Steff owns and manages two magazines and a large one-day family festival. While Steff is running two businesses and constantly planning for her one-day family festival, she consistently faces deadlines but always handles the ups and downs of each business. Steff starts each day with an idea of what needs to be done, but it’s not uncommon for her plans to change. She has learned that rolling with the punches is just part of owning your own business. Whatever you plan for the day might change and you have to learn to adjust. One day her kids might need her, the next day one of her businesses might need her and she has the flexibility to take care of both.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Steff was never really sure what she wanted to be when she grew up, so when the time came for her to choose a major and follow a career path, she chose business. She figured that with a business degree she could do just about anything and she has! Steff thought she would do something in communication, but wasn’t quite sure what. She said she may have taken a career assessment in school, but it wasn’t impactful or she might have remembered it.
Steff describes her ‘student self’ as a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person. She wasn’t at the top of her class, but she always managed to be on the honor roll. She held jobs all the way through college. After graduating, she worked at a doctors office doing marketing.
She earned an associates degree from Southeast Tech and a bachelor’s degree from University of Sioux Falls with a minor in mass communications and theater. Then, much like our own ExplorHer Career story, her career path took a turn after talking with a friend. Steff and her friend partnered to own and run MED Magazine, which was previously a franchise, but they branched off and started it on their own. After a few years of running MED magazine, in 2010 Steff partnered with another person to start ‘Hood Magazine. She also started a third company, Biz Now, but quickly discovered she no longer had time for friends or family. So she left Biz Now and continued with MED and ‘Hood Magazine. It wasn’t until recently that she was approached to buy out the one-day festival FamilyFest.
Steff said, “If you are starting your own business, find something you love because you won’t feel like you are going to work everyday if you love what you do. It’s a career versus a job; try to think long term about how your career choice affects your life goals.” She loves feeling like she is making a difference in the lives of families and helping to provide resources to her community. She says the most difficult part of her job is constantly working against deadlines, but it is also a great way to force yourself to stay on a schedule! Steff finds inspiration in the people she meets and discovered she also is driven by doing whatever it takes to avoid working an 8 to 5 job ever again. She loves being able to spend time with her family and is able to juggle her businesses and spend quality time with her two young children and husband.