tanzania Hughie had a vision. “I was going to come back to New York, get a job and live in a beautiful place,” she said. “That did not happen right away.”

Like many before her, Ms. Hughie, a child of the South Bronx, found out just how hard it can be to go home again. It took more moves than she cares to remember, plenty of support from friends and family, and a little bit of luck to finally make it happen.

She left for Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999, channeling her unsettled creativity into studying fashion. The Fashion Institute of Technology in Chelsea had been a possibility, but life at home was too tumultuous to stick around. Her immediate family wasn’t around to assist her. She had to get away.

It took a while to adjust to life in Virginia — “culture shock,” Ms. Hughie called it. “When you come from New York City, everyone thinks you know everything,” she said.

Though she was raised in the Bronx, Ms. Hughie said, she became an adult in the Southern state: “I grew up down there and figured out who I was.”

The living space in Ms. Hughie’s thoughtfully designed studio includes a Murphy bed, innovative storage and a folding wall-mounted desk.Credit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

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