Therese has been a product developer and brand builder in the beauty industry for 20 years. Her company Lady Suite, which embodies self-love and celebrates women’s health, is among the first to create natural intimate skin care products.
SO, HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?
I had my own skin troubles down south and saw there was nothing on the market to address my needs. I talked to so many women and I realized I wasn’t alone. That’s when I realized the market lacked elevated, naturally-derived intimate skin care that was also luxurious and accessible, and that’s what Lady Suite currently addresses.
LESSONS LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
You have to have your own version of success. You can’t compare yourself to everyone else out there. You also have to have a good relationship with yourself because you go on these amazing highs and really low lows, and it helps to maintain a sense of self and normalcy through the extremes. I also think you really need to understand money — which isn’t my strength, being a more typical creative — how to make it, spend it, reinvest it, and save it!
BIGGEST AHA MOMENT?
A big aha moment for me was leaving a company I co-founded. While there were some good moments and lessons to be learned, every day felt like an uphill battle and started to be a source of unhappiness. I’m ok with hard days, even bad weeks, but when it continuously feels negative, it was time to make the change and everything worked out. When you’re in alignment, it always does.
"I found my purpose early in being an empowering voice around women's health and developing products that support that."
ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
Helping other women. I found my purpose early in being an empowering voice around women's health and developing products that support that. Lady Suite embodies this purpose and has progressed feminine care in society as well as in an industry that has overlooked it. It’s really important in my opinion.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
I personally define success as waking up every day and feeling good about what I'm doing and the people that I surround myself with. In business, it’s so important to create an environment and a culture that breeds creative thinking and open conversations without a ton of red tape or too many rules around processes.
SECRET TO PUSHING THROUGH WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH?
When times get tough, my secret is a good cry. [Laughs] Then I think it's just writing things down, moving through your list, prioritizing the things that you know are going to move your business forward every day. I also always ask the universe, or whatever you believe in, for something positive every day. And I usually get it.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The biggest thing that inspires me is moving women’s health forward. It’s a big deal. I have a hypothyroid condition that took a toll on my mental, emotional, and physical health. I went from doctor to doctor for two years and was misdiagnosed and prescribed medications I didn’t want or need. I had to take my health into my own hands and be my own health advocate. Sharing that knowledge with women and vice versa is inspiring. I also love beautiful things, like nature, architecture, and of course, great beauty packaging!
HOW DO YOU REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL EVERY DAY?
I think the belief that I can conquer the day, and view everything in smaller steps helps. Coffee helps. My husband is super inspirational and naturally good at being organized. He gets me to meditate. I call it medi-hate because I’m not very good at it. But it gets me out of my head and into a forward motion throughout the day. Positive thinking and my pretty adorable pups always help.
"In business, it’s so important to create an environment and a culture that breeds creative thinking and open conversations without a ton of red tape or too many rules around processes."
GO-TO PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
Naps! I know that sounds lazy to some, but sometimes a nap just re-energizes me. I try to work hard, but I also make time for myself to sit, chill, and take a nap so I can work smarter and more efficiently. I also think it’s really underrated and not ideal for everyone, but having a glass of wine helps me when I have to write a ton. It relaxes me and lets the creativity flow. I do try to wait until five o’clock. [Laughs]
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I like to be active, but when I do binge watch a show on TV, I do it full force. I have a Peloton. I love that thing. I also like to read a lot. I’m always trying to figure out new things and ideas to bring to the business. I love to travel and get lost in a new town. I am a sucker for everything après-ski.
HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I don’t. It’s such a lie. I am someone that’s a sprinter. I work really hard and tune out everything. Then I integrate things back into my life that I’ve been ignoring, i.e. my husband. [Laughs]
MOST UNUSUAL ITEM IN YOUR HOUSE?
My husband’s stained glass wall hanging of a beaver from Oregon State. It’s just the weirdest thing. I’ve tried to throw it away and it always resurfaces. I don’t get it.
IF YOUR FRIENDS COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY IN ONE WORD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Unfiltered. It’s because I’m direct. I say what’s on my mind, but with an awareness that is still respectful. And I’ve created a work environment where that’s okay.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE WELLNESS?
I define wellness as the ability to just feel good in your skin, to wake up every day and feel motivated, and practice self-love. I think that's a big component of wellness. Spiritual practice is a big thing for me. Just that connection to something that’s bigger than myself makes me feel taken care of and more attuned to taking care of others. I think a lot of my better ideas don’t even actually come from me, they come through me.
FAVORITE SELF-CARE PRACTICE?
My favorite self-care practice is doing absolutely nothing. I think we live in this world where we're so inundated with information. I literally hide my phone and I just sit and just do my own thing. And I don't even really think about anything. Just tuning out and being present is an underrated form of self-care.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
Moving Lady Suite forward. 2018 was the year of testing concept and understanding my audience and now, it’s time to build the community through more creative content and smarter education, while launching more purposeful products. I also want to collab and co-create with like-minded women like Rebecca Alvarez from thebloomi.com, among a few others!