MATEUS: Teresa Mateus Lundahl

Growing up in Portugal, ceramic craftsmanship was close to Teresa Mateus Lundahl’s heart. She began as a fashion model, working in various countries while studying economics on the side. After finding love in Sweden she drew design inspiration from the country’s culture and combined them with her roots of ceramic artisanship from Portugal to create MATEUS in 1993.

MATEUS is a ceramic company that invites artists and consumers to “set the table” in many cities around the world. Accessorizing her pottery with nature – flowers, herbs, plants, etc,. the art of her passion is having a table setting emit vibes of comfort, celebration, happiness and warmth.

Using her ceramics as an everyday piece instead of merely showpieces, nothing brings Teresa and her husband more joy than inviting friends into their home for food and fellowship. But she does not stop spreading happiness at their front door. MATEUS recently partnered with the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan in their latest project: The Gift of Literacy/The Gift of Math, which serves at-risk multilingual children from immigrant and low-income families.

Teresa hopes to continue traveling, spreading MATEUS, celebrating with artistic eyes around the world and continuing to set the table.

Mood of Living Q&A

MoL: Hometown?
TL:
I was born in Lisbon, Portugal.

MoL: Current location?
TL: Stockholm, Sweden

MoL: Occupation?  
TL: Founder and CEO of Mateus, a Swedish company that sells ceramics for the table. The pottery is designed in Scandinavia and produced in Portugal. My work consists mostly of designing new products, starting new collaborations and developing in markets around the world.

MoL: What are Mateus ceramics about?
TL: Mateus ceramics are all about feelings, the art of making your table settings give you a better joy of life.  We are all about color, giving you the opportunity to make your own table setting according to your own personality and mood.

MoL: Before your current occupation you were…?
TL: I was modeling in some countries and a Portuguese teacher when my children were small.

MoL: In 10 years you will be…?
TL: A grandmother, still traveling and curious about life!  Probably taking Mateus to further countries.

MoL: What inspired you to become the founder and CEO of Mateus?
TL: I moved to Sweden when I met my husband. I wanted to continue getting close to my roots – Portugal and the ceramics tradition, but give them a twist of fashion.  That’s why I started my company, Mateus.

mateus ceramics portugal

MoL: Where did you learn your craft?  
TL: I had been traveling around the world for some years and I learned not to be afraid.  Just follow your heart and your values, and life will be kind to you.

MoL: Where do you look for inspiration?
TL: Traveling, listening to people around you. Never stop being curious.

MoL: What was your “aha” moment when you realized you could really do this?
TL: (It was the) first time I saw Mateus’ first dishes in the best store of Stockholm. I thought I was dreaming.

MoL: Do you have a hobby?
TL: Travel, trekking in mountains far far away and reading.

MoL: My favorite quote is?
TL: Be kind and generous, because kindness and generosity are the fuel for the frictions of life.

MoL: What was the most important moment of your life?
TL: The birth of my two children.

MoL: Who is an influential figure in your life?
TL: My father who taught me discipline.  My mother, who taught me to be curious about anything in life. And my husband, who has always supported all my crazy projects.

mateus ceramics portugal

MoL: Do you have a style icon?
TL: Julianne Moore

MoL: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
TL: Adventure is never too far away. From my mother.

MoL: If you could have a conversation with any living person, who would it be and why?
TL: Women in a African village.  How do they survive? How do they maintain the lust for life?

MoL: What is something you know now that you wish you knew before?
TL: Don’t worry too much.

MoL: Where do you go for peace of mind and spirit: Do you have a photo you would like to share?
TL: I easily go “into myself.” It can be in an airport or on the top of a mountain, at home in my sofa… I can easily abstract from the outside and just “breathe.”

MoL: We find that people who make beautiful things are more likely to lead an artistic lifestyle. Do you spend much time creating a beautiful home? Do you entertain? Do you cook? If so, do you have photos of your home and do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share?
TL: I love to entertain, I love everything around the table.  Usually, when we invite people for dinner, my husband cooks (I do not like the cooking) so I do everything around it – I love to make table settings, mix colors according to my mood, go out in the nature and pick up leaves or fruits and add them to my table setting.  In the same way I dress for my dinners or parties, I “dress up” my table and home for my guests.

MoL: What do you mean when you say “ Enjoy life and share”?
TL: To my mind, there is nothing better than inviting friends to visit my home. There are so many occasions to celebrate life. Make the most of them! Let the feelings flow and fill your home with warmth, sensitivity and wellbeing. Let the furnishing and the items in your home reflect your “joie de vivre” and the way you see the world. Give free reign to your imagination!  Why not make your home an enchanting and flowing dream? And always remember, you can spread hope and happiness outside your home, too. I mean that we should never forget those who have not as much as we have.  We can do so much to give them a better life.

MoL: What advice can you give anyone interested in starting his or her own business?
TL: Never be afraid, trust your judgment and values.

Teresa Mateus Lundahl mateus ceramics portugal

Teresa Mateus Lundahl, founder of MATEUS

Lundah’s own fish vegetable soup recipe!

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