Kindness as a catalyst - how one haircut inspired Katie Steller’s mission to bring us together.

Kindness as a catalyst - how one haircut inspired Katie Steller’s mission to bring us together.

You know those days when you feel like the world is just heavy? That you can’t deal with another bad news story, and you begin to wonder how it will ever get better? On those days, it can feel that we are cogs in a machine that we have no power to change. So, many don’t try.

Yet, some make a small step to change something that matters to them, and they set in motion something far more significant than themselves.

From the outside looking in, Katie Steller is a successful hair salon owner. Look closer, and you’ll see that she’s using her talents (along with business savvy and a large dose of courage) to help the world be a more positive and caring place.

For most us, making the occasional donation at Goodwill can feel like a triumph (“The bags are no longer in my trunk! Yesss!).

We wanted to know: what does changing things really take? How does it feel? What choices do we need to make? How do we know that it matters? We talked with Katie to get a sense of how she’s reached this point in her journey.

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Distilling work-life choices - Nikki McLain’s pragmatic approach to building success

Distilling work-life choices - Nikki McLain’s pragmatic approach to building success

In 2017, Nikki McLain left her successful career in global meeting management to start a new kind of distillery with her husband. Having invested blood, sweat, tears and hours on bureaucracy, they’ve opened a truly unique destination.

Realizing this dream has required patience, persistence and pragmatism. And the journey is really only beginning….

We caught up with Nikki to learn more about her experience as an entrepreneur.

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How a career setback motivated Astrid Benedetto to double down on her passions.

How a career setback motivated Astrid Benedetto to double down on her passions.

Being laid off can really sting.

A feeling of betrayal, rejection and anxiety about “what’s next” can be a wicked combination. However, often a layoff can provide essential headspace for reflection and ideation and can often create the fire for creating something new and an opportunity to forger a new identity.

When Astrid Benedetto was laid off from Target, she took the opportunity to start her own business. A month later, she secured a dream corporate role as an inclusion leader with US Bank. Deciding that she was passionate about both paths, she developed each of them.

As an entrepreneurial novice and a mother of two, Astrid’s journey has not been easy. We sat down with Astrid to learn more about what she has learned along the way.

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How reclaiming mornings helped Hannah Barnstable reclaim her career.

How reclaiming mornings helped Hannah Barnstable reclaim her career.

To some, New Zealand means Kiwis, All Blacks and Lord of the Rings. To Hannah Barnstable and her husband Brady, it became the inspiration for a new business - and a new life as creators of the “Seven Sundays" brand of muesli. 

Five years ago, Hannah was a successful investment banker in Manhattan, on “the career track”, logging the road warrior miles and killing her assignments. However, she began to realize that her lifestyle of travel and long hours was far from sustainable.  

Newly wed, she and her husband Brady chose New Zealand for their honeymoon (“our ideal vacation was in a tent in the middle of nowhere”) where they stayed in small B&Bs and explored the vast, beautiful land. As they travelled, they fell in love with the country but also something more unusual -  muesli - the healthier version of granola that many New Zealanders eat for breakfast. They began to relish the space and quiet given to breakfast each morning. It was that space that gave them the inspiration to change their lives. 

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The Law of Baking: how Anne Rucker created a new path from an old love.

The Law of Baking: how Anne Rucker created a new path from an old love.

Can you imagine leaving behind a successful law career to open a bakery? Many dream of it, but few actually take the leap. Anne Rucker - founder of Bogarts doughnuts, did just that. We sat down with Anne to learn more about her journey, and ended up with a powerful conversation about redefining success, believing in yourself and following your heart.

How did your upbringing influence or prepare your decision to start your own business?

“I did all the right things, but I never fell in love with Law. I never felt that deep passion for it, like I assumed I would. We are taught that if you work hard at something, you get the grades and the job offers, you will succeed… it's a societal and cultural thing - you find a steady good job, you meet someone, you start a family, it’s the pie in the sky goal especially when you’re young and in college wanting to be a “real adult”. I definitely fell into that trap.

"It was the idea of being happy in my life and thinking if I never take the risk, if I never try, then I will never know."

What made you make the decision to give up your law career?

"For me, it was very gradual. My mindset was more about "if I don’t try this I will regret it" and that was a very scary thought, because I had a wonderful upbringing, I grew up thinking I could do whatever I wanted, you can change the world, and the older I got not doing that was hard for me. It was the idea of being happy in my life and thinking if I never take this risk, if I never try, then I will never know. 

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