I’m Theresa, a social entrepreneur who believes that business can be a vehicle for positive social and environmental change. Merging my corporate experience at ad giants like Google and Publicis and my research on female economic empowerment, in 2011 I founded WORK+SHELTER— an ethical impact factory. From sourcing to operations, I passionately create systems that support women’s liberation + access to education, and environmental justice. I split my time between Chicago and Delhi, love poetry and drinking chai.
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
Events + Talks
I’ve spoken to thousands of individuals on stepping outside of their comfort zone, embracing risk-taking, starting an ethical business, and more. I’d be happy to speak with your audience too.
For-profit audiences are asked to make a donation to my non-profit, WORK+SHELTER, with all proceeds going to support women in need. Schools and non-profits may request a talk at no cost in the Chicagoland area.
My Social Enterprise, WORK+SHELTER
I built this.
A decade ago I founded WORK+SHELTER, a social enterprise where women in need can come to work and make a fair wage. A decade ago, nearly everyone I knew or met discouraged me, claiming that a young American woman didn’t have the skills, resources, or cultural understanding to build a business in India. I should feather my nest before helping others, they said.
They were wrong. We are proof. WORK+SHELTER employs nearly 75 individuals full-time, 75% of whom are women. We have gotten little girls into school, fed the hungry, and provided a leg up for vulnerable women outcast from society.
Even now, “experts” will try to tell me that building a business and doing good are mutually exclusive. I fundamentally disagree. My dream was to help women in need, and for me building WORK+SHELTER has been a dream come true.
Care about ethical fashion?
Trying to get your business off the ground?
Want me to speak at your event?
Send me a message through the form below and let’s chat over (digital) chai!