She Still Takes Time To Be Present In the Moment - Coffee is her Business

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We were so thrilled when Teresa agreed to answer some of our questions for the Too Pretty blog! She has been a supporter of Too Pretty since the inception of the brand.

Teresa Ma is a mother, an uber fit female and an entrepreneur. Her new company is Chestbrew, a coffee company which has a social purpose. But even with her plate full she finds time to savor the moments of each day. 

You will be inspired by her to do the same!

What/who inspired you to start in your sport/activity? My first and most influential inspiration to take up long distance running was my grade 5 teacher Mr. Aninaias. Not only was he a facilitator in the classroom, he was also a huge fitness enthusiast and encouraged me to use my lunch hour running around the block to train as a part of the cross country team. Being a kid who wasn’t the keenest on skipping rope and playing hopscotch I gave it a try and after that first runners high I was hooked!

Do you have a hero/role model? My number one role model in my life is hands down my father. His entire outlook on the world and those in it and how he uses the life he’s been given to help support and encourage those closest to him is unlike any other I’ve ever encountered. He’s humble, strong, selfless, caring and wise. If there’s anyone that I’d look to for inspiration on how to live a good life he’s it.

Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like? I grew up in a small border town called Fort Erie, Ontario which is across from Buffalo, New York. My neighborhood was so interesting because it was one in which many of the Chinese business owners and their families also lived on. At that time Chinese restaurants were booming and most days you’d find the parents hard at work and the kids running around the streets playing. I would jump at the chance to play a game of street hockey with my older brother and his friends but you know how it often goes for the “little sister”. More often than not though what I really enjoyed was time alone in my backyard carving tree branches into little wooden gifts, shooting hoops trying to perfect my “swish” shot or taking afternoon biking treks along Lake Erie.

Have you ever been underestimated simply for being a girl/woman? Tell us how. I feel like in many of my past romantic relationships the men absolutely underestimated me for being a woman. I’ve had years in my life when my significant other at the time, would down play all the talents and abilities that I had and dismiss my interests and goals as nothing more than “kid dreams” or “stupid chick habits.” One went so far as to accuse my love of running outdoors, (something I’ve been doing since I was 10 years old) for being nothing more than a way to get attention from other guys. Another told me that the only reason I wanted to pursue a career as a journalist was because I wanted the adoration from men. The worst part of it all was that for years I ate their poisonous words up. I allowed myself to believe everything they said and as a result lost so much of life to a huge lack of self-worth. It was a hard way to live. However, eventually and by the grace of the support of those that really loved me and a determination in myself to live my best life I shut the door on that negativity and slowly but surely found my way to the path I’m on now. One that has me making my way towards my most authentic and true self-loving self.

What are you doing currently and what are your goals? Currently I’m living in Southern California falling more in love with the hikes and landscape that it has to offer every day. On top of that I’ve co-founded a coffee company with my husband called Chestbrew. As an advocate of sharing the good things in life and a spirited believer in the power of social connection to impact to change I’m driven by my personal belief that every moment of life is an adventure to be savored to the fullest. The inspiration for the company came from my husband’s devotion to his cultural roots and after a quick acquaintance with Vietnamese coffee my commitment to helping create opportunities for hard working people coupled with my newly discovered enthusiasm for bringing the best coffee to the adventure seekers of America was born. Most days you can find me in my home office drinking Vietnamese coffee and working my way towards the growth and success of this new business. Some of my goals are in an honest to goodness flux and flow every day because every morning that I open my eyes I realize I’m grateful for so many more opportunities that I wasn’t aware of the day before. The goals that never waver always include proper fundamentals such as being more present in each moment, being a woman my daughter can look up to and be proud of, connecting with more of the other awesome humans who live on this planet, creating true opportunities for those who may not be as lucky as I am and making the difference that I’m meant to in this big beautiful world.