“We felt like crap –
so we woke up to make a change.”
(And now we’re making it a world-wide movement)
A LETTER TO OUR READERS
We’re about to tell you our story. How we started this thing. Our struggles, our triumphs, our vision. Instead of writing a typical “company” history, we wanted to write you a letter (and draw you some pictures). Consider it hand-delivered and kind of personal, typed on a 1980’s typewriter with backspace eraser marks and greasy fingerprints from our kale-chips. (Mmmmm…good!) We hope you enjoy.
with ❤ n’ soul
I grew up eating rice for dinner (and now it’s considered to be a bad thing)? Whaa?
The birth of Wake the Wolves™ really came from our search to FIND a credible, motivational, healthy digital or print zine that celebrated diversity. From food, to body shapes, to heavily weighted topics solely around the “vanity” of being skinny, we didn’t fit in. And to be quite honest, it made us ill.
As a young, urban couple, going through the “tween” years of life, we identified that things were changing for us (and our friends):
- we can’t eat the same crap we used to when we were twenty
- our bodies are not as forgiving
- we want kids, have kids (or are absolutely sure we don’t)
- our parents are getting older…or maybe sick
- we want to feel better than we do right now
- we can’t ignore our health any longer
- there’s some intrinsic “calling” to give back
- we want to feel fulfilled in our careers
- there’s a magnetic pull to be “spiritual” or “reflective” (whatever that means to you)
- we “get” that life is precious and family is #1
- we’re young at heart, but…
- OH MY GOSH…we are officially grown ups
Aloha, I’m Steph.
I’m a Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, hapa, 31-year old healthy living
entrepreneur business chick – passionate about merging food, fitness, lifestyle, and design into one holistic experience. After growing an art direction career in the tech startup world, I decided it was time to pursue my mission to lead a healthy life. So I quit my job, headed back to school for holistic nutrition, and am now on a path to inspire busy folks (the passionate, hardworking, “never know when to stop” busy-bees) to get their butt in gear with me. I eat rice for breakfast, listen to Black Gospel music in the office (here’s my current fave), know how to speak Spanish better than I do Japanese, am intimidated by wearing fancy makeup, have a weakness for dark chocolate, am one of those people that brings healthy food to your house as a gift (so please eat:), and grew up as a teenager thinking “curves” were a beautiful thing. My family jokes that I’m like a bowl of “chop suey” (a made-up American Chinese dish with a whole lot of mixed everything thrown in it).
That handsome guy over there is Graham.
He’s my other half (and guinea pig for all things healthy) with an amazing before and after story to share. He’s a designer, an artist, a true San Francisco native, a brother, a son, and he prides himself to be a hapa boy born in Chinatown SF.
When I first met him, he had a box full of Cup O’Noodles in the pantry and we used to argue every time I asked him to go “on a run” with me. Now, I can’t keep up. He has a heart of
gold green that has already inspired so many “cool dudes” (#shoutout @fiks8) in his life to eat healthy and live long.
[SIDE NOTE: when brothers reach out to brothers to seek advice to do positive things with themselves, it is a mighty, beautiful thing.] #wecelebratethatshit
We felt like crap – so we woke up to make a change
Graham and I are a “design thinking” duo with a combined 20+ years in launching, collaborating, and growing brands in the street apparel, tech, and health/fitness industries.
While growing our individual careers as designers (and climbing that corporate ladder), we experienced many health struggles, pains, triumphs, and transformations. From weight loss, to mastering kick a$$ skills in the kitchen, we racked up a boat-load of knowledge (and stories) that would be a
waste damn shame to hoard not share.
This journey to live healthy drove us to reflect and refocus on a larger purpose.
Curious and hungry, I learned how to exercise (aka – move my body) in 2006, got certified and inspired to teach TRX boot camp classes at 6am (before I’d go into the design office) in 2008, went back to school to study holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition based in NY in 2009, interned under Maxine Siu (chef and wife/husband co-owner of Plow restaurant in SF) to learn how to run a food business in 2010, co-launched a healthy-food blog (eatlifewhole.com) in 2011 (that I’m wrapping up with an old business partner), released a successful book (Eat Real Essentials) featured by Apple in the iBookstore in 2013, and STILL felt an immense pull that my efforts weren’t “right” yet.
For the last 3 years, I’ve been closely gathering data, interviewing people, coaching women, sketching, and tracking behaviors of specific folks who wanted to eat and live healthier. I even had a chance for an impromptu brainstorm session at IDEO (a design consultancy firm). While I can’t get into all of the details here, there is ONE KEY component that drove Graham and myself to launch Wake the Wolves™:
It is difficult as hell to make healthy choices (in food, life, career, money), when you don’t even see that you matter. BUT…once you “get” that, once you see that you matter, you wake your inner wolf and start making an impact (in your life and in those around you).
We believe that one of the most beautiful expressions of love for you and your family, starts with how you care for yourself and the food and lifestyle traditions you share with them.
This right here is for everybody, AND we put emphasis on serving a diverse community. As a multiethnic couple, who grew up with a beautiful group of friends and family who fed and raised us based on their heritage and traditions, it only feels right to return to the place from which we came. Instead of flushing our experience down the toilet, we wanted to transform it into something different. So — we’re pulling our backgrounds together in design, health, fashion, and fitness, to create a new kind of company (or as we call it — “project”).
How we do it
In 2006 – the year I met Graham, we set out for greatness. It started with our own health and it continues right here with our team AND you.
We facilitate some pretty mean conversations with experts, design/write books, blog, create curriculum, and curate tools that will help YOU reach your goals.
Our mission is to be recklessly fun and bold in bringing healthy-conscious living straight into the fingertips of a diverse people.
We are not perfect.
We mess up.
We miss workouts.
We eat ice cream.
We enjoy a drink every now and then.
And on lazy days, eat breakfast for dinner.
BUT at the end of the day, we eat + live like we matter (and we hope to share that energy with you too).
Thanks for making it here. Now, pretend that we just knocked down your door to award you a million-dollar prize, because you DID. If you’ve gotten this far down the page, then you’ve been patient, and maybe curious enough to see where to go from here.
Ready to get started?