Teresa Rodriguez for Luxury Trending Magazine

Por: Edward Rueda

17, March, 2022 en Luxury Trending

A Pillar of Possibilities

Writter: Geraldine Zialcita

Teresa Rodriguez is a powerhouse―everything she sets her heart on comes to fruition. If you are to measure her success, Teresa’s signature recipe covers all angles ranging from the level of her wisdom, the temperature of her foresight, the density of her hard work, the speed of her skills, the shape of her independence, the radiance of her passion, the texture of her purpose, to the volume of her perseverance. Teresa spells her life with the aura from within.

As a child, Teresa discovered her creative expression through writing where she wrote poetry and short stories and stapled the books together. When her sister contracted a virus that made her handicapped, Teresa was compelled to write a book she was to title, Pennys from Heaven. “I wrote the first sentence which said, ‘My sister’s name is Penny, but sometimes I feel like she’s not worth a nickel.’ Looking back, I thought that was pretty clever for a fifth-grader,” she quips.

Born and raised in the US, Teresa who is bi-racial embraces her American and Mexican heritage, culture, food, and traditions. Her father’s side of the family played an instrumental role in Mexico where they shaped and defined history. “My grandmother was born in the United States to a Mexican and Spaniard. Her father worked in Chicago but moved the family to Mexico during The Great Depression. My grandfather’s father was responsible for liberating the Mexicans from the hacienda owners at La Tepuza. My great grandfather was shot in front of the hacienda and years later, the hacienda was converted into a school and named after him, Margarito Rodriguez. Talk about revolutionary,” she shares.


Teresa moved to Australia where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and worked in the most sought-after game show, Blind Date, and modeled. Aside from nourishing her love and passion for advertising and marketing, Teresa developed a fondness for travel during her term at the game show. This rekindled a childhood memory where she would explore the Atlas books at the library and dream of visiting different countries. “I would accompany the winning contestants to their destination and this opened up a whole new world for me. Since I was alone exploring the sights and sounds while the contestants had their rendezvous, I discovered many exciting places to shop, eat, party, and relax. I gathered more information from the concierge, boutiques, restaurants, and clubs so I could be more equipped during my next trip,” she informs. During her career as a model, Teresa was bursting with character and learned to express herself on a deeper level. “I was a vehicle who showcased clothes and shoes and wished to emulate my personality. Clients were paying my agent a lot of money from me to represent their brands. I worked hard to create a compelling story just using their clothing, my poses, and facial expressions,” she relays.

After living in the country for five years, this unveiled Teresa’s ingenuity in the field of advertising and marketing with a wide focus on branding. “A part of me always loved the fantasy part of life―the whole white picket fences, perfectly styled hairdo, and cozy lifestyle which embodied the Hallmark movies I watched. Growing up in a rocky childhood where money was scarce drove that longing to be a part of something bigger and greater than myself,” she reveals. Through her ample knowledge, creativity, and broad experience, Teresa focuses on devising strategic marketing plans, projecting industry trends, establishing partnerships, and spearheading brands. Teresa’s prominent clients included SKYY Vodka, Nordstrom, Jones New York, Hard Rock Hotel, and Forever 21.

After moving back to America and settling in the Bay Area, Teresa realized how much she missed traveling. She also wanted to use her extensive experience focusing on a niche that very much resonated with her―solo travel for women. Known to be goal-oriented and organized, Teresa strategized her travels by listing questions that fall into a specific category. “This simplified the process. The questions I listed were, ‘Do I want to meet people? Am I interested in knowing more about the culture? Does weather play a vital role in my travel? Will I be attending an important cause or event? Do I want to party? Is it a social trip? Do I want to shop? Am I there to relax and achieve a nice tan? Do I require a specific budget?’ All these questions serve as a guide in choosing your travel destination,” she states. In her first book, she created the CAWS questionnaire, Culture, Activity, Weather, and Social. Readers took the quiz first, and then their CAWS score guided them to the destinations that would best suit their desires and expectations.

Her wanderlust has ignited Teresa to trot around the globe and share her favorite destinations. “I have a soft spot for Mexico because of the diversity, history, people, food, and their kind and graceful hospitality. I am fascinated with Berlin, how innovative the city is and how they have retained their dramatic WWII history. I am enchanted by Barcelona’s food and nightlife. I appreciate Venice for its history, culture, and art. I admire Sydney for its people and my palate longs for the food in Thailand,” she conveys.


During her trip to Lima, Peru, the plane encountered engine problems which triggered the siren, activated the smoke detectors, and forced an emergency landing. Amid all the fear, chaos, and uncertainty, Teresa realized she still had unaccomplished dreams and goals. Midway through the danger zone and silver lining, Teresa discerned a still voice—an epiphany that determined the gateway to her future. “I closed my eyes and prayed for a safe landing, then made a vow to pursue my target goal. I noticed there was a huge demand and market for women to travel solo given their various reasons and needs. My personal experiences provided the authority to offer detailed travel information and resources while ensuring one’s safety. In 2004, I launched Tango Diva―a social networking site for women travelers wherein we provide them with tools that can enrich their confidence and determination while traveling solo,” she imparts. Teresa acquired prestigious clients like Club Med, Miraval Spa, MBT Shoes, The RealReal, Marriott Hotels, and many others. “I always encourage women to start small, like try watching a movie by yourself, or dine at a restaurant solo, or perhaps you can take the bus to explore the city,” she adds.

Taking it up a notch, in 2007, Teresa released her debut novel, Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places for a Girl to Travel Alone, published by Penguin which made it to the bestseller list and has been translated into four languages. In 2013, Teresa released Body Mind, and Solo, published by Balboa, which earned her a place on the TEDx stage and garnered over 1.4 million views. Teresa has been a torchbearer and visionary for solo travel for women and has shared her expertise on ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, morning shows, and in national magazines. Teresa also wrote Lily Samii, A Journey Through Life and Fashion, published by Lucia Marquand. She co-authored Alchemy of the Senses with the renowned wine connoisseur, Jean-Charles Boisset which was published by Chronicle Books. Teresa curated the artwork and work much of the content for Soul Machine with Daniel Martin Diaz which was published by La Luz De Jesus Press. She recently completed writing Looks Matter with SKYY Vodka founder Maurice Kanbar. Teresa has taught at FIDM, NYU, SFU, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, and was a speaker at numerous conferences including the American Marketing Association, PR Summit, Financial Women’s Association, NAWBO, Asian Women in Technology, etc.

Forging ahead, Teresa has learned to fly a plane and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Haute Living, San Francisco magazine which releases six issues a year. She manages the editorial side of the magazine, events, and website. Working for a glamorous magazine and attending important events have inspired Teresa to enunciate her femininity—a fashionista at heart who was voted Best Dressed Ms. Vogue in high school. For the yearbook photo, she wore a silk Norma Kamali dress with gold vintage flats bedazzled in rhinestones. Teresa also owns an impressive and epic shoe collection. “I was a foot model in Australia, and thankfully that’s one part of my body that hasn’t changed in twenty years, so I do like to dress my feet well. No one does it better than Christian Louboutin. I can be simply dressed in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, but once I slip into a pair of his heels, the vibe totally shifts. I believe that’s what good designers should do—amplify the look so you can feel like you’ve been transformed to something extraordinary,” she expresses.


Teresa believes that fashion should be a solid expression of who you are and not a manufactured look pumped out by social media. “My fashion style is simple. I ask myself, ‘Do I feel good in what I’m wearing?’ If the answer is no, then I change, regardless of the designer or the current trends,” she confides. Teresa credits the designers who have shaped and influenced the way she dresses. “Johnson Hartig created a wonderfully whimsical brand with Libertine. He has the soul of a great designer like Coco Chanel, with strong lines and distinct silhouettes, but he is also very playful like John Paul Gaultier. Each of his collections has a story to tell and I appreciate that. I do admire writing and bedazzling on clothing, it adds that bit of rebel yell that we all enjoy tapping into on occasion. I love wearing pieces that tell a story, be it from the designer or about where I bought it. I have a pair of d’Orsay pumps I had made in Milan, I chose the style and the piece of silk satin with the couture designer and there was enough material left to produce a small matching clutch. Every time I wear them, I remember the magnificent time I had with the designer creating my dream shoes.” She smiles.

After giving birth to her daughter, Teresa developed post-partum depression where she questioned the value of her life and her worth as a human being. At the halfway point of her emotional roller coaster journey, a distinct character emerged into her mind. Teresa allowed the story to brew in her head and unfold naturally. As the story evolved, Teresa realized during her lowest moments how vulnerability can transition into creativity and transform into beauty. Her eyes lit up acknowledging she had crossed over the non-fiction world into a playground of no limits―a riveting novel awaited her.

After five years of conducting ample research and interviewing revolutionary scientists, Teresa is enthusiastic to release her upcoming novel, Klothos. The book is a science-fiction dystopian story that traces the steps of groundbreaking scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Particle Accelerator and their quest for the life-force particle and biological immortality. “I never anticipated how an idea can rise from raw emotions of sadness, but the universe will surprise you. It feels so liberating to migrate from non-fiction to fiction and I feel more creative and have witnessed my growth as a writer,” she reveals. I’ve learned that there are always different ways to write—one sentence can be rewritten in many ways and what’s important is your focus on the essence of the story,” she adds.

Although science fiction is one of the most difficult genres to write, Teresa has stepped away from her comfort zone to create flawed, multi-dimensional, realistic characters that focus on current underlying factors. “The story evolves on controversial issues like suicide, mental health, self-worth, and the disparity between the poor and the rich. Through my depression I asked myself questions like, ‘Am I worth being alive? If could sell my soul, what would be its value?’ Writing this book has been emotionally liberating because now I know that I’m not the only person who questions their self-worth,” she says.


Teresa immersed herself in learning how the pineal gland works and how to awaken the third eye. She visited the Particle Accelerator in Berkeley and peered into the biggest magnifying glass on the planet that can spot your DNA, sending waves through a solid piece of matter—moving atoms. “While gathering the pieces together, the vital question that came to my mind was, what if scientists discovered life-force particle threads and could extract them with a virus. I then ventured into the possibility of removing these threads from one person and injecting them into someone else, shorting the life of the first person and extending the life of the recipient.” She beams with excitement.

Teresa believes that we are in this world to create. She has taken her experiences and instilled them into each of the characters of her book. Her book explores molecular science by digging deeper into what the possibilities could come. “I draw inspiration from Greek Mythology. In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Moirai, often known in English as the Fates, were the incarnations of destiny. Clotho: Spinner, Lachesis: Allotter and Atropos: a metaphor for death. They controlled the thread of life of every mortal from birth to death. They were independent, directed fate, and watched that the fate assigned to every being might take its course without obstruction. Both gods and men had to submit to them. My book is about what would happen if men disrupted this harmony and try to control fate themselves,” she explains.


With her goal to make it a trilogy, Teresa provides a glimpse of the first book, Klothos, and what to expect. “Clotho is the name of one of the gods who spins the thread of life. I encourage everyone to dive into this dystopian love story where desire, greed, and mental health clash with secrecy, wealth disparity, and the frighteningly apocalyptic nature of viruses. So, I played with the names of the Fates and named my book Klothos.” She smiles.



Three goddesses dance with string in hand

To measure the fate of every man.

First Clotho spins the threads that dwindle,

Lachesis then measures from Clotho’s spindle.

Atropos ends life with a cut of sharp shears,

She determines death’s time, regardless of tears.

It’s Clotho who twirls the thread for each soul,

In this twine she gives them their just control.

Over gods and fate, she assigns their lifespan,

Until their divinity is destroyed by a madman.

“The moral of the story is you can’t buy or sell your soul―there are consequences,” she adds.

Despite all the accolades she has achieved, Teresa has also incurred obstacles in her life. During the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Teresa caught the virus. “I was in bed for seventeen days where I had joint pain and lost my sense of smell. I felt like I was breathing from a straw,” she discloses. Yet, there’s no barrier that can cease this dynamic woman from attaining her goals. After recovering from COVID-19, Teresa donated her plasma to critically ill COVID-19 patients for a few months. Teresa bounced back stronger with a clearer mindset while learning to be adaptable to change and paving her way to the top.

As an empowered woman who wears multiple hats and continues to push the envelope further, Teresa believes in prioritization and balance. “I keep the clock and compass on top of each other. I don’t watch TV and spend a lot of time reading books. As a writer, we are responsible for our calendar and deadlines which is why I maintain my rituals and outline my stories. I’m an avid believer of Stephen Covey’s 4 Quadrants which are as follows: ‘Quadrant 1. Urgent and important. Quadrant 2. Not urgent but important. Quadrant 3. Urgent but not important. Quadrant 4. Not urgent and not important.’ There are processes and solutions. These quadrants have guided me to be more productive with my work, protective with my time, and not linger on the unimportant things that don’t bring joy,” she verbalizes.

As a single mother to a daughter who loves writing poetry and editing videos, Teresa wishes to continue inspiring, encouraging, and empowering other women. She concludes this story with chunks of wisdom. “Through my own sorrow and fear, I found Klothos. We keep trying to pretend that we are always okay and happy, but in reality, we don’t have to always feel that that way, it’s what makes us human. There’s a space between feeling like shit and experiencing joy, and the ‘in between’ is the sauce—that’s where the real story emerges. It’s the ‘in between’ that makes us shine. Know the direction of your north star, there will be detours and cliffs, but keep focusing on the light. Don’t force things to happen, set your own course. Don’t be so rigid, be like water that comes in different forms―snow, steam, rain, and ice and allow things to flow—so your life can unfold naturally. Forgive yourself and others.”

Teresa navigates through her journey to welcome bigger, brighter, and better opportunities. She’s living proof that everything is possible if you envision and claim what you strive for in life. Teresa Rodriguez serves as a Pillar of Possibilities.

Photo Credits:
TERESA RODRIGUEZ @teresa_jetsetmama

HMUA: OZZIE MENDOZA @ozzie_mendoza
Writer: GERALDINE ZIALCITA @geraldineauthor
Production Assistant: LIZ NELSON @olfactoriecandles
Art Director: NIGEL JOHN DEL MUNDO @nigeldelmundo
Photographer Assistant: TRIFON ELDRIN BAJARIA @trifoneldrin
Photographer: VINCENT GOTTI @vinniegotti
Fashion Provided by: NEIMAN MARCUS Union Square @neimanmarcussanfrancisco
Location Provided by: JOEL GOODRICH @joelgoodrich of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

Published by @plpg.globalmedia 2022© PLPG GLOBAL MEDIA S.A.S | Global CEO, Chairman, President, Founder & Editor in Chief Edward R Rueda @ceo.plpg