WHO IS STEPH?
And why is she on the team?
As you’ve probably read in our Founders’ Story, Steph is a huge reason why we decided to take a risk and start this thing. Of course, she’s passionate about health and wellness, but I’m actually talking about all of her road bumps in life that brought us both to a place of thinking twice about “what’s for dinner?”
Steph wasn’t always a healthy girl. I met her dancing, double-fisted with “Peach Long Beach’s” as we sweated to some oldies in a restaurant — turned bar. At that time, back in 2007, she was just starting to dabble into fitness while juggling her early career as a designer. Before I knew it, she went “all-in” and had me eating some of her food experiments. It started because she felt like crap, and woke up to wanting something different for herself.
Her side hobby, grew into an “all day, err day” thing. As she climbed the corporate ladder, managed designers, and leaped from tech company, to startups, I also watched her struggle with her journey to find purpose. SIDE NOTE: It’s hard as hell watching your “babe” be so “out of love” with what she was doing. It was taking a toll on us all.
Long conversations, late nights, and talks with “Mama Wong,” eventually led her back to school to study holistic nutrition — not to be an entrepreneur, but to just learn and immerse herself in an environment that would hone her skills. I always forget the name, but her time at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, woke her up to a WHOLE different perspective on health. It was great being a part of that.
Steph brings to the table 4+ years of entrepreneurship in the healthy living space. She’s interned under restaurant-owner and chef, Maxine Siu (of Plow, in SF), attempted to grow her last business (Eat Life Whole) with former business partner (eventually splitting ways), and continues to teach a weekly TRX boot camp class once a week (for the last 7 years). Not only is she a wiz in the kitchen, but she’s also an Advisory Board member and Creative Director for one of the top Fitness app companies in the world (Skimble, inc.).
As we figure out how to grow Wake the Wolves, and continue to grow our design duo (Make. Do Good.), we’ve made a pact to keep working together to create “one life” we love. No more separating things into small compartments.
Look out, Steph’s fierce — with a big o heart (and energy like a big jar of green juice). She’s beyond excited to launch Wake the Wolves™. Are you ready?
What’s your name?
No, we mean the name that all your close folks call you?:
Stephie, Step-on-me, Chief, Shef, Pack-Momma
What else do you love? We obviously wear multiple passion hats over here at Wake the Wolves™ and hate the “you must live in one bucket” perspective on life, so tell us some of your other hidden passions/hobbies/obsessions?
I think early in my teens I found my passion for computers. I was a geek (still kind of am). Ok I am. I was blessed to be mentored by Luversa Sullivan — a woman who believed that technology would be the bridge for young, diverse, folks and the bigger world. She was right. Since then, I have a huge heart for working with young folks. I think they are the brightest bunch of people and are often overlooked. Someone believed in me. And that’s all it took.
I also have a passion for making healthy desserts. Not just to eat them, but the science behind making really good recipe makeovers. When I’m not stressed, I like to cook for people.
Last one — I love to build things. These past couple of years, Graham and I took on house projects. Painting walls, going to the junk yard, hustling with ol’ ladies at garage sales. Lots of fun!
Fitness wise — I’m into yoga. Specifically warm Vinyasa with Anna Hughes. She’s one of those people that is meant to be in my life.
What fuels you on the daily? What gives you the juice to wake up and do the “damn thang” every day? Any foods? Particular daily rituals.
Lately, Graham’s green kale smoothie has been getting me going every morning. A long, 5+ hour walk with my Angel(husky) on the weekends also does the trick. She is my heart.
I think what wakes me up though, is wanting to take care of my mom whenever she needs it…one day. That’s what makes me work so hard.
Daily rituals? Hmmm. In the land of entrepreneurship and being self-employed, there’s many aspects of my day that are inconsistent. What keeps me grounded though, are my daily walks with Angel (and Graham). That’s my escape back to “present land” when my mind is racing.
Top 3 favorite restaurants/cafes (anywhere in the World). Go!
- Delica (SF) – Definitely where I get my Japanese fix. Super good eatery with yummy vegetable bentos.
- Sweet Home Waimanalo (Oahu)- We happened to stumble upon this spot, and vibed with the owner who is passionate about serving good, local food.
- Forage (Silverlake, CA)- On our work trip to Silverlake, we tried this spot and it was awesome. I crave it!
We are all perfectly imperfect, so can you reveal to us any challenges/struggles you have in living healthy? I mean, I’m sure we can relate.
Learning when to stop. We all have important, demanding jobs that will eventually bring us all down if we don’t know how to say “NO.” I’m still learning. What helps me, is to practice saying: “when you say YES to ‘X’ you are saying ‘NO’ to ‘Y.’ I fill in the blank, and then make a decision from there.
We LOVE us some music. Ok so any thing on replay that your dying to share:
- Ol school Whitney
- Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
- Outkast — specifically, the Southernplayalistcadillacmuzik
- and on the opposite spectrum, Total Praise (song is on repeat)
Wrapping it up. If you had a chance to school a younger Steph on living healthy, what would you
- Pray and give thanks before you eat.
- Say hello and smile to people — you never know who you are going to meet.