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Teresa Foss

Teresa Foss

The entrepreneurial Teresa Foss has mastered the art of first impressions. From matchmaker to makeup artist to image consultant extraordinaire, Foss highlights positive qualities and makes them shine. She founded her first company, DC Elite Image, dedicating herself to image styling and consulting with unparalleled commitment. As her reputation grew, Foss expanded this venture into her second company, Teresa Foss Beauty, and relocated to Los Angeles. Fosss work has popped up in publications from Marie Claire to the UK Times.

The multifaceted artist tackles everything from editorial to weddings and will never say no to trying something new. The core of all her competencies is how to put your best foot forward —  Foss tells all about feeling your best inside and out. 

Shop Her Look

Growing up as an Air Force brat”, you moved homes and schools often. What are the most important steps to make a good first impression?

I think looking your best on the outside will absolutely help you feel more confident on the inside especially when you want to make a good first impression. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be “dressed up” but more of being dressed appropriately and authentically you. Truly though, a genuine smile and positive energy paired with a polished appearance can make a huge impact. 

You have said that you always tried to look your best on your first day in a new place. What were your go-to outfits?

Generally, I like to wear color near my face, something that is v-neck and tailored to my figure. For special events, I love garments like big bell bottom pants or a flowy maxi dress with movement to make a memorable entrance. 

Being a multi-racial woman in a series of small, non-diversified towns, you were inspired to become an advocate for diversity. In what ways are you promoting change in the fashion and beauty realm?

Growing up, I rarely saw anyone in magazines, tv or movies that looked like me. Even my 2nd grade teacher told my mom, she didn’t know where to “put me”. My mom, who is Caucasian (I am adopted), did not understand what my teacher meant, so she visited me at school. There I was sitting dead center of the classroom with all the white kids on one side and the black children on the other. She was horrified. These type of situations happened often to me as a young child. As I got older, I knew that I wanted to make an impact regarding diversity and be a positive Asian American role model to young girls. 

When I started growing my business, I never wanted to make anyone feel like they didn’t “belong” or that they needed to “check a box”.   Diversity in my team of hair stylists and makeup artists is one of the most important aspects of my business.   We work with all skin tones, hair textures and eye shapes, so our clients are from all walks of life. If an artist or stylist wants to be part of my team, they must have a diverse portfolio. 

You were quoted in an article with Modern Luxury Spotlight: "Luxury doesnt have to be stuffy.” We love this mentality! What does luxury mean to you?

Luxury to me is a mood. It’s special, unique, detailed, timeless yet modern, and with exceptional quality. Elegant, but not stuffy. 

ONE33 Social is a brand that embodies the celebration of self-expression. How has beauty and fashion aided you in finding your voice? Is this what drew you to ONE33 Social?

For me, Fashion is wearable art. You can speak volumes about yourself without saying a word. Since I’m an introvert, this has worked well for me when I needed to project a confident outward image. I have fun switching up my style depending on the city, country, season or occasion.  I tend to not always be a risk taker in other parts of my life, but with fashion I can be adventurous and even create different “personas” with my wardrobe. I especially love statement pieces for events, and ONE33 Social has beautiful designs with unique silhouettes, gorgeous fabrics and bold colors. 

It is impressive that you founded two companies: Teresa Foss Beauty and DC Elite Image. What persuaded you to become an entrepreneur?

I have always been very particular and detail-oriented. I definitely like things a certain way, so I think the idea of being able to create something of my own was very appealing. 

Was there a defining moment that inspired you to become your own boss?

Honestly, a lot of jobs in fashion and beauty with bad leadership and women who were hyper competitive and jealous. I wanted to create something different, something where women can uplift and support each other. 

Before delving into the beauty industry, you were a matchmaker – this must be such a fun and interesting career! How did you begin in matchmaking and what are some of your highlights from your work?

Matchmaking can be very rewarding as finding love for two people is such a beautiful thing. Helping people with one of the most important decisions they will make is challenging but making life long relationships and friendships is still one of the greatest highlights for me. I also attribute the launch of my business to my matchmaking clients. If I hadn’t coached them with their dating image, they wouldn’t have had the confidence to go after love. Seeing their transformation truly brought me joy and I knew I had found my passion.  I am blessed that I am still friends with many of them.

You began in beauty and continued further along the same track into image consulting and styling. What is next on the horizon for you?

Currently, I am enjoying shooting makeup tutorials, training and mentoring. I would definitely like to expand more of this into future projects. Helping others has always been rewarding for me. I am also considering a product launch…stay tuned! 

You are always taking a master class, learning a skill, or trying something new. What would you recommend to those looking to push themselves out of their comfort zone? 

If we don’t push ourselves, we stop growing, learning….evolving. Find something you are passionate about and start there. If you are passionate about something, you will be excited and more eager to learn all about it. Also, community is SO important. Putting yourself out there brings interesting experiences and new people into your life. Sitting at home alone doing the same thing isn’t going to get you to your dreams. 

How have these practices impacted your life outside of work?

As an entrepreneur, work and personal life have so much overlap, but it is important to create boundaries. I think that has been the biggest life lesson for me and that is the art of saying no….taking time for myself. It’s ok to not say yes to everything.

Your brand is all about making people look and feel their best. What is the simplest way to start?

Asking for help! I think many people struggle with finding their personal style and brand or do not realize the value of it. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, knowing that you are worth investing in is the first start.