For more than 26 years, Shirley Terry-Lopez has been in the business of helping women feel their best. As the owner of two successful spas — Beyond Beauté Day Spa & Wellness Retreat in the Clear Lake area and Deer Park — she makes it possible for women to escape the ordinary and slip into a world of pampering and tranquillity.
Terry-Lopez grew up with a competitive spirit. Her father was a horse trainer, who taught her to ride at an early age.
“It taught me to be pretty fearless,” she said.
A few years of modeling and 13 years working for a pipe fitting and valve company, where she became an expert at inventory control, probably helped lay the groundwork for keeping her closets so organized, she said.
After obtaining a degree in fashion merchandising, she became a wardrobe consultant and subsequently got interested in makeup, which prompted her to return to college for an esthetician license. She opened a small skin care salon in a Deer Park strip center, which led to her opening her first spa in the Clear Lake area. Soon after that, she bought an old Victorian tea room in Deer Park and converted it into her second location. Fifty-four employees later, Terry-Lopez stays busy running two thriving businesses, but manages to unwind by spending time with husband Jeff at their lake house in Toledo Bend. She also enjoys traveling.
Not one, but two closets are a must for this organizer. A “work/play” closet downstairs and a “party” closet upstairs separate her two lives. The work/play closet houses attire that she wears to the spa, business meetings, luncheons and early evening events. This closet is home to an array of jewelry pinned on two large bulletin boards. Hats, shoes, purses, outfits and scarves — lots of them — dominate the rest of the space.
“I’m a big scarf person,” Terry-Lopez said. “I like to throw them over whatever I’m wearing for an overlay effect.” She spent several years dancing competitively, so dancewear and dance shoes also call this closet home.
Upstairs the party closet is full of wigs, boas and glittery gowns for Halloween, costume parties and formal affairs.
Q: How would you describe your fashion sense?
A: Innovative. I’m a hiker, biker, yogi, dancer, horse rider and business woman, so I have to be ready for change. If something in my closet is out of style, I find a way to convert it.
Q: What do you wear to work most days?
A: Something flowing, fun, and easy. I’m a romanticist who loves soft, graceful things.
Q: Best fashion trend in the past 20 years?
A: Long skirts.
Q: Worst fashion trend in the past 20 years?
A: Shoulder pads.
Q: What do you wear when you go dancing?
A: It depends on the dance. For western, a short skirt with rhinestone belt, black boots. For West Coast swing, slacks with a shawl tied around the waist for movement and maybe an off-the-shoulder top. I have separate shoes for tango and waltz.
Q: Oh, you do the tango?
A: Yes, and have tangoed the night away in South America.
Q: When you travel, what are some of your “go-to” outfits that pack well?
A: Anything spandex. I have a method of folding all my tops and pants where they don’t wrinkle. And of course, I take lots of scarves.
Q: Do you have a favorite place you like to shop?
A: Stein Mart.
Q: Finish this sentence: As far as fashion goes, I wish someone would come up with ...
A: A way to deflate yourself to get back into your skinny clothes.
Q: What’s the one accessory you cannot live without?
A: Earrings. Big ones when my hair is short. Dangly when long.
Q: Best shopping deal you ever found.
A: My black leather jacket by Andrew Marc. I found it on sale in Wisconsin for $125. Shortly after that, I saw the same item in New Mexico for $600.
Q: Best dressed woman you admire and why.
A: Audrey Hepburn. She had a very feminine style.
Q: Your best fashion secret.
A: Beige shoes make you look taller.
Q: You wear a look of inner beauty. How do you achieve that?
A: It comes from having a lot of joy and peace within yourself.