Terasa Reynolds is a colourful icon in Coffs Harbour. She works at Bunnings Warehouse, where she finds joy in being around customers and her colleagues. She believes that people smiling at each other or simply saying, “Hello” to a stranger is the key to happiness!
Tell us a little bit about yourself …
Hi, darlings. My name is Terasa Reynolds, and I live in the most gorgeous place in the world – Upper Orara, Coffs Harbour. My family consists of my spunky husband, John, and my beautiful daughter, Jemimah Mary-Rose, who is 18. She has just finished her HSC. I’m very proud of her.
Tell us about your upbringing…
I come from a very big family: two brothers and three sisters. I have 27 nieces and nephews! My mum, Mary, and my dad, Eric, gave us all an amazing life. They loved and cared for us so much; they taught us to love each other and care for others. It was important for them to ingrain strong values in us, in the way of always treating others how you would like to be treated.
We lost Dad three years ago. It broke my heart; the pain of losing someone you love so much is extremely hard. He was such a beautiful man. I miss him very much. I’m so grateful to have been given the privilege of having such a beautiful, amazing family.
On a happier note, I’m nearly 47 and I need a new set of teeth, plus I’m going grey. I also need glasses, but I am really loving life! I have three chooks, a rabbit, and a turtle named Kev. My favourite things in life are sitting at the Happy Frog in Park Ave, having a coffee and a yogurt with my wonderful hubby, John.
Where do you work? What do you like about your job?
I have been working at Bunnings Warehouse now for almost 12 years. I absolutely LOVE my job. I get so much enjoyment every day. What I truly love about Bunnings is the people – all of the customers and my gorgeous work colleagues. I have met such amazing people through Bunnings. It’s a great company to work for. They have looked after me and are actually really great to their staff.
I meet people from all walks of life, in all different shapes and colours, from all over the world thanks to my job at Bunnings. It’s a fantastic place to work – I have laughed and cried! I especially love the little kids who come in. I love giving them stamps and balloons. Their gorgeous faces light up!
I like working at Bunnings, because of the great work culture and the unique values the company stands for. I believe we have an a exceptional team at Bunnings. My friends at Bunnings will be my friends for life!
Your style is unique – you really stand out. Do you subscribe to the fact that one person can make another person’s day?
Growing up, I have always loved colour … a bit like Punky Brewster, really (laughs). I always try to put a bit of colour and joy into someone’s life through my clothes.
Something many people don’t know about me is I suffer from severe anxiety and panic. Thanks to my supportive family and friends and doctors and my true faith in God, I have been able to conquer my fears. Because of this, I want to give back to others. People have shown me so much kindness and love.
I have perfect strangers come up to me and tell me that I have made their day, just because I smiled at them, or people say to me that they love what I’m ‘wearing’. It makes me cry with joy and gratitude. It’s because of the kindness of others that I am where I am today. I believe with all of my heart that we can make someone’s day a better one, just by a simple smile or a hello. All of those people who tell me they love what I’m wearing really do bring me so much joy. So thank you to all of the gorgeous people who have been so kind to me. GOD LUV YA, DARLINS’!
What would you do if today was your last day?
The first thing I would do would be to kiss my husband and daughter and tell them I love them, then ring my family and friends and tell them I love them! Then I would eat so much chocolate!
What do you do in your spare time?
On my days off, I spend time with Mum visiting family and seeing the little kids in our family. They make me laugh. Also, I spend time going for coffee with friends. There are many beautiful rivers in Upper Orara, so I try to swim when I can. I also read. I have to have a book at all times. (Laughs)
I also spend a lot of time driving my daughter from place to place. Like all women, I like to op shop and hunt down bargains. Pushkar is my ‘go to’ place for necklaces and unique jewellery.
What are five words that best describe you?
Honest, stressed, vibrant, colourful, passionate!
What’s your vision of a perfect community?
I’m really passionate about justice in communities. I don’t have any tolerance for racism. Since multiculturalism has entered Coffs Harbour, the culture here has really come alive. I think that other cultures joining our Coffs Coast community is a wonderful thing!
Another example is the Indian culture in Woolgoolga with the Bollywood dancing, the delicious food, the colourful and bright community – I just love it!
I also like that Coffs Harbour is becoming cosmopolitan. With the new alfresco restaurants – Pansabella, Cocoa – people sitting outside, eating, drinking and actually spending time together, Coffs Harbour is really coming alive.
What were your dreams as a young child?
Well, I think that I always wanted to meet the man of my dreams. All I wanted was to be happy. I did actually want to be an artist and a hockey player; I also wanted to be a missionary, to go to India and work with impoverished people. But ultimately, I had such a beautiful childhood, that all I really wanted was a gorgeous husband and a wonderful family.
Now, all I want is for my daughter’s dreams to come true. I want her to find the happiness that I have found. Jemimah is a really good singer – brilliant. She got her first gig the other day; I’m so excited. I want her to have a great life; that would be a dream come true for me.
This article was published in issue 29 of Coffs Coast Focus