Girl Profile / Theresa Winters

Dear Theresa,

When I first met you, I could sense a kindred spirit… you were freelance writing for Time Out magazine and other organisations; curious about everything in the world around you; an explorer of places, people and events; wholeheartedly in support of girls & women being excellent to each other; and always trying new things and starting new things – like your Braidiance hair braiding classes, your WinWinWinters Facebook group that seeks out the best contests, giveaways and freebies, and The Plus Ones website, which highlights Melbourne’s best events!

Since then, you’ve written about Girls Club for the press, been a speaker at our 4 Short Talks event (speaking about “How to schedule awesomeness: go out every night, read dozens of books, and make it feel effortless!”), made friends everywhere you go, and generally been a fantastic human bean.

We’d love to hear your answers to our Girl Profile questions… and learn more about the world of Theresa.

WORK + PLAY

How are you today?
I’m pretty content with life, and looking forward to the weekend.

What do you do for work?
I have a part-time administrative role that pays the bills and allows me to both save and spend a little. I also teach hair braiding classes, freelance write for a couple of events websites/magazines, and teach classes at Laneway Learning every few months. I do a fair amount of voluntary activities, too, like running The Plus Ones and helping with social media for The Squeaky Wheel.

What does that involve day to day?
Three days a week, I’m at my admin job. The other two workdays are me writing and running around catching up with life. Every night (almost) I’m out doing an activity — I like to think it’s because I’m covering it for The Plus Ones, but really TPO is just an excuse to write about something I was doing anyway.

How did you get to this role, this field, from school?
My university major was Classical Civilization with a minor in Linguistics. As I liked to tell my friends in Engineering at the time: “I’m getting an education, not a vocation.” (I was a little obnoxious when I was 19, okay?) Looking back, my career path has gone along one sinuous line: events. In Chicago, I spent two years working part-time as the editor of an events website (specialising in where to drink for free); in Wellington, NZ, I founded an underground newsletter about cheap/free events. Since I moved to Melbourne, I’ve continued with events: writing, organising, spreading the word. I’m a happenings specialist.

What do you do for play?
One of my special activities is the book club I’ve been part of for over a year. (My first one!) We focus on prize-winning and acclaimed books. Since I read voraciously, it’s always a good thing to have a recommendation — and while I may not like every book I read, because it’s acclaimed I understand the point of finishing it. Besides, when we all like the book the discussion isn’t as lively.

FAVOURITES

Do you have any favourite sites or blogs?
Too many to list here — you should see my Feedly. The two I visit daily are LaineyGossip (celebrity gossip from a sociological perspective — no, really) and GoFugYourself (pretty dresses, hilarious writeups).

What TV/music are you currently enjoying?
Girl… you’ve simply got to watch Outlander. Based on the fantastic novel by Diana Gabaldon, the series just started. I’m o-to-the-bsessed. Like, to the point of going on Tumblr every day to find animated gifs. It’s bad. But it’s so, so good. (And so is the show. Watch it already!)

Music-wise, right now I’m on a sea shanty kick. Yup. Sea shanties. Can’t get enough. Am constantly Spotifying them. If anyone wants to start a sea shanty choir, I’m the first to sign up.

Who are favourite females in your life?
All of my girlfriends all over the world! I seem to always find myself, no matter where I’m living, surrounded by incredibly loud, smart, funny, talented ladies with strong personalities. Get some of us in a room together and I’m sure we’re pretty intimidating — in a good way. It’s fun knowing all of them.

Are you part of any other meetups/groups/etc that you recommend?
You know, I think this is my favourite question on here. Because I have so many great groups I want to tell people about. There’s Melbourne Urban Golf (dress up in golfing attire and hit tennis balls!), EatWithMe (attend dinner parties and meet interesting new people!), the Brunswick Scottish Society (learn how to do traditional Scottish dances and learn how to pronounce the word ‘ceilidh’!). I also love Sacred Harp Melbourne (sing a cappella Appalachian folk hymns from the 1800s!) and the Melbourne Kickball Association (play a combo of baseball and dodgeball in a Northcote field!).

THE BIG PICTURE

What are your passions?
Travel. People. Finishing the BBC’s Top 100 books (four left…).

What are you looking forward to, coming up?
Tomorrow I’m applying for Australian citizenship, since it will be four years that I’ve been in Oz. Becoming a dual citizen is a lifelong dream that I never dared think would actually happen. My boyfriend became a citizen last week, and I can’t wait for my turn.

What would you do, if money were no object?
I’d have houses in various parts of the world, and whenever I miss a friend, I’d ask them if they could take some time off work (that I would pay for, naturally) and fly them to come hang out for a week or so. I’d have a house open to friends, and friends of friends — with scads of delicious food, free-flowing cocktails, beautiful linens, decorated with tchotchkes from my world travels — and would host fantastic theme parties. I’d periodically get some R&R in my lakeside cabin.

What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?
Learn how to invest. And find a job that will give me enough money left over to invest.

COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE

I would love to meet other girls who…
enjoy putting on crazy activities.

I would love to meet other girls to…
support each other in our business/career endeavours, and to come along to the fun things I’m always telling people about.

I need help with…
figuring out how to balance the pursuit of fun and variety with having a massive retirement account.

I’d like to promote…
The Plus Ones, since I’m quite smitten with how we’re showcasing the cool, hidden sides of Melbourne.
My friend/housemate Jez Kemp’s t-shirt designs. He’s a whirlwind of creativity.
And… I’m available as a freelance writer. I do everything from articles to press releases for small businesses.

LAST WORD

If other girls are reading this, is there anything you’d like to ask them / say to them?

  • Don’t be afraid to go somewhere by yourself, be it another country or an event.
  • Reading Facebook on your phone on your commute isn’t going to improve your mind. Reading a book on your Kindle (or even Kindle app on your phone — see what I did there?) definitely will.
  • If something interests you, just keep showing up. You’ll make friends if you commit to going along. I promise.

CONNECTING

How can people connect with you?
twitter.com/Desdrata
linkedin.com/in/theresawinters
www.braidiance.com
the-plus-ones.com

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