“Since high school, I wanted to start my own business with social impact in mind. However, it wasn’t until I took a Creating a Company entrepreneurship course at the University of Washington that my dream started to become a reality.”
Stephanie would meet an equally-minded soul sista from that business class, Joyce Tang, who would share her social impact mission. They would become cofounders of a women’s health-centric startup called Bathing Beauteas, while partnering with UnBound - a nonprofit that supports survivors of sex trafficking.
So Stephanie, I’m aware that you are a freelance designer/illustrator on the side of your 9 to 5. How did you get into the cool designs you do that we admire on your Instagram feed?
Being involved in creative work at young age allows me to develop a foundation to transition from illustrative work to designing. Playing with coloring books and watching Disney movies help, too (and I love it!).
Because I enjoy creating art so much, I feel like it’s a natural progression for me to become a freelance designer. It’s not only a passion, but a privilege as well to use my skills to help other entrepreneurs create and develop their brand identity as well as to help them find increasingly engaging ways to visually communicate with their respective audiences.
It’s a lot of fun mixing entrepreneurial ideas with design thinking - you get to create great things with purpose and functionality.
How would your close friends describe you?
Hmmm...I often hear they say that I am outgoing! Generally, friends often describe me as:
During high school, I was very shy and tried my best to venture out of my comfort zone by talking in front of an audience and getting involved in student leadership. It was hard speaking up at first, but getting to meet new people and seeing my progress overtime made it all worth it. I ended up thriving on being outgoing and driven until overtime I became a full extrovert.
Now I absolutely love being around people and new spaces! It’s thrilling to meet so many beautiful souls and learn so much once I immerse myself in new things.
What’s your current struggle?
Creatively, Joyce and I are pushing to take the next step to grow Bathing Beauteas. While we are active at weekly pop-ups and holiday markets, the need to find new channels and to grow our brand constantly challenges us to rework our methods.
Professionally, I’ve been struggling to find time to nurture my startup while balancing a full time career. I enjoy my marketing and event-planning job, but everyone knows my passion is in developing Bathing Beauteas and working to help empower women through our social mission.
What’s a favorite quote that you live by?
“There’s nowhere to go but everywhere.”
Life has so many possibilities. There are countless places to travel to and opportunities to discover. My immigrant parents had limited choices and they sacrificed so much so that I may have more choices and freedom. I like this quote because it’s a reminder to never box myself in. As millennials, we tend to limit ourselves sometimes - we often end up waiting for long periods of time before taking action, whether to book a plane ticket or start on a business plan. There’s nowhere to to go but everywhere, so just start SOMEWHERE and GO.
What’s your biggest advice for the #braidedbabes just starting out?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and make connections! We all have insecurities. Sometimes it can be daunting to start a conversation with a speaker at an event or a stranger in a coffee shop. But that’s exactly how you make great friendships and connections like you would never imagine. Also, surround yourself with passionate and innovative peers who can help guide you in the right direciton.
Before you leave, make sure to say “Hi” to Stephanie.
Her links are below: