your inner Stellargirl
written by: Olivia Kassner
Teri Tkachuk wants to be your biggest cheerleader. As co-founder of STELLARGIRL, the entrepreneur has created a brand that is all about empowering and celebrating women, and she is growing her community of global STELLARGIRLS. Tkachuk launched STELLARGIRL in the Fall of 2020 after spending years developing her signature glimmer lotion to spread positivity and sparkle. The mom of four and fit model uses her background in fashion to bring style to her everyday life and her passion for fitness to inspire healthy, fulfilling lives in others through her brand. She uploads a podcast weekly, her blog is full of constructive and encouraging posts, and her website features everyday women whom she wants to champion. Teri and her brand are a fresh burst of positivity and female empowerment to women around the world.
A lifelong global traveler, Tkachuk was born in Canada and has visited over three dozen countries. Everywhere she went found women whom she would befriend and whose stories spoke to her. Respectful of the diverse cultures she has immersed herself in, Tkachuk would listen to and learn from these women, and she became inspired by their individual journeys, embracing a “Kindness First, Always” attitude. Tkachuk says of this mantra: “Why don’t you say hello and see if that person is kind and be kind to them? We miss that human connection, especially with females.” She radiates positive energy when she recounts her experiences, and her enthusiasm is infectious.
But it isn’t just her sparkling personality that attracted other strong women; her sparkling skin commands attention as well. Teri loves sparkle so much that for years she had her own DIY ritual for creating her signature look: she would apply lotion on her arms, legs, and decolletage, dust herself with micas, iron oxides, and glitter, and then set the particles with a powder. The final look gave her skin a luster that would literally catch the eyes of women who would then strike up a conversation asking her about it and how to achieve her look.
Teri decided it was time to find a way to bottle her sunshine up and get people sparkling everywhere. After working with chemists and a cosmeceuticals company for over three years developing the formula, testing ingredient stability, and putting the final application to the test, at last she was satisfied with the replication of her homemade concoction. The lotion applies smoothly and is absorbed by the skin for a dry touch, leaving behind a variety of pearly shimmer particles and striking glitter flecks that stay put. The result is dazzling skin that is scientifically proven to boost your mood. Tkachuk even interviewed an expert to back this claim up.
On Tkachuk’s Speaking STELLARGIRL podcast, Dr. Dawnn Karen, dubbed “the world’s first fashion psychologist” by the New York Times, cites an ecological study that proves that shine and sparkle actually make you happy. She says humans are biologically drawn to water, so when we see things that shimmer, it triggers a dopamine release in the brain, creating feelings of pleasure and reward. “It makes me so happy putting it on every day,” says Teri, sparkling inside and out.
Dr. Karen is just one of the many powerhouse females featured on the podcast that Tkachuk uploads weekly. From CEOs and doctors to stylists and influencers, Teri’s guests are always interesting and informative, serving up real world advice for living an empowered life. Her interviewees offer knowledge on women’s rights, body image acceptance, breaking the glass ceiling, and domestic violence, to name a few topics.
The latter is another one of Tkachuk’s passions, and one of the charitable causes she is committed to serving. She is currently undertaking the creation of a STELLARGIRL Foundation - a three to five year process - and Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs is one of the two organizations Tkachuk hopes to benefit. She is already involved in the program educating others on how to spot signs of sex trafficking and domestic abuse, and she has donated exercise equipment to their establishment so the women living there can lead healthy, fit lives while they get back on their feet.
The other cause Teri is dedicated to ties in her love for fashion. Tkachuk has been on the board of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) for over a decade, when she was asked to join as a fashion maven due to her work as a style editor in a Naperville magazine. The board supports SAIC students and raises money for scholarships for them to attend the Fashion Design program, giving these gifted artists the opportunity to pursue their exceptional talents. Teri looks forward to the student fashion show each year, and she loves to purchase off the runway to directly subsidize the students’ careers. She has even ordered custom pieces from the designers, and cherishes her growing couture closet. Check out the sidebar for more details on her dreamy closet.
Teri’s goal is to expand her network of STELLARGIRLS across the globe, and she has the foundation built to do so. Her brand and website are trademarked and hosted in over 120 countries, and she has vowed to only grow her social media organically - no bots, no paid followers, and no shortcuts. Her biggest request of readers is to find your way to her website where you can see her growing page of STELLARGIRLS and become inspired to submit your own stories or how your friend is a true STELLARGIRL. By championing your successes, Teri hopes to connect you to women across the world to support each other's journeys.
Loving this peek inside Teri’s lush closet? With the model’s collection of vintage fashion growing after twenty years of curating, she needed to store them in a place as luxurious as they. She also felt the custom pieces she has commissioned from SAIC students deserved to be showcased.
She and her husband Keith decided to extend the master closet into the home office to create a lavish closet. They designed the room with Rose Jagodinsky at The Closet Company, whom they say is ‘outstanding’ and whose work they couldn’t be happier with. The team contracted Wilco Cabinet Makers to construct their plans and HJ Martin and Son to install the flooring. The end product is a swoon-worthy room that Teri says is the only one in the house that she truly has to herself (spoken like a true mom).
With her master closet now her happy place, Tkachuk has a place to display her wall of designer shoes and accessories, her cherished custom and vintage wardrobe, and her collection of decades of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue magazines. Any fashionista could live and die a happy life in this closet.
True to her charitable roots, when rotating clothes out Teri doesn’t resell her items on consignment or on websites to recoup the cost. Instead she donates them to the Harbor House, so that the women have access to current fashion to wear to interviews instead of the outdated or unwanted clothes that are typically contributed. Inside and out, Teri truly is a style icon for our community to look up to.