Thea Cadabra was born in London in 1951. He parents were both artistic but they encouraged their daughter in academic studies. Cadabra went to Cheltenham Ladies Collage then went on to university where she studied languages- Turkish and Russian, as her ambition was to work for the BBC's Russian department, but the by the time Cadabra finished her honours degree in 1973 she had enough of the serious, intellectual life and wanted to do something more creative. As a result, she took a job making theatre props for the London stage. However, the low pay forced her back in to her original idea temporarily in order to make more money and she went to work in the External Broadcasting Service of BBC radio. Cadabra continued to work creatively in her spare time. Cadabra loved the individually designed and unique outfits, which she made for herself, but realised that she had no shoes to match her outfits. Cadabra managed to get apprenticeship in a Turkish shoemakers shop. She was now able to make shoes of her own original fantasy designs. Cadabra showed her hand made shoes of at parties where people would ask her to make similar fantasy footwear for them. In 1976, she gave up her job at the BBC to set up her own workshop and enter the shoemaking business full-time. In 1979 Cadabra was awarded first prize at the Crafts Council Shoe Show in London. In 1982, she began to lecture part-time at Leicester Polytechnic School of Fashion and Textiles Footwear Department during this time she continued to make shoes for individuals such as Niemann Marcus and Henri Bendel in the U.S.A. In 1985 Cadabra moved to France and between 1985 and 1987 worked on the design team of Charles Jourdan, designing shoes, handbags and belts. She then went to work freelance on her own, selling her designs to American stores such as Beverley Feldman and Stuart Weitzman. She has since taken up a post as a shoe designer for a major American company and now lives and works in the Boston Area.