Over the summer, the three-story mammoth closet belonging to Houston philanthropist Theresa Roemer made national headlines. The 3,000 square foot space with a seating area, champagne bar and fashions from top designers like Hermès, Fendi and Dior, was featured on Good Morning America, the Today show and in newspapers around the nation.
The focus of many of the stories was the opulent closet, all the high end jewelry, handbags, shoes and clothes and its subsequent burglary. More than $1 million in goods were stolen from Roemer, who is the founder of the Theresa Roemer True and Real apparel line, and her husband, Lamar Roemer. But there's more to Roemer's story than a super fancy closet and the items that were stolen from it.
Remember the adage, "don't judge a book by its cover?" Here are some facts about Theresa Roemer that you might not know.
Now the CEO of Theresa Roemer, LLC, Roemer grew up on a farm in Nebraska and went to school in a 2 room schoolhouse. Instilled with a strong work ethic, she milked cows, painted fences, and worked on a ranch to earn extra money. As Roemer says, "I learned to ride a horse before I could walk, drive a tractor before I could drive a car, and can make the best homemade chicken and noodles from scratch."
As a child, Roemer was diagnosed with rheumatic fever which caused her to have a heart murmur. Her doctors gave her physical constraints and said she could not play outside or climb trees. "The medical prediction for me was bleak, that I would be sick most of my life, and that sports were out," she says. Yet she never let that stop her from pursuing her interest in fitness and health. In fact, as she explains her diagnosis "ignited something powerful inside me to pursue a life of the opposite, to live my life to the absolute fullest. I did everything they said I could not do." By the time she was in high school, she learned how to teach aerobics and by 18 was earning money as a fitness instructor.
Roemer married when she was in her 20s and was divorced by 29. After her divorce, she was a single parent with two children to support and had to start her life over with very little money. The family lived in a one room apartment until she was able to build financial stability for them.
As a board member for the organization, Child Legacy International, Roemer has made frequent trips to Malawi to help build sustainable programs for children. She has been involved with initiatives there which work with communities to create electricity from solar and wind and install clean water filtration systems. In 2011 she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the organization.
For the rest of Theresa Roemer's story, click here and read it all at Parade.com.