The Jack of all trade, finding her way

by Theresa Pham

Ever heard of the expression “Jack of all trades”? Hi, that’s me! Or so it seems...

I’m Theresa Pham, but you can also call me T, TP, TPham...it’s all been done before! Welcome to my VERY. FIRST. BLOG POST (officially)! To preface, I’m not a great writer and I’ve only understood what a “blog” is a few years ago, even though I’ve learned about it in grad school like a decade ago. Like most people, I started a blog to share my story and journey but I’ll also be sharing all things home related from renovations and decors to DIYs and life with my family.

Here’s a five minute blurb to catch you up to this point!

I think I was wired weird when I came into this world. Like I have this internal conflict between practicality and passion. I’m an Immigrant so growing up as such may have played a role on the practicality side but I discovered along the way that I’m also very passionate - as in, if I don’t love something it’s most likely not going to stick for long. This is inclusive of my husband and children ;)

I started out living life the way my parents wanted for me but then over time and thru a course of unfortunate circumstances I started living life, to the fullest, for myself - and THAT is when things started to get more interesting! Started my education with Pharmacy in mind - clearly my parents ideas. Not mine! Decided right before I graduated not to pursue pharmacy but to get a job in Corporate America - mainly trying to dodge 4 more years of school but as fate would have it, I’d be spending the next, not 4, BUT 5 YEARS in Grad school instead. The course of my career over the last 15 years went from Pharmacy to Accounting to Finance to Fashion Design/Business owner to Stay at Home Mom to Home Renovation/Interior Design to Real Estate Agent. Whew! And the ONE SINGLE FACTOR that triggered this entire train of events - my struggle with INFERTILITY! 

Family & Faith has ALWAYS been the center of my life. So when I learned that children might NOT be in my future I made changes to my plans, but continued to maximize every effort to conceive, which ultimately led to IVF as my final option.Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I found that this was a great opportunity to change things up! I’ve always had knack and a love for Fashion Design and now is a better time than ever to pursue it. I didn’t have any obligations and this will help refocus my energy on something more positive and productive! I launched my first womenswear clothing line while juggling my Corporate career. Two collections in, I found out I was pregnant (via IVF)! Shortly after finding out I thought I had miscarried. How did I figured that?? Because I bled 200 times heavier than any of my monthly cycles! [This became another turning point where home renovation and DIYs came into play]

At the time, the bulk of my earnings and savings was spent on a mortgage & IVF treatments so there wasn’t much left for anything else and there was work needing done to our house. So, to keep my mind occupied from what I thought was a miscarriage (but turned out to be a sub chorionic bleeding) I turned to restoring good quality furnitures I had found cheaply on Craigslist, garage sales, and flee markets. Once I got the miraculous news that my pregnancy was sound & safe I decided right then and there that nothing was more important than this precious gift - I wanted to grow my family! I devoted the next few years to my first born and to saving every dime for more rounds of IVF. That meant I had to keep jugging at my Finance career in Corporate America. 3 years and 5 full rounds of IVF treatments later, I was blessed with my second child. Having my daughters , Loghan (6) and Ava (3) inspired my Mommy & Me Clothing line, which launched the same year Ava was born. The following year I pulled the trigger and left Corporate America to spend more time with my girls and the business. I continued to perfect my craft, entered my Mommy and Me line, TP Mini Me, in a runway competition and came out with a HUGE WIN at Austin Fashion Week in Feb 2019!

While all this went on, I continued my DIYs and home renovation projects, flipping 3 homes i lived in in 3 years! Yup, that meant packing up our lives and the little ones 3 times and to 3 different schools. The multiple school changes and my time spent with the clothing line ultimately put a damper on my girls, setting Loghan behind on her academics. Something had to give and it sure as he’ll wasn’t my kids so with bitter sweetness I put my Mommy & Me line aside to focus on my girls full-time. While I loved designing coordinated mother/daughter outfits I was way overwhelmed. The thought of putting my heart and soul into creating a collection every season then to produce inventory from it to sell and see half the inventory unsold was disheartening. Then to spend the other half of my time constantly figuring out how to advertise and market my products while managing sales, consumers and employees was all too much for one mama to handle. The risks and rewards of running my clothing line was unfortunately not enough to keep going, so I pivoted - to find a more compatible arrangement for me and my family.

Now, while Loghan is in school I hang out with Ava and leisurely design & decorate my home - perfecting one room at a time and sharing them with you all! It’s through these showcases that unexpected opportunities quickly presented itself, one of which are commissioned jobs for interior design projects and the others are features in upcoming journals and magazines

As always, I’m constantly on the hunt for the next rundown house in the best neighborhood to renovate and flip. I find so much joy, comfort, and fulfillment in putting my time into the things that mean the most to me and will continue to do so as long as it makes sense for my family. Speaking of, I saved the best for last - I couldn’t have done any of this without the unending support and love from my hubby, Shaw. As corny as it sounds, that guy is truly the wind beneath my wings and I’m a lucky girl because of it.