Who else is a big fan of podcasts? Me Me Me 🤚 !!! Possibly you haven’t been able to catch every podcast I’ve been on thus far so here’s your chance to listen in. Not only do I believe there is some awesome & value insight here, but the podcast’s themselves are amazing & people whom I can now call friends of mine. Truly, ever since I started being a guest on podcasts I learned the power of true online connection. It’s easy to like a post, respond to someone’s blog and reply back in an email but nothing is like getting to learn about people’s stories & journey through podcasting. So let’s stop talking & get to listening:
This episode is more than a conversation. It is a powersation of Stephanie and I revealing all of our truths from social media, and how Stephanie was able to create a 10,000,000+ interaction base with a company that had not had a social media in 98 years!
Female Empowerment, Personal Development, Health & Wellness
In this episode, Stephanie and I discuss everything social media, entrepreneurship, and the power of belief. If you’re ready to take the big leap or just want to elevate your social media brand, this episode is for you!
Two years ago I was invited into Baird & Warner to present myself & services as Socially Steph. 👋 “Socially Steph is going to present in 10 minutes,” she said over the mic. I sat there laughing out loud (LOL 😂 ) with the agents whom I was about to teach Instagram Stories & Facebook Ads too. I couldn’t believe something was coming to life here. It felt like a business was truly being born & indeed it was.
I walked out of there confident, happy & excited. I had my very first Real Estate client and that morning I can still remember the feeling of truly CREATING something on my own.
Every Monday, I taught my group fitness class at LA Fitness at the time. This is what I call my “happy hour” 😃 because it truly is one of the best things in the world to uplift people’s mood, spirit, mindset & health. It’s a huge passion of mine and led me to create ELEV8workout.
Later that evening, I’ll never forget it or the text I received from my Dad at 10:47pm. “Steph, come to the hospital. I don’t think Grandpa is going to make it.”
My Grandpa had been fighting stage 4 prostate cancer for 7+ years and he was the definition of true strength. He had fought hard not only in his own business at Chicago Studio City, but for his life. Every day.
It was hard to think that Monday, June 26th would be the last day I ever saw him. The last minutes with him felt like a blurr and I caught myself thinking about life as I watched my Grandpa slowly pass and leave me.
My biggest inspiration, one of my greatest teachers, listeners & advice givers. Someone whom I loved so deeply & made me feel like the biggest brightest light in the room – was gone. I held onto his hand tightly as he gave his last breath. I was in awe that earlier that day was the highest of highs and then I reached my lowest of lows (ever).
Socially Steph was born the same day my Grandpa died & every client win, every time I self doubt myself, every blessing that comes my way I think of him. He is there for me every step of this journey and that is something I am grateful for. Before he passed he left me with some wise words when I was feeling stuck. He said, Steph,
“Whatever you put your energy into you’ll be successful”
Supporting entrepreneurs and brands is what I have set out to do and love doing. My business is not just a business, it’s my heart, energy, passion & it’s here to serve you so that you can shine brighter on & offline. 🌟 #thefutureisBRIGHT
I am so excited to post this right now on SociallySteph.com, you have no idea. Being someone who looooves fitness, fashion, art & inspirational messages this is so exciting & I am so honored to share with you all what Becca has created. She is lighting up the fitness world one pair of leggings at a time. See for yourself here, but come back to read this awesome interview with Becca Heringer, founder of The Cosmic Project.
How did you start with the Cosmic Project. Where did you get the name from?
My brand started all from a passion of creating art for my friends and family. The name came about because I think of “cosmic” as something vast and imaginative. I added “project” because, quite literally, I work on many projects/commissions for different clients. I wanted to represent my brand uniquely, and at the same time, ensure I wasn’t attaching myself to any particular medium or product.
Why fitness/yoga apparel?
I was playing with a bunch of my prints and every time, the product that looked best and also caught my eye, were these yoga sets. They also were something that I felt people could wear everywhere – not just to a yoga class – a practical, fashionable outfit that can be mixed and matched. I love the feedback I now get. People feel bold, but also so comfortable when they’re in my sets. Once I focused mostly on the activewear, my niche naturally followed – the wellness world.
What was the process like starting an apparel line?
To map it out… 1. Starts with some sort of inspiration 2. Sketches, Sketches and more Sketches 3. Bringing the sketches to life on samples 4. Ordering Samples 5. Photographing the sets 6. Posting on Instagram and my website for the world to see!
What was your biggest challenge you faced when starting?
Figuring out what I wanted to really focus on. I was putting my prints on a bunch of different products and my website/instagram was becoming quite crowded. I’ve found that honing in to specific content leads to brand recognition and ultimately, a more targeted following.
What or who motivated you to keep going?
My twin sister. She has supported me since the very beginning, when I didn’t even have a clear vision of what The Cosmic Project even was. She always reminds me of why I started this in the first place – because I genuinely love to see people wearing my art. There’s nothing better than people tagging me in the yoga sets, looking confident and standing out.
What does success mean to you?
Being able to make a career out of my passion. And not designing based on what is trendy or “in”. I think success is staying true to yourself, your art, and your vision.
What would a dream opportunity or collaboration look like for you?
My dream collaboration actually just became a reality! It’s with Mel from Headstands and Heels. She’s a wellness blogger and incredible yoga teacher. She really helped with exposure in the wellness space and has taught me so much about running a business. She’s extremely creative, very organized, and super genuine.
How has social media impacted your business from launch to now?
People can see my artwork wherever they are and whenever they want to. I’ve reached such a wide audience that I would never have had the ability to reach without this social media platform. I also get to share my art process, which I love to do, because it shows people that what I’m designing starts small and becomes something so much bigger.
Who are 3 people on Instagram who inspire you?
Arielle Charnas (Something Navy)
Danielle Bernstein (We Wore What)
What social media channel do you see giving you the greatest results? And why do you think that is?
I would say Instagram. Since my brand is very visual, pictures and videos are the best way to get out my message and show what my brand is all about. My customers love seeing my sets on different bodies and in different parts of the world!
What are 2-3 things you had no clue about since starting your entrepreneurial journey. Anything shocking?
Marketing your brand is key! You can’t just put leggings on a hanger and say “this is what I’ve created”. The creation goes beyond that. It’s about showing the leggings in an active setting. On the go. In different locations. In exciting places. I want people to see the sets on my Instagram and see themselves in the sets.
Collaboration over competition. I love being inspired by such talented artists, designers, entrepreneurs, etc. When you’re open to other suggestions and you morph ideas into one, magical things can happen.
Success doesn’t happen overnight! Stick with it.
You’re a quote junkie like me so I have to ask, What’s a quote you love or live by daily?
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel
What advice would you give someone who is looking to start an idea or passion?
Just go for it. And do NOT give up. Practice makes perfect. You need to really work hard, believe in yourself, and surround yourself with people who encourage you along the way.
One thing that stood out to me is that the Cosmic Project helps to bring creativity into your interior and exterior world. Colorful products brought to life — made by Becca, for you! I’ll leave you with one more inspiring note from Becca herself: “Just remember; the world is your canvas.”
Right on, Becca! Your world is yours to create & I love meeting other change makers & creators who are setting out on a path they love while inspiring others to do the very same. The future is BRIGHT✨. As always if you LOVED this post share it with your friends & let’s have ourselves a great week ahead. Stay connected with me on all socials @SOCIALLYSTEPH.
When Sam asked if she could interview me it was a hard YAAASSS! I realized how valuable the questions she asked me are & I’ve always felt interviews were a great source of knowledge. There is so much opportunity in this world to constantly be learning and improving upon, nothing is ever perfect, but that’s the beauty of the entrepreneurial journey. Love the awesome questions she asked me here on how I started Socially Steph LLC. Keep reading … 😃
Q: When did you “discover” your love for social media for brand building?
STEPH: In college, I was working front desk for The Dailey Method in my city and they always asked for my suggestions on their social media marketing. Along with many other businesses always picked my brain on this. My parents have owned businesses from car washes to restaurants to a beauty salon & I always enjoyed helping my family with their own branding & social media management. I have always had an eye for creative & it’s something that lights me up. I have a ton of fun in this space which is why I love it. Having fun in what you do is super important to me.
Q: What led up to the creation of Socially Steph? (past jobs, etc)
STEPH: Socially Steph came about in 2017 when I was working in corporate land & desired to be more creative. I wanted to start writing more and creating things I love. I also enjoyed interviewing people who started something they love and empowering others to do the same. I felt the name really resonated with what I was creating being more social with brands, businesses and people. My career path had also been deeply rooted in the social media space for 9 years. The name just felt like me and that’s the best route to go when branding yourself, in my opinion. It has to come from your heart and always be genuine.
I had dreamed of meshing what I love into a career but I never found the right company and one day it hit me that I could create my own company and be in a space that helps me to thrive 💫 vs. drag me down.
After I up and quit my 9-5 a month later, I took an opportunity to present myself at a real estate agency and I was being called “Socially Steph” on the microphone across the company … I actually started laughing out loud because I didn’t think anyone would take me as “Socially Steph” serious, but they loved it!! The presentation went great and I got my first client off the bat. That same Monday evening I went to teach my group fitness class and found out my Grandpa was in extremely bad shape, he ended up passing away right in front of my very eyes & holding my hand till his last breath. This moment was life changing for me. Never had I experienced death and how could this be? My business was born the same day my grandpa passed away. I was extremely overwhelmed. He left me with this in which I carry with me daily,
“Whatever you put your energy into you’ll be successful.”
Energy is in everything we do and it’s the first thing that introduces you before you even speak a word. I believe it’s super important in all aspects of our life and career.
Q: While you were working in corporate America, you also taught group fitness classes. How has fitness played a role in your life? This seems like maybe the first “step” into entrepreneurship for you…
STEPH: YESSSS!!!! I have been teaching fitness also since 2010. When I left my job I actually launched both ELEV8 my group fitness class & Socially Steph LLC and ironically they both made the same amount in month one. ELEV8 is a group training class comprised of cardio, strength, yoga & meditation. The one thing I felt challenged with was not having a focus.
Once I took a trip to New York it kinda hit me that I needed to choose my career right now around the lifestyle I wanted. My dreams of owning a fitness studio started to fade and exploring Socially Steph became more interesting to me. I enjoyed that I can still get my work done and be anywhere in the world. I love to be able to see new things and travel so at this point in my life I didn’t want the overhead of a studio to hold me down in one location.
Q: Can you talk more about the process of creating your own group fitness program?
STEPH: The process was simple. I have a strong background in gymnastics starting at age 3 and many years of hardcore training. In HS I decided to move into dance & then I actually trained for a fitness competition. Fitness has always been a huge part of who I am. When I attended College at Elmhurst College I also received my 200 hour RYT from Corepower. After accepting a group fitness position with La Fitness I realized I really had my own sequence I created.
From there I was gaining a small following of women and they had been asking me to teach more and more I felt the only thing that made sense was to rent a space and provide more opportunity for them to take class with me. So I tried that whole thing. I wouldn’t say it failed, but I just didn’t have the focus or time to execute it like I would. I did decide to put that on hold and focus on Socially Steph LLC. I’ve thought of other ways in which that part of my life or business can come to life in the future. But, we can’t do it all at the same time.
Q: What were the fears in taking that leap of quitting your corporate job?
STEPH: Losing my insurance was on my mind, a steady income and that’s about it. I didn’t see it as losing much because I don’t want to life my life with regrets of not trying. I had all the confidence in knowing I can create something greater or bigger, but it’s a scary move to make. You’re placing all bets on yourself and its’ only you day in and day out. Before I really took the dive I was still jumping on phone calls with recruiters and that brought even more clarity that I really wanted to start my own businesses. All of my experiences have really been a huge blessing for me in my life and my energy has constantly led me into the right direction.
Q: What are some of the things you thought would be different than they actually are in this new entrepreneurship journey? Reality vs. Expectation?
STEPH: You have to be driven, disciplined, willing to learn and it’s important to always tap into your intuition. I expected this to be challenging, but I didn’t expect how mentally draining it can all be and the amount of hats you have to wear was many more than I ever thought. I didn’t take a business class, I just dove in. It’s a lot of self teaching and learning that it’s okay to ask for help is a good reminder for anyone.
Q: How do you disconnect from social media..do you find it necessary?
STEPH: Oh yes, it’s extremely important to find balance with technology and social media. I find the more and more it grows we need more education for ways in which you need to take action in your own life. It starts with awareness and knowing when it’s actually consuming too much of your life and wrecking havoc more than making you happy. It’s super hard for me being in the social media space, but I have learned that no matter what business you’re in – health is the real wealth. So knowing when you’ve crossed that line and it’s affecting your sleep or body has become so apparent.
Q: What are some of your best social media tips for anyone trying to build their brand? I know you talk a lot about not stressing over the follower count and I LOVE that.
STEPH: Be yourself, use the space to connect vs trying to gain the wrong attention or mass followers (don’t buy your followers because there’s absolutely no ROI in that.) I really stress the importance to my own clients about why we’re on social media which is mainly to build exposure, build strong connections, communicate, share educational and valuable information, and grow a community; which would take years to do if you stood outside right now on the street yelling at people about your service. It’s an extremely important tool you can be leveraging right now if done right.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give to the STRONGirl community?
STEPH: Do what lights you up in life & shine bright! Surround yourself with good energy and trust yourself, you know more than you think! The key to getting ahead is getting started. Let’s do more things we love ❤️. That’s it peeps!
Hey, so there you have it! Awesome questions by Sam & I hope you enjoyed the Q&A. Let me know in the comments what stood out or what resonated with you. I’d love to hear from you.
Remember when Facebook stole the Stories idea from Snapchat? Social media platforms & apps are learning what users like across mediums to implement it in their own ways. We see this time and time again […]