I am native of High Point, NC and a lifelong resident. I attended Ledford Senior High School and upon graduation, attended Western Carolina University where my selected major was Graphic Design. After three semesters at WCU, I transferred to Guilford Technical Community College and took courses in Accounting, Art and Photography. Due to life struggles, I was never able to attain a college degree, but that didn’t stop my drive for success.
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I was determined to make it in the business world one way or another. I attempted many business ventures, only to be stopped by financial limitations or family issues, but knew entrepreneurship had to be in my future someday.
I married my first husband, secretly, at 17 years old in South Carolina while at WCU. We were married for three years before we told our family and that was after we had a full blown wedding with gown, pictures, cake and all the works. Not until I was pregnant with my first daughter did I finally tell my mother how long we had actually been married. Quite a shock is an understatement.
Within nine months of giving birth to our daughter, I was pregnant with our son. Someone told me it was harder to conceive the second time around – WRONG, but anyway, we were on the roller coaster of life. My first husband was overwhelmed and turned to drugs and alcohol – I was blind to it for awhile but really had no idea until he lost his job. That was the turning point in our marriage and I left. Within one month, he took his life. He was only 29 years old and the kids were five and three.
I tried hanging wallpaper for a living, which was great for a while, and then I tried a pet sitting service, which bombed. My closest success was a courier service where I did really well until my best customer told me I had to be available 24/7. With two small kids, there was just no way to make it work. I even flipped a few houses on my own, where I was nicknamed “Terri Tool Time” – I thoroughly love working with tools. I had various jobs from bank teller to graphic designer, to finally coming to work for my future husband. I actually had to beg for the job. It’s one of those stories that you tell your kids when they start looking for a job – keep going back until they throw you out the door – well he didn’t throw me out and gave me a chance to prove myself. I offered to work for two weeks without pay just to show I could do the job. I started in the warehouse where I learned to drive a tow motor. I cleaned, filed, stacked, stocked, answered the phone, you name it, I did it. We obviously started dating and through some trials and tribulations, we finally got married.
He had two young daughters and I had a daughter and son. We weren’t exactly the “Brady Bunch”, but we tried. I previously had a tubal ligation after my son was born, but we decided to try to have a child together, so I had a reverse tubal and it worked – another daughter. Our attempt at raising the most dysfunctional family I had ever encountered turned totally upside down. Once the older kids were in their teens, we went through everything from teenage pregnancy to drug abuse to alcohol abuse to shooting BB guns at passing cars. It was horrible and I was the weak, too lenient parent who had a real hard time with discipline, so my kids paid the price and I had a stress Heart Attack at age 45. They were in and out of drug rehab and/or jail multiple times, still addicts, but now clean, prayerfully for good! We now have three beautiful grandchildren and starting to make life seem promising and exciting again.
My husband sold his company due to the economic downturns and we have made major life adjustments. Our home of 16 years burned to the ground due to a chimney fire. Our whole world was falling around us. While this was happening, I was able to attain U.S. distributorship of Microtronic, a technology product out of Switzerland and finally had my own company! I tried it on my own, but eventually partnered with a great businessman and it is quickly becoming successful! The future holds many great mysteries and adventures and I can hardly wait! My being featured in the book, "Fearless Women, Fearless Wisdom" is truly a whole new chapter in my life!