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Surprising Facts About Theresa Roemer and Her 3,000 Square-Foot Closet

Over the summer, the three-story mammoth closet belonging to Houston philanthropist Theresa Roemer made national headlines. The 3,000 square foot space with a seating area, champagne bar and fashions from top designers like Hermès, Fendi and Dior, was featured on Good Morning America, the Today Show and in newspapers around the nation.

The focus of many of the stories was the opulent closet, all the high end jewelry, handbags, shoes and clothes and its subsequent burglary. More than $1 million dollars in goods were stolen from Roemer, who is the founder of the Theresa Roemer True and Real apparel line, and her husband, Lamar Roemer. But there’s more to Roemer’s story than a super fancy closet and the items that were stolen from it.

Remember the adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Here are some facts about Theresa Roemer that you might not know.

Now the CEO of Theresa Roemer, LLC, Roemer grew up on a farm in Nebraska. Instilled with a strong work ethic, she milked cows, painted fences, and worked on a ranch to earn extra money.

As a child, Roemer was diagnosed with rheumatic fever which caused her to have a heart murmur. Her doctors gave her physical constraints and said she could not play outside or climb trees. “The medical prediction for me was bleak, that I would be sick most of my life, and that sports were out,” she says. Yet she never let that stop her from pursuing her interest in fitness and health. In fact, as she explains her diagnosis “ignited something powerful inside me to pursue a life of the opposite, to live my life to the absolute fullest. I did everything they said I could not do.” By the time she was in high school, she learned how to teach aerobics and by 18 was earning money as a fitness instructor.

Roemer married when she was in her 20s and was divorced by 29. After her divorce, she was a single parent with two children to support and had start her life over with very little money. The family lived in a one room apartment until she was able to build financial stability for them.

Passionate about fitness, Roemer went from teaching aerobics to friends to teaching at a health club. While working at the club, Theresa fell in love with lifting weights and became a certified Nautilus Instructor. Over the years working at the health club, she became assistant manager. She ultimately worked her way up to become the club’s manager.

Roemer worked several jobs so she could save enough money to open her first health club. From the time she made the decision to have her own fitness facility to the day she opened the door to her first club took about 3 years. “I went on to build businesses around my passion for fitness,” she says.

When she first opened her health club, the business was failing. To keep the business going, she sold her home and slept in the back of the health club for a year. However, she stayed the course. By the time she was in her early 30s, she turned her one health club into a chain of fitness studios. She became a self-made millionaire by age 38. 
”By 1991 I had five fitness centers in Wyoming and a personal training service,” says Roemer.

Roemer has held several state body building titles from 1991-2000. When she was 40, she won the Miss US Open in Body building. In 2010, she was Mrs. Houston U.A. and then Mrs. Texas U.A.

Her closet was actually built to host charity events. It was never meant to be seen by the public. To that end, this Saturday, November 8th, Roemer will host her first charity event there since the burglary. The fundraiser will will benefit MoRE Camp Adventure, a camp for children who have cancer and their siblings. Created by Kids Need More, the organization was founded by parents in 1990 so their children diagnosed with cancer and their siblings could thrive in a camp environment and bond. “When I heard about how MoRE Camp Adventure gives strong and spirited children a week to just be kids, time off from thinking about cancer, I wanted to help,” says Roemer. “This camp is completely run by volunteers and fully funded by donations – that’s no small order.”

Roemer is no stranger to loss. Michael, her only son, passed away when he was 19 after a terrible car accident. The item that most devastated Roemer when it was stolen in the burglary, was the priceless heart-shaped locket that contained a piece of Michael’s hair.

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