Theresa VanderMeer is a tech-loving social entrepreneur that identifies deeply with the Horace Mann quote “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” As a University of Michigan-funded researcher, Theresa worked to understand how economic empowerment transforms women’s lives. Having kicked off her career at ad giants like Google and Publicis, Theresa now combines the findings of her research and her corporate knowledge of client management and offshore operations to employ women in need at WORK+SHELTER, an ethical cut-and-sew factory she founded in New Delhi, India.
When not hustling to move her factory’s fair-trade, organic tote bags and tees, Theresa can be found exercising her champion sleeping abilities at less-than-ideal places like Burning Man, and compulsively reading The New York Times, including her favorite column, “Modern Love.”
“W+S encourages self-reliance amongst its female stakeholders while promoting hands-on training and capacity building. At W+S women are taught to use the skills they have or develop new ones, and contribute to the success of the organization by effectively filling their role within the larger production process. Apparel and accessories produced by the women are then sold to overseas markets.”