Q&A with Teri Williams of T Williams Realty

T Williams Realty is small, independent and intricately connected to the Orcas Island community. Its team of women — Teri Williams, Sandi Friel, Raelene Casaday and Mandy Randolph — take their work seriously and have serious fun along the way. The Sounder sat down with owner and designated broker Teri to learn more.

What is the most satisfying part of your career?

Love to hear people’s story, how did they find Orcas Island on the map. What attracted them to the NW and Island life. We are all connected through life experiences. I never get tired of sharing the gifts this island brings to people’s lives.

How do you build community within your business?

We support and believe in each other both in our personal and professional lives. We do not compete with each other. We have independent lives and different connections in the Orcas Community. We nurture the idea when you work with one of us, you’re working with all of us. I know Sandi, Mandy and Raelene have my back — it’s a mutual sisterhood and commitment. We are growing as women together.

How do you give back to your island community?

Volunteering is the heartbeat in small communities. My list of current and past connections: Lahari board member, Orcas DoortoDoor driver, EPRC member, Planning Commission, Project Pal, Art Docent, feeding/fund raising for football team, donations to non-profits, Cider and Mead Festival, OIEF board member, pack up/manage/move locals relocating.

What is a challenging component of your work?

Life/work balance. When your work turns into friends and community building it’s hard to say no. The conversation is always on the table on how to better serve our clients/friends/families … AND give ourselves what we need to be present.

What has surprised you the most about being a woman in business?

How many smart, energetic, forward thinking, strong, giving women are out there every day making a difference. We are daughters, sisters, mothers, partners, grandmas, business owners/models/mentors. I love opportunities to encourage women to find their purpose/passion and move forward fearlessly. Women hold each other up and give support so collectively we all succeed.

What brings you bliss in your life?

Seeing familiar smiles in the market, sharing life with the hearts and minds in Pilates class, singing with the wise women in Water Aerobics, Yoga with Sam, driving Gilda, getting a hug when I order coffee, reading/learning/cooking/growing food, the morning southerly view in Eastsound across the water, exploring a part of Orcas that is new to me, anchored in a secret cove, sharing my opinions, finding the quiet moments, being proud of my adult sons and time with my grandchildren.