Teresa was born and raised in the Strand, Western Cape. She studied Creative Arts (Fashion) at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion design, a private college based in the outskirts of Stellenbosch. She graduated with merit and was confident to explore the South African Fashion Industry. In her quest she worked for well-known couturiers in Cape Town and surrounds, and at a stage explored some retail endeavours. After this exciting expedition and in the process of perfecting her craft in bespoke couture, she decided to shift her focus onto Bridal couture and exclusive separates, everything handcrafted with the utmost attention to detail. While nurturing and growing her business from home, she was asked to lecture part-time at the Academy, where she graduated. This gave her the opportunity to share her expertise with young aspiring fashion design students, and she describes this as one of the most rewarding times of her life! Teresa rapidly excelled in the industry and was selected as a national finalist for numerous Fashion competitions and participated at events such as the Vodacom Durban July Fashion Challenge 2007-2010, MTN Durban Fashion Week 2008 and The Design Indaba to name but a few. Her distinctive creations received many accolades in acknowledged South African Fashion & Design Publications like Elle, Fairlady and The Design Indaba Magazine.
Teresa’s ethos of combining three key elements; the client, the textile and the designer’s vision has greatly contributed to her success. Her clothes are depicted as romantic, nostalgic, soft and ethereal; transforming her client into a confident, passionate; yet delicately feminine individual.
Teresa deems that GELIEFT’s creative uniqueness is treasured in South Africa’s cultural diversity and it’s this kind of exuberant contrast in cultures that inspire to grow from strength to strength. It’s an enigmatic feeling that generates inspiration and creativity far beyond the dictating international trends in fashion. She is proudly South African and believes that the power to make a difference lies in our humanity, generosity and the need to look after the well being of our ‘neighbour’.