Fearless Females

At RedThread, we celebrate women who pioneer their own paths, reject traditional standards, and pioneer a new way of life. We are the new generation of women, and these are our stories.

Tej Rajendran knows how to fill her soul.

Meet this Software Engineer, Glam Fashion Model, and Fitness Addict

RedThread founder Meghan Litchfield has a theory: dig past the surface niceties with any woman that crosses your path, and you’ll discover layers upon layers of passions and interests. In fact, the diverse, impossible-to-define inner lives and jam-packed calendars of all the women around her were the inspiration for the company.

For our photo shoots, we’re steadfastly committed to featuring women who exemplify all that complexity. We’re not interested in using “real women” models (because, really, what does that even mean?); we’re interested in celebrating women we admire whose lives are deeply textured and imperfect.

Which brings us to Tej Rajendran, a Bay Area-based software engineer who found modeling as a side hustle to indulge her love of beauty, creativity and design. She exemplifies the best features of her millennial generation: constantly questioning the status quo and always bringing her whole self into everything she does. Tej is just getting started and we suspect her life and career will be full of surprises. We sat down with her to find out more about what makes her tick.

"If you didn't have lows in life, you wouldn't be able to appreciate the highs."

Have there been times in your life when you tried to be something or “fit” somewhere that just wasn’t quite right?
Most of my professional career as a software engineer. I'm good at it, it gives me joy when I solve hard problems, but it doesn't fuel a large part of who I am. Being a model, trying and failing in business, volunteering, promoting fitness, these are the things that fuel my soul.

What do you do your fun? Or what are your hobbies and passions?
I workout... a lot! I got really into fitness 3 years ago. I started working at GE Digital as a Software Engineer and decided to take the new beginning to reinvent myself. Nothing quite like the feel of a barbell bright and early. The accomplishments, structure, and discipline fitness taught me resonated throughout the rest of my life.

I also have spent my time volunteering with the Junior League of San Jose (soon to transfer to the chapter in SF). I was able to immerse myself into giving back to the community through both service and leadership.

When do you feel most relaxed? Most inspired?
I am the most inspired after a great workout. If I can "squat that/lift that" I can do anything! I am the most relaxed after meditating/yoga.

What’s one thing you learned the hard way that you wish you could tell your younger self?
Learning how to fail. I always felt like I had to do what was expected of me growing up. I now am braver and have found courage to "break the mold" and follow my gut.

What are three things you just refuse to waste any more time on?
Contemplating career moves. Cultivating relationships with people that take more than they give.

Pretend you’re writing a sassy Twitter bio that sums up the things you love most about yourself. What would it be?
Professional Optimist and morning person and cookie eater.

What is your top life tip you think everyone should know that keeps you sane?
If you didn't have lows in life, you wouldn't be able to appreciate the highs. The universe works in such mysterious ways. Trust it. Believe in the timing of your life.

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