Hi Stephanie, tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Stephanie Wang, and I’m the co-founder and Chief of Marketing and Partnerships of Amazebowls, a food and beverage company based in Los Angeles with a mission to make healthy eating accessible. I’m also the founder of a non-profit organization called Resilientship, whose mission is to connect young women who are facing the unique challenges brought on by a cancer diagnosis.
For fun, I like rearranging furniture in my house, testing out TikTok trends, catching up on pop culture, traveling and exploring different cultures by way of food, and catching up with friends over a meal.
Can you tell us what you do as the Co-founder & CMO at Amazebowls for those who are unfamiliar?
My main role is to build and share the brand of Amazebowls through our product, social media, marketing, and various partnerships. This includes the development of new products and coordinating communication between teams, building our customer loyalty, developing the brand’s voice and content across all social media platforms, and forming partnerships with brands and influencers to creatively share the Amazebowls story and mission.
However, in a startup company, we often wear many hats and every day looks different. A day for me could be creating a TikTok for our socials, driving around LA to capture content at an event, then pitching partnership ideas with brands or influencers, taking meetings with our Operations Director and external agencies, and then having to run to our local grocery store mid-day because our store ran out of kale.
How did you decide to pursue your specific career?
I’m not sure if there’s a specific moment or event that made me decide on my current career, but there are definitely many pivotal moments that have brought me here today.
In college, I majored in Communication at USC, and was on a path ready to pursue a career in Public Relations. However, after college, I decided to pursue one of my passions which is bridging cultures between East and West through education. I was excited to extend this mission after my time with Teach For America through my acceptance as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan. However, throughout the program’s on-boarding process, I found out I had cancer. In a blink of an eye, my world changed. Life became slower, I could no longer make plans for the future, and my only focus was figuring out how to survive. I said bye to Fulbright, spent the rest of the year in treatment and as I started to get back on my feet, my good friend and Amazebowls Founder, Bryan, asked me to join the team to build Amazebowls with a focus on marketing.
The path that led me here is completely unexpected, but I’m so grateful for Bryan’s trust and faith in me to help him build a brand from the bottom-up, and allowing me to exert my creativity through my work at Amazebowls.
What programs & tools do you use everyday for work? What do you like/dislike about these programs?
Any advice on how to stand out and get hired for those starting off?
For those getting started, my advice is to reach out to other entrepreneurs and ask for some time to chat with them. Learn from them. Seek their advice. Ask them questions… ask them the same questions that’s on this interview! One of the best things about meeting with other entrepreneurs is the connection you form around understanding the challenges and hardships that entrepreneurs experience. It's a special group of people.
Also, finding community is important. Having one person who understands what you are going through, especially when times get tough, will mean the world.
What are some must-have resources (books, tools, podcasts, etc.) you would recommend for your industry?
I enjoy listening to Podcasts, like The Dave Chang Show, Work in Progress, or NPR’s How I Built This, with people in positions or companies I admire. Another important resource is finding a mentor. I’ve had some great mentors during different chapters of my life. Not only does having a mentor allow you to learn and ask questions, having these discussions also provides you space to process and understand yourself better. If it weren’t for my mentor, I’d often find myself with my head down figuring out how to move forward without taking a moment to stop and talk through my work.
What are 3 character traits that would make someone excel in your field?
Grit, empathy, and time management.
The work/life balance as an entrepreneur can be tricky. For me, I felt guilty if I was working too much, and I also felt guilty if I wasn’t working enough. You’re not given the parameters of a 9 to 5 job, and your business partner and team may need you at all hours, so you can’t exactly set time parameters for yourself either. However, balance can still be achieved through small guidelines such as not opening social media past a certain time, or having a chunk of time each day to do something that’s for you and make it a non-negotiable. For me, my non-negotiable was spending 45 mins each day to work out.
Most satisfying & difficult thing about your job?
Most satisfying - The autonomy to pursue your own path, and to develop your own ideas and passions into a reality.
Most difficult - The fear of failure, and how that fear limits your desire to take risks.
What would you like to say to your younger self?
You can make plans and set goals for your life, but allow and welcome the unexpected changes, friendships, opportunities, and even challenges that come your way.
In my early 20s, I was very type A. I had a plan that was always 2 to 4 years out, and I was very focused on achieving them. But after my cancer diagnosis, I learned that unexpected (and often uncomfortable) challenges can come with the most growth and beauty. I like to say I became type “a” (lower case A) after that experience. I still have goals and plans, but I allow myself the option to explore more and to not become incredibly fixated on pursuing that set of goals. When people say phrases like ‘Stop and Smell The Roses’ or ‘Enjoy The Journey, Not The Destination’ - they were on to something.
I'd also like to tell my younger self to recognize the importance of how to balance all aspects of self-care (mental, physical, and spiritual) as soon as you can. Figure out what kind of exercise makes you excited to sweat. Look into therapy. Try a guided meditation app. In my 20s, I viewed rest as something that was deserved, but I’m learning that rest (whatever that looks like to you) should be integrated in your day to day life just as seamlessly as you integrate eating your meals. And last but not least, I’d tell my younger self to tell fear to suck it.
Best advice you've received/heard?
Practice gratitude. Instead of thinking, “I have to…” change it to “I get to…” Remember your mindset is one of the most important tools you own.