Trent Blodgett

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How I Met (Your Brand) is a Q&A series designed to connect people and ideas. HIMYB spotlights diverse perspectives, using the power of stories to inspire and build inclusive communities.

Trent Blodgett

Chef and Founder of Spice Tribe

When did you decide to become a chef? 

I have always loved cooking and my dad really instilled that love in me at an early age, but working in a professional kitchen was never really a thought. I dropped out of college and was super lost and confused about what I wanted to do with my life. I first started working as a busboy at PF Changs which then led to a support server/prep cook position at Coqueta in SF. I did not go to culinary school, but my culinary training started hard and fast at Coqueta under some great chefs. My passion for cooking continued to grow day by day as I learned the ins and outs of the professional kitchen. After work, I would read The Culinary Institute of America and On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee, along with lots of research about different cultures and how cuisine tells people stories of resilience. 

Describe your food style in 5 words.

Rustic. Seasonal. Conscious. Story-driven. Spice-laden.

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What are your favorite ingredients to work with and why?

Chiles are by far my favorite ingredients because they remind me of my childhood. Mostly in the form of dried red chile sauces. I love spices because they can help elevate even the simplest of ingredients and completely alter the story or direction of a dish. A simple barbecue chicken can taste like it was made on completely opposite sides of the earth simply by changing a couple of spices.

From our sourcing practices helping farmers, to our products helping cooks eat healthy to giving back to our communities. I strive to be an example for my son and teach him that strength and happiness is born from compassion. 

What does “home cooking” mean to you?

Home cooking is a way to celebrate and be grateful for your friends, family, and food. I believe cooking at home is crucial for your physical and mental health. Not everyone is so lucky to have home cooked meals on the table so it is truly a thing to cherish and celebrate. My favorite home cooked meals are barbecue, rice and beans, and a seasonal salad, or a risotto.

Who were your mentors, and how did they help you?

I have been very fortunate to have quite a few mentors in my life. My ceramic teacher in high school, Mark Jaeger, was my first mentor who really helped me see the beauty and importance of self-expression through art. I wanted to pursue art through college, but after I dropped out of college I realized that food was my form of art and self-expression. From there I have had many great chef mentors like Michael Chiarello, Patricio Dufoo, and Richard Visconte, just to name a few. They taught me everything from discipline, how to run a successful operation, to cooking over open fire. 

Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?

Jose Andres has always been my huge role model. He is an incredible chef who has dedicated his life to feeding those who are less fortunate. He is a hero. 

[Tearing my pec major tendon and needing to get surgery] ended up being a blessing in disguise  because it gave me some time to reflect on what is important in life and how I can pivot my love for food to really help people and make a difference. This self-reflection planted the seed for Spice Tribe.

What’s been the most transformational part of your career so far?

I was working as a grill station line cook at Coqueta. Dinner shifts were brutal and fast paced. I was stressed, drained and simply unhealthy but I loved every second of it. I ended up tearing my pec major tendon and needing to get surgery. This ended up being a blessing in disguise  because it gave me some time to reflect on what is important in life and how I can pivot my love for food to really help people and make a difference. This self-reflection planted the seed for Spice Tribe.

Tell us about Spice Tribe. What’s the idea or concept behind it? 

Spice Tribe‘s deeper meaning is all about celebrating humanity’s interconnected nature through our food. Spice Tribe started as a way to express my love for food and travel in the form of spice blends that tell stories in a unique way. I use these spice blends to create healthy recipes that help empower people in the kitchen to cook nutritious and delicious meals. I wanted to create a brand that benefits people and the Earth from the ground up. I began sourcing ingredients from small farms around the world to ensure the farmers are being paid fairly and the customers get a much fresher product. Now we sell single-origin spices that are sourced directly from these small farms to highlight the unique terroir of each spice while improving the livelihood of the communities that grow them.

Spice Tribe‘s deeper meaning is all about celebrating humanity’s interconnected nature through our food. Spice Tribe started as a way to express my love for food and travel in the form of spice blends that tell stories in a unique way.

Are you involved in any community organizations?

We created an initiative in partnership with The City Eats called Tribe For Change where we cook 600- 1,000 meals a month for people in need. 

You mentioned earlier that you draw much of your inspiration for new recipes and food combinations from your travels. How do you incorporate different cultures in your recipes?

Travel has played a huge role in my love for culture and food. Traveling has humbled me and taught me so much about the world and other people and how much we have in common. There is no better way to learn about people and culture than to go to a new place and share a meal with locals. I believe all people are incredibly connected and my favorite way to celebrate our similarities and differences is through food. I tell the stories of my travels with my spice blends. They are all very unique and are a homage to the amazing and inspiring people I have met on my travels who have shown me a piece of their culture. 

There is no better way to learn about people and culture than to go to a new place and share a meal with locals. I believe all people are incredibly connected and my favorite way to celebrate our similarities and differences is through food. 

What do you do to stay current on new trends in the food industry?

The past few years I have attended the Fancy Food Show which is a great way to see upcoming and current trends. Social media is another way to see current trends, but I recommend trade shows and their resources. I think SFA (Specialty Food Association) is a great one. 

How are you navigating business challenges due to the current state of our economy?

I feel very fortunate that Spice Tribe was up and running before COVID. Our pop up and catering events were all cancelled and we would have been completely out of work like so many others if it wasn’t for Spice Tribe. We have had to deal with constant issues with our supply chain as it was very difficult to get our shipments from overseas while everything was shut down. We had to pivot our business away from wholesale to restaurants to really focus on direct to consumer. Fortunately many people are at home cooking and keeping us in business. We are doing everything we can to keep our community fed during these times because we know so many are not as fortunate. 

I wanted to create a brand that benefits people and the Earth from the ground up. I began sourcing ingredients from small farms around the world to ensure the farmers are being paid fairly and the customers get a much fresher product.

What can we expect from Spice Tribe in the next couple of years?

We are looking forward to some collaborations we are working on where we will tell the stories of some amazing individuals in the form of spices. Also we will continue to add more exciting products (whole chiles coming soon!!).

When do you feel most inspired?

I feel most inspired while I am outdoors or traveling. I love getting out of my comfort zone and going to new places and learning about other cultures. There is so much to learn about the world. I am like a sponge and every person I meet or place I go becomes part of my story. My perspective is constantly evolving as I meet more people and learn from their point of view. There is so much truth to the quote by Albert Einstein, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.” 

From our sourcing practices helping farmers, to our products helping cooks eat healthy to giving back to our communities. I strive to be an example for my son and teach him that strength and happiness is born from compassion. 

What’s your definition of success?

Success to me is all about finding your purpose and helping others. I want to create a sustainable business that truly helps make a difference in lives in every step of the business. From our sourcing practices helping farmers, to our products helping cooks eat healthy to giving back to our communities. I strive to be an example for my son and teach him that strength and happiness is born from compassion. 

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This year has shown us how important it is to be able to evolve and adapt without any warning. So many restaurants and small businesses have been completely turned upside down this year. It has been incredibly inspiring to see how some of these businesses were able to pivot and adapt to their advantage

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I have struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time and Buddhist mindfulness practice really helped turn my life around. Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk, peace activist and author and I have read all of his books. One of his quotes that really stuck with me was this:

“When we look at the ocean, we see that each wave has a beginning and an end. A wave can be compared with other waves, and we can call it more or less beautiful, higher or lower, longer lasting, or less long lasting. But if we look more deeply, we see that a wave is made of water. While living the life of a wave, it also lives the life of water. It would be sad if the wave did not know that it is water.”

This mindset has helped me see that we are all waves and no two waves are the same but we are all made up of water. This concept is what the SpiceTribe is rooted in. 

What advice would you give to aspiring chefs or small business owners?

This year has been devastating for the restaurant industry and small businesses. The storm will pass. Stay true to what you love to do and don’t give up on your dreams. This year has shown us how important it is to be able to evolve and adapt without any warning. So many restaurants and small businesses have been completely turned upside down this year. It has been incredibly inspiring to see how some of these businesses were able to pivot and adapt to their advantage

Connect with Trent Blodgett at SpiceTribe.com and @SpiceTribe!

Interviewed by: Maria Mayoralgo

Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado

Photo Credit: Ed Pingol (Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado)

How I Met (Your Brand) is designed to connect people and ideas; spotlighting diverse perspectives, using the power of stories to fuel innovation and bring communities together.

Meet Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado

Entrepreneurs and Authors of In Her Purpose: 40 Principles of Asian Women Redefining Success on Their Own Terms

Tell us about yourself.


Jenn: Upon graduating from the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!), I started my corporate career in management consulting and eventually made my way into Silicon Valley’s tech industry. I have spent over a decade working in Operations/Supply Chain and R&D/Hardware Engineering. I have a passion for solving complex problems, bridging the gap between strategy and execution, and turning ideas into action and results. I am also excited about empowering women and the future generation, which is where co-founding In Her Purpose comes in.  I also love traveling and basketball, especially the Los Angeles Lakers!  


Rose: I am a multipreneur: I am a start-up mentor and success coach for high-performing women entrepreneurs, CEO of RVNB, an artist management agency, managing popular Fil-Am a cappella group, The Filharmonic, and I am also a co-partner of Cassidy’s Corner Cafe. Although I’ve held titles such as Vice President of Media, Marketing Strategist and Ad Executive, my most rewarding job is being a mom of two, wife, and co-founder of In Her Purpose

“I often found myself to be the only woman or person of color in the room. As I matured in my career, I was searching for someone that looked like me, someone I could relate to.”

What is the concept behind In Her Purpose, and tell us how it all started? What sparked the idea?

Jenn: It stemmed from my search for a mentor. I have been in the corporate world for over 15 years, a decade of that spent in Silicon Valley. I often found myself to be the only woman or person of color in the room. As I matured in my career, I was searching for someone that looked like me, someone I could relate to. That’s when I turned to Rose, my older cousin, who was working as a Vice President at an advertising agency. We are part of the few in our family to venture outside the medical field or military. Rose was someone that I could turn to. At the time she was also managing The Filharmonic. Touring with the band gave her the opportunity to meet women in high positions of influence, who happen to look like us. That’s how she was able to introduce me to Sheila Marcelo, the founder and former CEO of Care.com. 

Rose: After meeting these women, I wanted to learn even more about them. Of course, I googled them and found nothing! So I started to search more broad keywords like “successful Asian women” and all I could find was a book on “How to Date or Marry an Asian Woman”. That was my aha moment! I wanted to fix this problem by writing a book on successful Asian women! That’s when I approached Jenn about my idea and she encouraged me to do it now!

“The mission of IHP is to provide a space for individuals to share their stories, inspire, collaborate, connect, and innovate. We offer career guidance and professional growth programs to help people reimagine how they look at their career, business, and life purpose.”

In Her Purpose (IHP) was born out of our curiosity and yearning to find successful women —  other Asians who looked like us. IHP started out as a book, to inspire others to live in their purpose. But…. it has become so much more than that. It’s our foundation. We are lifting the content off the pages for real-life applications. It’s ideal, not just an idea.   

The mission of IHP is to provide a space for individuals to share their stories, inspire, collaborate, connect, and innovate. We offer career guidance and professional growth programs to help people reimagine how they look at their career, business, and life purpose.

“We started with our own network, which is why you find a majority of the IHP women are Filipina.”

Photo Credit: Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado

There are 40 stories of strong Asian women who are redefining success on their own terms. What was the selection process like?

We started with our own network, which is why you find a majority of the IHP women are Filipina. Once we started to tell people about our project, we were being introduced to women left and right. Our initial goal was 20 and we doubled our lofty goal! We also did some research via Instagram! We slid through their DMs!

We chose women of Asian descent who were living in the United States. We also picked women working in non-traditional roles within the Asian culture. Surprisingly, we only have one nurse in the book! Most important, we chose women who were thriving in their chosen industries. We wanted bosses, movers, shakers. Hence, the subtitle of our book: 40 Asian Women Redefining Success on Their Own Terms.

What was your favorite part about putting this book together?

Working together to achieve #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release on Amazon and being able to share this labor of love with everyone has been the most rewarding part of this journey! We are especially grateful for all of the messages we are receiving about the positive impact that the book has had on them! Being able to expand our family by 38 amazing women has also been pretty amazing. It is an honor to be surrounded by these women doing amazing things. Not to mention, we have 38 women supporting us and cheering us on. We have learned so much from each of them. Throughout the year and a half, we definitely experienced major growth! We had to figure out how to write a book, which is something neither of us knew how to do. We also had to learn how to operate in this “new normal” and even launched a company during Covid! 

“Working together to achieve #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release on Amazon and being able to share this labor of love with everyone has been the most rewarding part of this journey!”

Are you involved in any community organizations? What’s the most fulfilling part about it?

Jenn:  I serve as a mentor for Filipino Americans in Silicon Valley Tech (FASTER) and Kollective Hustle. I am also the former Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Mommy and Me Cancer Foundation. The most fulfilling part about my involvement is being able to give back to the community and to be able to help other women. Mentors play a critical role in one’s success. I wish I had access to mentors and resources when I was their age, which is why I make it a point to give back and serve. 

Rose: I serve on the Board of Directors for Cassidy’s Corner Cafe and I am part of the  International Association of Women (IAW) which is a community that provides a personal forum for women to grow their career, promote their business, product or service, share ideas and expand their network. IAW’s in-person and virtual events allow members to learn from and share experiences with other women around the world and the community who are recognized experts in their fields.

“The most fulfilling part about my involvement is being able to give back to the community and to be able to help other women. Mentors play a critical role in one’s success. I wish I had access to mentors and resources when I was their age, which is why I make it a point to give back and serve.”

Tell us about your career journey, and how does it reflect your personal values?

Jenn: I was raised by a U.S. military officer and a registered nurse, but I later learned that entrepreneurship is in my family’s blood. Both sets of my grandparents started businesses from nothing in the Philippines. So it makes sense that I was attracted to the business world. Growing up, I was obsessed with Monopoly and even found rolling coins to be therapeutic. Despite my parents wishes, I entered corporate America. I started out my career at Accenture’s Management Consulting group where I worked on global projects for clients such as Chevron, Gap Inc., Aetna and more. Eventually, I moved into Silicon Valley’s tech industry, where I’ve spent over a decade in Operations/Supply Chain and R&D/Hardware Engineering.

Money is something that I have always valued, though, I quickly learned that money isn’t everything. I left a job for more money and a higher title, but I was even more miserable! That’s when it became very clear to me that I value money for what it allows me to do in life, which is to spend time with my family and friends. It gives me the ability to travel to new places and experiences. I also learned the importance of working on a product that will help or change others’ lives in a positive way. What I work on has to be aligned with my values: don’t settle for less than excellence, have self-honesty to admit when I am wrong and the courage to change, and to create innovative products that are truly important and meaningful.   

“Money is something that I have always valued, though, I quickly learned that money isn’t everything. I left a job for more money and a higher title, but I was even more miserable! That’s when it became very clear to me that I value money for what it allows me to do in life, which is to spend time with my family and friends.”

Rose: I am a wife, a mother, a serial entrepreneur and a certified professional life coach. I started my first business while in college teaching social dance which eventually grew into a full blown events company. However, I didn’t know what I had, I only created a company for extra income during school. I ended up pursuing the corporate life after obtaining a Bachelor of the Arts degree from California State University, Long Beach. I found myself in advertising, selling infomercial ad space to corporate brands in Los Angeles. I wasn’t satisfied and felt that I was missing something. I wanted to move up in the ad world, earn a higher paycheck, and what most ad executives want: a better title. I stayed in the media business for 15 years, eventually earning a Vice President role. I thought I would be fulfilled once I achieved all the things I wanted, but unfortunately, I still felt empty and drained. 

Outside of my day job, I did side projects to balance out my boredom. I filled my weekends with event planning and helping other people turn their business ideas into reality. People started hearing about how I started my own company and that’s when they came to me with questions on how to start theirs.

Then something happened, I had this amazing opportunity to use all my experience to launch musicians into the entertainment industry, releasing their albums, booking their gigs and building their media presence. I finally enjoyed working and the best part was it didn’t even feel like work!

Looking back at every business or person I helped, I devoted myself to supporting them by figuring out a pathway to achieve their dream! It’s what I value, being able to help, serve and support others find and follow their true purpose.

“I stayed in the media business for 15 years, eventually earning a Vice President role. I thought I would be fulfilled once I achieved all the things I wanted, but unfortunately, I still felt empty and drained.”

Who were your mentors, and how did they help you?

Jenn: While in college, I relied heavily on David Boyd and Jenn Clarin Desai. They both studied business and were working in corporate America, which is what I wanted to do. They encouraged me to get involved in professional organizations and taught me the importance of obtaining internships (even if they were unpaid to start). Once I landed a full-time position, David advised me to spend money as if I were still a college student. Just because I was earning more money than I’ve ever had in my life, that was not an excuse to splurge and go on a shopping spree. Jenn also gave me my first opportunity to start and run my first business in 2006.   

I also received a lot of guidance from John and Jessielyn Balidio. They taught me the importance of paying off my school loans, investing in myself, 401K, and real estate. They all taught me personal finance and how to create generational wealth, which no one teaches us in school or at home!

Rose: My mother was a great mentor. She taught me how to respect myself, how to get things done and how to keep moving when life got challenging. My Aunt Carmen inspired me to own my own business. She hired me when she started her first business and I saw how hard she worked to grow it. I think through both of their actions, I was able to watch and learn.  I’ll continue to honor both of them as I move through my entrepreneurial journey.

“The day I finally decided to leave my corporate job and go full force entrepreneur in 2017. I remember nervously walking into my CEO’s office and telling him that I loved working for him, with the team and thanked him for the opportunity but it was time for me to pursue my own company. It took me 7 years to work up the confidence to do that!”

What has been the most transformational part of your career so far?

Jenn: Leaving my comfort zone to try a startup and quickly learning that the grass is not always greener has been the most transformational part of my career. It was a really tough time for me, but I found solace in writing In Her Purpose. The interviews and writing about these phenomenal women really helped me push through. I also believe I was meant to join the start up to meet Marissa Yao (Vice President of Sustainability). She coached me through some really difficult times and pushed me to grow past my frustrations and emotions. She’s definitely a mentor that I will forever be grateful for. I continue to nurture that relationship even though we are both no longer with the company. 

Rose: The day I finally decided to leave my corporate job and go full force entrepreneur in 2017. I remember nervously walking into my CEO’s office and telling him that I loved working for him, with the team and thanked him for the opportunity but it was time for me to pursue my own company. It took me 7 years to work up the confidence to do that!      

If you could meet your 20-year old self, how would you describe who you are today?

Jenn: You did it! You’ve checked off almost every box: graduate college, good job, married, house and other investments. By society’s standards you are successful and you have made it. Aside from that, you’ve been able to travel almost every world continent! Not to mention, you also wrote a book! You are leaving a legacy — not just for your family, but the future generation to read and learn about “herstory”. You have created a community and culture to motivate and help empower young women such as yourself. 

Rose: Oh wow! You’re a mom, raising two kids and helping others follow their dreams of turning purpose into profit. On top of that, you are working in music! I’m so happy you were able to pursue what we’ve always dreamt of doing!

“I have been a part of a couple of layoffs throughout my career, which pushed me into places where I didn’t imagine ever going to until I was forced to. Getting laid off the first time forced me to enter into a new industry. Being a part of the tech boom served me well, especially during the 2009 economic recession.”

What lessons did you learn from your biggest failures, and how did it contribute to a greater success?

Jenn:  I am not sure if being laid off would be considered my biggest failure because it’s not entirely my fault. I have been a part of a couple of layoffs throughout my career, which pushed me into places where I didn’t imagine ever going to until I was forced to. Getting laid off the first time forced me to enter into a new industry. Being a part of the tech boom served me well, especially during the 2009 economic recession. During that time, I was living in a bubble. While people were losing their jobs and homes, I bought my first house. The second time around, I ventured out and tried the startup life, which is something I’ve always been curious about. I was able to learn a lot about myself, and it also gave me the time and opportunity to write and finish In Her Purpose, which I otherwise would not have been able to do.

Rose: I laugh now just thinking about it. When I started a new position in media, I was unexpectedly requested to participate in a client meeting – literally 5 mins before it started. I had to present the outcome of the clients advertising campaign – which I knew nothing about! I was handed a report and I was supposed to explain it to the client. There must have been ten people in the room. It was nerve wracking and intimidating! What I learned from this situation was, always be prepared! Ask questions before you jump into a client meeting and review your documents!    

“Always know everything eventually works out, however, if you find yourself in a difficult moment, take a step back and breathe. Then remember you can’t control other people, you can only control your reaction to them.”

What’s the best advice you’ve received on navigating difficult moments?

Jenn: Keep going and keep the end goal in mind. You will figure it out and you will get through it like you always do. It will be worth it in the end!

If all else fails, call your mom and ask her to pray really hard! LOL

Rose: Always know everything eventually works out, however, if you find yourself in a difficult moment, take a step back and breathe. Then remember you can’t control other people, you can only control your reaction to them.

“It’s really dangerous when you get too comfortable because you’re not growing or learning anything anymore. Don’t ever settle for less!”

If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

Jenn: I would not have stayed too long in one place — whether that is a job or relationship. It’s really dangerous when you get too comfortable because you’re not growing or learning anything anymore. Don’t ever settle for less! I also would have told myself to be a little more aggressive and to take more risks, rather than sticking to what my parents or society deemed to be the “right” thing to do. If I pursued and just tried everything I wanted to do, I would have failed faster and more often. I would have discovered whether or not that was something I was good/not good at, and whether I liked/disliked something.    

Rose: I would have taken my first businesses seriously and really focused on growing it. Instead, I thought that corporate was the right path to take.

“… wealth doesn’t just equate to money, but all aspects in life: mental, physical, and spiritual health. Health is wealth!”

What’s your self-care routine?

Jenn: I have a morning routine: I wake up and thank God for another day. I read a daily devotion and a daily affirmation. I make my bed and then I workout to get my body moving and blood flowing. I hit the shower and spend time with my skincare regimen: toner, eye cream, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Now that we are quarantined, I have a little more time so I use a gua sha tool to move my lymph and remove toxins. I also drink a lot of water, herbal teas, and green smoothies and juices. At night, I like to take an epsom salt bath to relax my muscles and remove toxins. It also helps me relax and wind down from the day.     

Rose: I give thanks to God in the morning and night. I do a 30 or 60 minute workout depending on which day it is. I drink freshly squeezed green juice in the mornings. I hike on the weekends and I clean and declutter my home and office weekly. Yes, CLEANING. I enjoy it, I love the fresh feeling of a clean home, it makes me more productive and happy. Do you find that weird?

What’s your favorite affirmation?

Jenn: “I receive all the wealth life presents to me.” It’s one of the cards in my deck of daily affirmations that I won during a yoga finance session with @cleoyogafinance. She did a virtual event hosted by @heyberna at the beginning of Covid. I like this affirmation in particular because wealth doesn’t just equate to money, but all aspects in life: mental, physical, and spiritual health. Health is wealth!   

Rose: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

When do you feel most inspired?

Jenn: I feel most inspired when I am passionate and excited about a person, place, or thing. If I get good vibes, I move with the energy and go with the flow.  

Rose: After speaking with like-minded, goal oriented people. I love their energy and I get inspired to learn more and grow too!

When do you feel most powerful?

Jenn: I feel most powerful when I am surrounded and supported by my tribe! Giselle Töngi-Walters has a quote in our book: “Find or create your own tribe. They will lift you up when you can’t do something. They are going to tell you to go for it when you think it’s impossible.”

Rose: After church, when the Pastor gives a very inspiring and motivational message. Also, after a really good SoulCycle class. The teachers really know how to fill your heart!

“Getting Shit Done (G.S.D)! Accomplishing whatever it is that I want to do or what I set out to do. Success is being able to not just talk about it, but be about it.”

What’s your definition of success?

Jenn: Getting Shit Done (G.S.D)! Accomplishing whatever it is that I want to do or what I set out to do. Success is being able to not just talk about it, but be about it. 

Rose: Being able to do what you love in life and not be defined by your career but by your good actions and intent.

“Being able to do what you love in life and not be defined by your career but by your good actions and intent.”

What can we expect from you in the next couple of years?

We plan to continue to grow In Her Purpose, not just the community, but also the brand and company. We launched our first book, In Her Purpose: 40 Principles of Asian Women Redefining Success on Their Own Terms, along with career guidance and professional growth programs to help people reimagine how they look at their career, business and life purpose. We hope to expand and further develop ways to help others find their purpose and passion.

There have been some questions about a second volume of In Her Purpose. It’s something that we are certainly open to so if you have any women that you’d like to recommend, please send them our way!

In addition to our book and programs, we are taking on some really interesting projects with some of the IHP women. It’s too early to say just yet, but stay tuned on some of the amazing things that we are creating!

“We hope to expand and further develop ways to help others find their purpose and passion.”

Connect with Jennifer Redondo-Marquez and Rose Buado.

Jennifer Redondo-Marquez: @JENNRED24

Rose Buado: @ROSE_BUADO

In Her Purpose: @INHERPURPOSE

Website: INHERPURPOSE.COM

Buy the book on Amazon: IN HER PURPOSE


About How I Met (Your Brand)

HIMYB is designed to connect people and ideas; spotlighting diverse perspectives, using the power of stories to fuel innovation and bring communities together.

(Your Brand) is your vision, your mission, and how you’ll be remembered.

YOU are (Your Brand).

Dearest Creative

KORI & KIRSTEN
Photo Credit: Meron Menghistab


Kori Dyer & Kirsten Pincket

Brooklyn, NY

Co-Founders, Dearest Creative


How did you get started with your career – and how does it reflect your personal aesthetic?

Kirsten from Florida, Kori from Philadelphia—it was always both of our dreams to live in New York. We met at VOGUE where we formed a working relationship and as we explored the industry together our bond grew stronger. From music, to fashion and beauty, our experiences have been rooted in cultivating genuine connections and crafting brands. That’s why we decided to build our own.

How have the women around you been instrumental in your lives and careers? 

Both of us growing up in a house of three sisters and incredible moms, feminine strength and independence was continuously instilled in us. We were both extremely lucky to have been raised in an environment where we were told that “you could literally do anything you wanted as long as you worked hard enough for it.”

From music, to fashion and beauty, our experiences have been rooted in cultivating genuine connections and crafting brands. That’s why we decided to build our own.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve? 

Although NYC is magical and has many advantages, it can get overwhelming to try to “keep up” with the ever-changing trends. Constantly moodboarding, reading, attending museums, seeing shows and creating just for fun is the most natural way to stay afloat and relevant. We also have an incredibly talented and successful group of friends who run the gamut in terms of career paths – which is very inspiring. Keeping the conversation with your community flowing is also a great way to stay connected.

Our initiative, Dearest, is a creative studio whose passions lie in human interaction and mindful communication. At the end of the day, we just want to work with brands we like.

Dearest Creative

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)? 

Personally, it’s a constant battle to juggle multiple projects, keep up with family and friends, exercise, get enough sleep and also feel wildly creative at the end of the day. I think that keeping everything organized and in perspective is the most effective way to be productive and happy in all aspects of life. Our mission is to visually problem solve in a visceral way. We stay curious, keep learning and know that risk is our friend.

At the end of the day, we just want to work with brands we like.

How important are mentors? Who are your mentors? 

On a day-to-day basis, we are each other’s mentors. In a larger sense –

Kori: Emily Dickinson—the original riot grrrl created deep and dark poetry in isolation. My favorite: “Forever is composed of nows.”

Kirsten: I have always looked up to Charlotte Bronte (1 of 3 sisters also!). She was an incredible author, poet and feminist trailblazer.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business? 

Focus on your strengths. Don’t ignore your intuition.

Our mission is to visually problem solve in a visceral way. We stay curious, keep learning and know that risk is our friend.

Place that inspires us the most…

Kori: The Magic Tree—a giant whimsical Japanese hackberry in Green Valleys, PA. As a nature camp counselor every summer there, I’d read stories under this massive deciduous beauty which re-roots to create a fort-like getaway. It’s my definition of an escape where you forget your worries.

Kirsten: The Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy—the most breathtaking place I’ve ever been.

We feel most powerful when…we’re collaborating with like-minded people.

We love what we do because…we get to create beautiful things for a living.

Focus on your strengths. Don’t ignore your intuition.

Best advice we have ever received…

Kori: Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Kirsten: Be grateful that thorns have roses


Kori: @korianndyer | Kirsten: @kirstenpincket | Dearest: @DearestCreative + DearestCreative.co

.

Ariel Lopez

Image of Ariel Lopez c/o Innov8tiv.com

Image of Ariel Lopez c/o Innov8tiv.com

Ariel Lopez is a career coach at General Assembly – and founder of 2020Shift, a social enterprise that is designed to educate black and latino millennials on careers in the technology space. I was most impressed by Ariel’s work with 2020Shift – dedicated to setting students and recent graduates up for success, but most importantly filling the diversity gap with talent by providing resources and professional development. As an avid public speaker, Ariel enjoys sharing her expertise in digital media and technology and loves connecting people to opportunities. Luckily for Ariel, the things she loves the most is reflective of her day job, which allows her the freedom to cultivate her passion into profitable and innovative ideas to inspire others to pursue their career goals. 

ARIEL LOPEZ

CAREER COACH AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY & FOUNDER OF 2020SHIFT 

NEW YORK, NY

“I think it’s just about putting yourself out there. A lot of business connections have happened because of a tweet or a LinkedIn message. You have to find what channels work best for you/your brand and be active in them.”

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

My craft reflects the things that matter to me the most. I’ve always had a passion for helping people and as a coach I get to do that. 2020Shift is designed to help people elevate in their careers so I’m doing the same in that regard as well. I would also say I fell in love with tech as soon as I started working in the industry. It’s extremely important for me to be a catalyst to help others find success as well.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

I would say my mom has been the most influential person in both my life and my career. My drive and work ethic are a reflection of how I was raised. My mom always said that you can be whatever you want to be and that your current circumstances don’t define your future. I held on to those words and it helped shape the determination that has carried me through my career thus far.

“In terms of finding a mentor, network as much as you can and don’t force any relationships; let them happen naturally. You’ll have a gut feeling on who should be a mentor or not.”

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I think it’s just about putting yourself out there. A lot of business connections have happened because of a tweet or a LinkedIn message. You have to find what channels work best for you/your brand and be active in them.

2020Shift

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

I make a point to have vision boards for every year; you’d be surprised how things magically come into fruition. I also recently went Being Mary Jane-ish in my apartment – hanging up small affirmations. Success is definitely a mental battle; if you can stay positive and on track, you’ll accomplish your goals much easier.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Mentors are super important and I have a few. I have advisors that are mentors, students and friends. I’m usually giving people advice, but learn the most about myself in those conversations. In terms of finding a mentor, network as much as you can and don’t force any relationships; let them happen naturally. You’ll have a gut feeling on who should be a mentor or not.

“I have a love-hate situation with NYC, but it’s the most inspiring city in the world. When I wake up I automatically think: hustle. It’s becomes a way of life.”

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

Go after what you want and negotiate what you deserve (for those entering creative fields). For women starting their own business, keep your purpose and mission top of mind; that helps with riding the crazy roller coaster that is entrepreneurship.

Place that inspires me the most…

I have a love-hate situation with NYC, but it’s the most inspiring city in the world. When I wake up I automatically think: hustle. It’s becomes a way of life.

I feel most powerful when…

I’m teaching or speaking in public. I love engaging with people and hearing their feedback; it’s also an amazing feeling to hear, “You inspired me to do XYZ.”

I love what I do because…

I live in my purpose and I make an impact at the same time

Best advice I have ever received…

“You attract what you believe you’re worth.” I make an effort to shift my mindset to things that I want and believe I’m capable of doing.

Connect with Ariel Lopez on 2020Shift, General Assembly, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Darling Chuck

DARLING CHUCK

ANDREA “DREA” RAMOS AKA DARLING CHUCK

DJ

QUEENS, NEW YORK

I met Drea at a mutual friend’s Ugly Christmas Sweater party in Brooklyn about three years ago. Back then, she was a fashion casting director who juggled a couple of DJ gigs after work – but despite her hectic schedule, Drea kept it going. As we kept in touch over the years, her hobby evolved into a career; she continued to cultivate her love for music and eventually left her 9 to 5 to pursue DJ’ing. This move for Drea was now… or never.

There’s just something about women that feed and empower your soul, and it should be reciprocated.

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

My professional background for the past 10+ years has been in fashion, but it wasn’t until recently that I decided to turn my hobby and love of music into my craft. I had a pretty cool job as a fashion casting director, working with the biggest designers, brands and talent around the world. Through casting, I was able to meet a lot of awesome folks, and make some lasting connections. I was lucky to be in the position I was in. But I think the stress to maintain and keep up with the industry finally caught up with me so I decided to pick up DJ’ing on the side. The newness of it felt so exciting, that I found myself inspired to make moves with it. A year later, I quit my day job and dove into this new world of DJ’ing that I barely knew anything about. I’m a lot happier and lighter these days, and it’s because I feel like I can be more like myself.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career? 

I grew up in a single parent household, having been primarily raised by my mom, my grandmothers and my aunts. My mom worked multiple jobs, and made a ton of sacrifices just so I could live comfortably and have a proper education. In this man’s world, my grandmothers (R.I.P. Inang) are the most emotionally and physically strongest women I know, not letting life’s road blocks stop them from achieving what they’ve aimed for. My aunts have always offered advice and lent their care whenever I needed it without question, teaching me the real definition of friendship. Their teachings are a reflection on how I am towards other women. There’s just something about women that feed and empower your soul, and it should be reciprocated. I’ve been so lucky to share connections with so many other strong women because they inspire me to be better. If it wasn’t for these women in my life, I really believe I wouldn’t have the guns to be where and who I am today.

Use your resources and research people in the industry that you admire and are doing what you want to do and reach out to them. Make connections with them. People are generally willing to help if you just ask. Stay curious. Realize you don’t know it all, and have an open mind. Consume as much as you can, and make it work for yourself. Take risks.

DARLING CHUCK

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve? 

Working in fashion taught me to keep up with trends, and with the help of social media, it’s made it much easier for us to stay connected. I pride myself in having good taste and knowing how to cut the fat with all the extra crap out there, so the real challenge is being able to mute the noise while managing to staying relevant. I love pop culture, and I stay curious. I like to keep it moving. Nostalgia is good, but there’s also so much cool, new shit out there – especially with artists and music!

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)? 

It can be way challenging to keep track of both personal and business goals as a creative, but being freakishly organized while developing good habits has helped. I own stacks of notebooks and jars of pens because I like to physically write things down, and if I don’t have a pen and paper on hand, I’ll write it down in my phone or in my laptop. It’s the only way to regulate all the chaos going on inside my head. You can have a long list of goals, but having the discipline to formulate and execute those goals is how you’re really going to achieve them. Understanding that if you’re hungry enough and have the drive to want to see your ideas come into fruition is essential. Being a DJ nowadays is more than having great taste in music and having the technical skills to back it. You sort of have to be a “social personality” to add value to your brand; you almost have to treat it like your business.

Staying creative is an ongoing struggle, but I’m fortunate to live in a city that inspires me every day. A lot of people in NYC have this “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, but sleep is fucking awesome! I think it’s important to stay in tune and listen to your body. As long as you eat right, stay active and allow yourself to be open, you’d be doing your future self a huge favor. You can’t create if you’re feeling restless or exhausted. The stress just isn’t worth it in the long run. Disco naps are fun, too. It’s all about maintaining a balance.

DARLING CHUCK

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor? 

Mentors are extremely important. I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know it all, and it’s silly to think that you don’t need anyone to make it in life. We all need each other to get by. Embrace the people that inspire and challenge you so you can grow. I learn something different from each and every single person I keep close in my life – young and old.

My main mentor is my mother. She’s my number one. She is everything.

Shawndub and TAP.10 have been my DJ mentors since the very beginning. They’ve pretty much taught me everything I know about DJ’ing, and the ropes of industry. I admire those two so much. They’re possibly the most patient and intuitive people I know.

My boyfriend, Mike Baker has been my life mentor since we started dating. He’s really helped me through a lot of shit, and has shown endless support with what I want to do and who I want to be. He is literally my best friend, and I can’t imagine life without him.

DARLING CHUCK

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business? 

Figure out what exactly it is you want to do in the creative industry because there is so much to contribute to this world, whether it be in fashion, design, marketing or music. Use your resources and research people in the industry that you admire and are doing what you want to do and reach out to them. Make connections with them. People are generally willing to help if you just ask. Stay curious. Realize you don’t know it all, and have an open mind. Consume as much as you can, and make it work for yourself. Take risks.

Place that inspires me the most… 

The beach and being near the ocean. It reminds me how small I am, and allows me to open my mind to immeasurable possibilities.

DARLING CHUCK

I feel most powerful when… 

I can help empower other women.

DARLING CHUCK

I love what I do because… 

It makes me feel good, and it allows me to make others feel just as good.

DARLING CHUCK

Best advice I have ever received… 

Nothing is free. Everything comes with a price.

Connect with Darling Chuck on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Soundcloud!

Rana Campbell

Rana Campbell

RANA CAMPBELL
CONTENT STRATEGIST & FOUNDER OF RANACAMPBELL.COM
ORANGE, NEW JERSEY

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting Rana Campbell, Princeton University alumni and Founder of lifestyle website: RanaCampbell.comRana and I instantly bonded over our passion for bridging the gap between vision and reality – as she shared her website’s mission to help individuals shine in their personal and professional lives. Rana’s work has been featured on FOX 5 Good Day New York, The Huffington Post, Princeton Alumni Weekly, and many more.

I tell this to everyone: be a student of your industry. Understand the space well. Understand your future customer’s pain points and work on building relationships with them. No one can want your dream more than you want your dream. A lot of people talk about this in terms of “passion”, but I think this goes beyond passion. If you want to enter a field and create something that you actually want to see some tangible results from, you need to really be involved in the system and process of figuring out how to see something from ideation to execution. I think that’s where a lot of people have it wrong. They think talent alone will cause success. It may, but I think that having a larger bird’s eye view of the industry and the little intricacies can help insure long-term success.

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

I’ve always been a storyteller, talker, and question-asker. These parts of my persona have definitely translated into what I do now. For me, my site and brand is all about empowering and sharing the stories of others. That’s always been intriguing to me. I’m the type of person who admires and wonders “Why?” How did things get to be the way they are? At the same time, I’ve always wondered, “What’s the best way to share this and share with others? Perhaps that’s why I love marketing so much.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

The women in my life have shown me resilience and strength. I think one of the most influential women in my life has been my mother. When I think of her I think of sacrifice and resilience. My mother went through alot in her life, and despite almost dying when I was a baby, she is still here with us. All along she has supported me and through her sacrifice I have been able to accomplish so much.

Other important women in my life such as teachers, mentors, and even former bosses have been instrumental in my life because they both believed in me and pushed me. They showed me new possibilities for my dreams and also showed me the ways that I can navigate those open waters as a woman.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I’m obsessed with reading. I always try to have a book in tow, if possible. I’m always trying to find new information to consume via blogs, news, film, social media, networking events, music, etc… I am like a sponge and revel at opportunities to learn new things. I think if you’re constantly seeking new knowledge, staying ahead of the curve is easy. This is where my love for asking “why?” comes in.

Rana Campbell

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

This one is a bit hard for me. Personally, I try to make sure to write everything down and revisit my goals from time to time. By keeping myself accountable, I’m able to keep track. For me, keeping track of my goals and staying creative don’t always go hand-in-hand. I feel that sometimes I have too many creative ideas which can cause an overload, which may cause me NOT to focus on my goals. There you have it… staying focused is what I find to be the most important thing. At the end of the day, I always try to remain positive. Burnout is real.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Mentors are everything. Having someone who did it already and can show you the ropes can save you a lot of time and also guide your own journey. Mentors are another part of your support system- which every creative needs. One of my mentors is Gabrielle Simpson, who is a director of Communications at NBC. I’ve known Gabby (as I call her) from when she worked at CBS Corporate and I as an intern. She’s always been a great support to me and has pushed me to pursue new opportunities. She also helped open up alot of doors for me, which I would have a really hard time gaining access to (quite literally.) Gabby sees greatness in me – having someone who sees that in you and wants you to achieve that is the best thing ever.

Rana Campbell

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

I tell this to everyone: be a student of your industry. Understand the space well. Understand your future customer’s pain points and work on building relationships with them. No one can want your dream more than you want your dream. A lot of people talk about this in terms of “passion”, but I think this goes beyond passion. If you want to enter a field and create something that you actually want to see some tangible results from, you need to really be involved in the system and process of figuring out how to see something from ideation to execution. I think that’s where a lot of people have it wrong. They think talent alone will cause success. It may, but I think that having a larger bird’s eye view of the industry and the little intricacies can help insure long-term success.

My dad once told me, “As long as you’re awake and have the ability to think, you should never be bored.”

Place that inspires me the most:

I get a lot of ideas while driving without the radio on. There’s something about being on the move that gets my mind going. Honestly, I can get inspired from pretty much everywhere. Everything is a story to me. You just have to want to see it. My dad once told me, “As long as you’re awake and have the ability to think, you should never be bored.”

I feel most powerful when:

This may sound crazy, but I love being naked. I think there’s power in loving your body in its rawest form. True power comes from within and I think that moment of nakedness where you have nothing to hide behind is where we can start to build that power.

For the more politically correct answer, I’ll say, I feel most powerful when I’m looking good, feeling good, and am prepared. Those things give me confidence.

I love what I do because:

I get to meet so many different people and hear so many different stories. At the same time, I love inspiring others and helping others accomplish their dreams. This may be because I’m an ENFJ, but I really enjoy seeing other people smile and feel good about themselves. I also like presenting ways that individuals can start challenging themselves to open their eyes to something new.

I read a quote the other day that sums this up perfectly: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

Best advice I have ever received:

Don’t let what others think weigh you down. I say this is the best advice because it’s something I find myself working on every day. Having courage to pursue a journey that others may not fully support or understand is hard, but if you believe in yourself and start to care less about what “others” may say the possibilities are endless. I read a quote the other day that sums this up perfectly: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Rana Campbell

Connect with Rana Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram!

Melissa Mercado

WITHLOVEMELISSA

MELISSA MERCADO
ARTIST
PG COUNTY, MARYLAND

Behind every artist is a muse; behind every successful man is a hardworking woman – and it takes a strong foundation for couples to thrive together in an ever-changing industry to help each other grow and stay on top of their game. I met Melissa through a good friend of mine, L aka Naturel, a couple of years ago – and I have always admired how she balanced motherhood & family and hustle as an artist. Melissa’s artwork – “clean lines, minimal content and solid colors” – also reflects her energy: avant-garde – a modern woman who is not compelled to “choose”, but “juggles” different aspects of her life, and never settles for anything less than great.

“I am inspired by all women, I feel like I celebrate who we are when I create – it’s for us.”

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

I love to clean and organize pretty much everything. I’m a little bit of a minimalist as well. Those habits are such a big part of who I am that it carries over into my work. My artwork and design usually reflects clean lines, minimal content and solid colors. If you ask my family and friends, I’m a total Virgo! Even though it’s not always achieved – I crave some type of perfection in anything I do.

WITHLOVEMELISSA18916217774_6a27bd757d_o

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

My mother is the reason why I even pursued art and design. When I was young, my teachers, principals and my mom created avenues for me to water my talent – they were all women. My mom pushed me to go to art/design school for college and showed me I can make a living off of my creativity. I am inspired by all women, I feel like I celebrate who we are when I create, it’s for us.

http://www.withlovemelissa.com/

“I don’t think too much about staying relevant because that tends to fog up creativity.”

http://www.withlovemelissa.com/

” Artwork comes from within, and it’s hard to create if you are thinking about what everyone else wants from you – staying ahead of the curve is putting a piece out with a “fuck it, take it or leave it” attitude.”

http://www.withlovemelissa.com/

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I love pop culture and fashion, so keeping up with trends doesn’t feel like a task. There are so many resources available like social media, blogs and just walking around your surroundings. I don’t think too much about staying relevant because that tends to fog up creativity. Artwork comes from within, and it’s hard to create if you are thinking about what everyone else wants from you – staying ahead of the curve is putting a piece out with a “fuck it, take it or leave it” attitude.

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How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

I’ve said it before, I’m a Virgo but I’m also a mother – staying organized helps me achieve those goals; it’s a part of who I am. My king and I made a culture of creativity at home and so as tired as I am, it’s always in my face. Hanging out with our daughter stirs up all types of inspiration for us.

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“We’re not built to know it all, so we constantly learn from everyone around us.”

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Mentors are very important. We’re not built to know it all, so we constantly learn from everyone around us. My very first mentor was my mom, instead of introducing me to a conventional career path, she introduced me to art & graphic design. College had a very intimate setting so I had a lot of one on one time with my professors – too many to name but they all made a good impact on my career path. There was a point in my life where I entered the world of makeup artistry, beauty & fashion. I learned so much from the artists and photographers I worked with. Currently, I am blessed with loving and living with a huge inspiration, my king –Naturel. I can’t wait to work with and learn from other artists and designers – my list of mentors will never end!

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What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

No matter how difficult things get – because it will get pretty unbearable sometimes – push through! Faith, hard work, and passion breed good results even if the results aren’t immediate. You can plan life all you want, but you can’t control what happens. Everything you go through – good and bad – leads up to your dreams and goals… so don’t give up!

http://www.withlovemelissa.com/

Place that inspires me the most… There isn’t a specific place but where I grew up (PG County, Maryland) has a lot to do with the pieces I cultivate; some are inspired from the music, street culture and experiences I’ve had. As far as art and style, I find inspiration traveling, decorating my home and even shopping – as crazy as that sounds! Lol.

http://www.withlovemelissa.com/

I feel most powerful when… I feel good, look good, and hold it down for my family!

WITHLOVEMELISSA

I love what I do because… I can wake up every morning and decide what I am going to do with my day.

http://www.withlovemelissa.com/

Best advice I have ever received… Love and take care of yourself first and you’ll be able love and care for others.

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Connect with Melissa Mercado on Twitter and Instagram!

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Noël Descalzi-Fiorentinos

Noel Fiorentinos

NOËL DESCALZI-FIORENTINOS
FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF WORK IT OUT 
HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY

Thank you to Noël for sharing her journey as an entrepreneur on HIMYB.com – and personally inspiring me to choose a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Tell us about Work it Out and how long you have been in business.

Work it Out is a healthy lifestyle studio that offers fitness classes and wellness packages that are customized specifically for our community. With two Hoboken locations, our studios are like no other. We’re far removed from the world of impersonal big-box gyms, our unique facilities and wide variety of classes and offerings let you set your fitness free, while throwing away thoughts of a lonely unguided road to health. We also offer a children’s gymnastics program that is organically intertwined within our model. We are approaching our 4 year anniversary.

How did you come up with the company name?

Let me give you a visual:

You’re getting ready for a night on the town with all of your friends. You had a hard week at work but it doesn’t matter because you look fierce and feel amazing. All of a sudden your most ‘fabulous’ friend yells out (with a Z shaped finger snap) “GIRLLL…you better Work it Out!” You take one look in the mirror and have all the confidence in the world.

What is your company’s mission?

Our philosophy is steeped in the belief that our diversity in our offerings will shape your body, energize your spirit, and empower your soul.

And what do you think sets Work it Out apart from similar businesses?

Set your fitness free has been a tag line of ours that we’ve embraced and lived by since our start. We gradually came to the realization that keeping up with our changing needs as women is a big part of maintaining that freedom. So we asked ourselves how we could support our client in their evolution, whatever direction it took. The answer was clear – by offering fitness that evolves with them. Whether you are working your tail off, getting married, having a baby, had the baby or have a growing child – We’ve got you covered. All of this paired with studios that exude positive energy. We go out of our way to make sure each person that attends class is happy and content.
How does your current role reflect your personal aesthetic?

In every sense possible – I’m the oldest of 3 girls, with 6 and 9 year age differences between both sisters which meant, I was always the boss. For about 15 years my household revolved around my gymnastics career. For the most part, Work it Out was built on two stages of my life: During and After Gymnastics. The fundamentals of our gymnastics program come from everything I’ve ever learned from my time with the sport, like hard work, goal setting, confidence building and perseverance. The adult classes come from everything I learned after it was over like understanding how to juggle real life and healthy living. Also – I’ve always had a creative side with particular taste. Classic, clean. I think that shines through in the visuals of the brand.

Who are the women who inspire you and how have they been instrumental to your career growth?

Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice Founders of SoulCycle. Also, Lauren Boggi Goldenberg Founder of Lithe Method. These women inspired me to start Work it Out 4 years ago. I was living in Manhattan and used to take SoulCycle classes in the original Upper West side studio and saw how magical bringing together a community of people was. I grew up in a gym environment and understood that working out could not be forced. There had to be something special that people identified with in order to keep them engaged and coming back. Their studios made me understand that your work out is personal and you need to connect with it in order to stay committed.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

I’ve always had an eye for trends. For one, just taking a step into NYC and opening your eyes to the culture, the fashion, the risk taking, can help inspire you. Being aware of people, places and things around you. I’m very visual, so naturally I connect with Instagram. I love following personalities in my industries, all different types, from all over the world. I find it interesting how certain countries are so ahead.. I always feel this way about Australia for some reason. I keep Work it Out relevant by picking and choosing trends that inspire me and remixing them into something that makes sense for the brand.

With that said, how do you keep track of your personal and business goals? How do you stay focused (even when you are exhausted)?

I’ve found that I am a big picture thinker. If I have a clear vision of the big picture, it makes it easier for me to set smaller goals. Staying focused is difficult for me in an ever-evolving business because the big picture is always changing, depending on what opportunities come your way. It’s important to be nimble. Being patient, trusting your gut and making smart, well thought out decisions is something I live by. An occasional risk here and there is also important.

Do you have any mentors? If so, who are they?

The closet thing I have to mentors, are my start-up savvy friends. These are people that have gone through similar business obstacles and triumphs or are in the process of going through them.

A recent study found a lack of mentorship among young women. How important are mentors to you?

I lean on this group of people quite frequently. It’s comforting to have supporters in your corner that will give you unsolicited advice that you are not afraid to hear. I like that they’re relatable.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

Go for it! Just know – it’s difficult to do everything on your own. There is power in numbers. Do your best to find a team that believes in your mission. Be patient. Also, mistakes are bound to happen. Don’t let them discourage you.

What place inspires you the most?

Central Park.

When do you feel most powerful?

When I bond and feel connected with my team.

Why do you love what you do?

Because it is an extension of me. There is something so fulfilling about creating a place that people love. It’s a part of their everyday lives and makes them happy. I feel indebted to them and a responsibility to grow it.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Concentrate on your team. A solid team equals a solid company.

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Work it Out

Work it Out’s signature classes include: Ride, Zumba, Barre, Bands, Interval Training, Pilates, Toning, Go Mommy, and more. If you would like more information, please check out their site: Work it Out – and join Noël and her fitness loving team.