Confidence Issue: RefinedBy – Tessa Stockdale

At TBC we love a good inspirational #GIRLBOSS. Tessa Stockdale from the blog RefinedBy is definitely one strong lady across all social media platforms that we look to for a little empowerment in our day.

We were lucky enough to have a chat to her about confidence and her key tips for success & motivation.

Who is Tessa Stockdale?

A twenty-one year old woman with a million things on the go. From fashion, to health, family, politics and friends – I couldn’t tell you a time where a new thought or idea isn’t running through my mind. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce at University of Auckland majoring in Commercial Law and Marketing. I am a fast-paced and mature woman with a headstrong perspective on life. I have a ‘take-no-shit’ attitude yet I can be the friendliest person you will meet. I work hard, make mistakes, succeed and learn. You’ll find me attempting not to die in one of Les Mills’ GRIT classes, or nestled in a cafe preparing and writing content for clients and my website, RefinedBy. On the weekends I’m out brunching, meeting friends or flying around the country to discover new places.

What does confidence mean to you?

Confidence to me is being happy with yourself. It is time that we enjoy who we are including our imperfections. Confidence goes beyond physical appearance, it is being proud of your achievements, your knowledge and your heritage. It isn’t an easy thing to grasp,  it takes time to build, but once you get it, you’ll never be happier.

What empowers you as a women?

The ability to live in a country and a society where I can be who I want to be, do what I want to do and be happy because of it. I am empowered by the many female role models I have in my life. Their strength and courage to make change has played a huge part in my confidence and empowerment. There are two very real issues in New Zealand that spark my passion and empowerment for change: the gender pay gap and our laws on abortion. I could expand on these, but we may be here for a while!

What knocks your confidence down and how do you deal with that?

The biggest thing that affects my confidence would be my anxiety. It’s time to break the stigma surrounding mental illness because the reality is, most of us, if not all of us will struggle with depression or anxiety at some stage in our lives. My anxiety tends to makes me worry about interactions with people and social situations. This is a very common thing people with anxiety face. The great thing is I am blessed to have amazing friends and family around me to help me take control of my anxiety. It’s important to be gentle with yourself and speak to people who can help you.

How has confidence helped with the start and running of RefinedBy?

I knew that I wanted to start my own business since I was a young girl. I am also lucky to be naturally confident, therefore the combination of the two really helped to begin RefinedBy. The deciding factor for me to create RefinedBy were my friends and family. They were incredibly supportive and encouraging to the point that it gave me all the confidence I needed to go out and make it a reality. The launch night was so nerve racking but our family, friends and invited media made it incredible. I guess no matter how confident you are by yourself, if you have the right people around you, you can end up feeling as though you can take on the world.

What advice would you give our customers about self confidence and believing in themselves?

Confidence comes with time. Don’t beat yourself up, because you’ll get there. Do the things in life you love and push the boundaries. Be gentle with yourself and be kind to others. There is so much bad shit going on in the world that we need to look after one another. Love yourself, love your neighbour and know that everyone is beautiful – we just don’t always see it. You are your biggest fan and if you don’t believe in yourself, how can anyone else?

What piece of clothing makes you feel confident to take on the world?

My go to outfit for confidence is a tailored blazer and pant paired with my Valentinos and a lick of lipstick – M.A.C Russian Red or Smashbox First Time. Do not underestimate the power of lipstick.

What women inspire you?

There are three groups of women who have inspired me and continue to inspire me in different aspects of my life.

As cliché as it is, my mother is my lifelong inspiration. She is the strongest, most kind-hearted and driven person I’ve had in my life. She simply is incredible. She raises five children, studies part time and works in a senior position at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. She gives her time as a volunteer at Waikato Hospital’s neonatal unit while continuing to be the ultimate role model to me and my siblings. She projects love and kindness to everyone and would help a stranger in a heart beat. If I can be half the person she is, I will be happy.

My creative inspiration comes from the amazing likeminded women all over the world. Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley, Eleanor Pendleton of Gritty Pretty and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl. These women not only inspire me with the work they produce but their manner, hard work and ethic. They have succeeded and changed the industry because of their willingness to push the creative boundaries, take a step forward and make a change.

Last but not least, my beautiful friends. These girls give me happiness like no one else. I can’t name them all but without them, I would truly be lost. Their support, kindness and care throughout my life, and especially during the years of RefinedBy, is priceless. Those days where I needed a grammar check, an opinion, an Instagram photographer or a hug – they were there. I guess you could say that they are the most important people in my life.

What’s your favourite piece out of The Borrowed Collective and why?

The Bec & Bridge White Rock Set is an absolute favourite. Nothing screams empowerment and confidence like a tailored yet sophisticated pant and top combination. I would pair this with a pair of nude pumps and a red lip. A black long sleeve layered underneath would make it perfect for an autumn or winter event.