As a young entrepreneur at twenty-one Teresa created a style consulting agency for training image stylists and presenting to corporate employees on professional image. Her business interests stemmed from her entrepreneurial family, who encouraged her wildly productive, creative mind and passion for couture. When Eaton’s reopened in Victoria, Teresa was recruited to run Eaton’s Personal shopping department, was given her own staff, and asked manage public relations.  Later, she was scouted to work as a television host on cruise ships she represented some of the world’s most luxurious brands such as Cartier. What most people don’t know about Teresa is that she started out designing and manufacturing swimwear for women of all sizes, that she struggled with severe acne for 20 years, and that her gift is helping women see past the negative self-talk and to focus on fact, style, and nutrition so they can start feeling better about who they truly are. One of the most beautiful parts about Teresa is her desire to celebrate others.  Now, Teresa is embarking on a new and exciting time in her life, as a mother of three, a partner, a business advisor, and founder of a new fashion solution for women that gets underway in 2015.

I caught up with Teresa in our Discovery Street ‘hood’ where the 24 Carrot Centre and VIC42 are located.

What do you BELIEVE in?  Love. And not just in the sense of someone you love, but a love for life and living. Love is a grounding place to start all new things, heal wounds, and re-start.

How does LOVE show up/present itself in your life?  Love for and from my family is the most prevalent; I have a loving partner and the love I receive as a mother has no words to explain how it feels. Love also shows up in many of my conversations during “coffees and interviews” where the exchange of thoughts are often like exchanging gifts. It’s a privilege and especially joyful when I am part of someone’s “ah-ha moment.” I am surrounded by amazing people and I am fortunate to have many opportunities in a day to offer love in return.

Who or what INSPIREs you?  The Experience of Living inspires me.  And why I say this is… each morning a mantra of mine is “to greet the world” – acknowledging that someone somewhere didn’t wake up today. I, like most of us, have the ability to smell, taste, touch, see and hear the world around. If I think about the mechanics of it for too long it blows my mind!  For me, physical experience is about creation and I love so much of it – writing, painting, being in nature, and working with fabric, this is where the fashion element comes in and I get really excited! Or it could be yoga (body & energy connection that leaves me feeling alive). And sometimes it’s about watching someone else in their space or moment of creation living their passion.

How do you, or can you, SERVE your community?  I have a passion for my community – I am in constant celebration of the personal achievements made by others, from the smallest to the greatest. There are a few ways I have shared and helped serve community from this passion.  I am an original founding member of Wear 2 Start, which supports women struggling to re-establish their lives and we help them overcome employment barriers by providing job interview ready clothes – new wardrobe head-to-toe.  With my partner Alan, we celebrate and support to up-and-comers in the community who are interesting and inspiring through stories on our site Vic42. Behind the scenes we share advice and provide ongoing imagery to help them with their passion. And I support and endorse the local people of style and fashion (local designers, make up artists, retailers, etc) within our community at many levels including my street style fashion blog Threaditorial.

What does it mean to you to SURRENDER?  To Be Present. To Trust. To acknowledge my inner child and the inner child in others. I have found that there are many distractions formed by ideas in our heads and emotions that are a disillusion of life and actual events of the world. Getting present allows me to “surrender” these thoughts and always “come to the table” with love. To trust that there is a greater purpose for everything that happens and that it doesn’t always reveal itself right away. And that people, at the core, have an innocent child and that if you listen you can hear they are probably sheltering that innocence and lust for life. It is important to be kind to ourselves and listen to the desires of our inner child often.