Our Interview with Teresa
Tell us a little bit about you?
I am 70 years old. I was born in Africa in a Spanish colony. I was sent to boarding school in Madrid, Spain when I was 6 years old and did all my schooling there, going back to Africa for the summer holidays. I lived a very spoilt and privileged life even though I didn’t realise it at the time.
I came to Australia in 1970 with my whole family, parents, brother and sister, after losing everything in Africa following the independence to the colony. It was a case of ‘starting over’ which at the beginning was not easy, but we made Australia our home and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Married at the age of 19 and had my first two children at 20 and 23. My third baby was born when I was 37 years old and apparently today that is called a ‘geriatric pregnancy’. I must admit it was a shock to the system but I wouldn’t change it for the world. My baby got me out of a very dark place and I thank God for her every day.
I separated after 20 years of marriage when my baby was 3 years old and the older two, one had finished school and the other was about to finish, so it appeared like a case of starting from scratch, which in many ways it was.
I started my working life at the age of 43 when my baby started school and I have been working ever since. It was stressful at the start but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something! You can do anything you set your mind to! I love my work, besides, it helps to pay for my shoe and bag addiction! Haha!
I have four gorgeous granddaughters who are the light of my life! I love spending time with them, every minute I can!
If you could give us one piece of advice in life, motherhood or business?
Make sure that you are the master of your own destiny!, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something! Don’t let anyone make important decisions for you, be informed! sure! seek advice from those you love and trust but follow your own instincts. Work if that is what you want to do (or have to) and make sure that you have a say in all the family decisions, including finances.
Love your children unconditionally, there will be trying times, hard times, bad times and most of all good times, but through it all, love them, even though they may not seem to love you at times! Your love will be their guiding light and solace in their woes. Teach them to be independent, but always be there when they need your support and advice. Try not to be judgemental, even though it may be very hard at times!! Remember they are living their own lives! Not yours!
I have never had a business, however, being a mother and a housewife juggles most of the skills anyone needs in a business… running finances, working with tight timeframes, multitasking and a whole host of other skills that would be necessary when running a business. If you want to start a business… Go for it!!! No one will be able to run ‘your’ business better than you! and love that business like it was another baby!
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I don’t know that I have accomplished that much, but I guess, being able to have supported my child without any financial help is something that I am proud of.
Which woman/women do you admire the most?
Strong, caring, independent and intelligent women! My icon Audrey Hepburn comes to mind, but we have a whole host of young women coming up in the ranks that are carrying the torch for the new generation and that deserve our admiration, such as Jacinda Ahern, New Zealand’s PM, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez in the US Senate, Grace Tame, Australian of the Year.
I could go on but there are too many to mention. Women are a force to be reckoned with, mostly doing their work behind the scenes, but some of them are breaking that glass ceiling and it’s a wonderful thing to watch.
Young women today being mothers and business women, juggling a hundred balls at the same time, looking after their children, caring for their families, running their complex businesses, being supportive to their friends, etc, I admire them all, especially my own daughter who started her little business with her best friend. I love watching their business grow and them growing with it.
Teresa wears Victoria Sandals in White.