Heart-Centered Wellness & Beauty: Meet Stephanie Perkinson

Once or twice a month on Annapurna Living, we spotlight a creative entrepreneur who chooses to do business with integrity and soul.
Today, please enjoy our conversation with holistic health coach & guide, Stephanie Perkinson.

Hello! Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do? How does your heart manifest in the world?

Hi! I'm Stephanie, mama, wife and owner of Wellness by Design. I'm a certified holistic health and lifestyle councilor. I work with women who are overwhelmed with life, feeling disconnected to their bodies or frustrated with their spaces. Sometimes it's all three, which is actually not unusual because they are all intimately connected! I adore showing up for women and helping them make room in their lives for the beautiful and unexpected. My super powers are the ability to quickly set people at ease and offer powerful insight. I use these gifts to support women through the hard stuff in fresh and creative ways.

What does soulful business mean to you? What motivates you?

A soulful business to me means that you are willing to do things a little differently. That you are willing to ignore the rules and perhaps do exactly the opposite of what all the other "experts" are telling you to do. I think the soul of my business come from leaving my ego at the door and keeping my clients' needs front and center. I tend to go above and beyond the normal counselor/coach role and because of that, most of my clients end up becoming dear friends. The belief that what I'm doing is making a difference and that alone is what gets me out of bed in the morning and eagerly diving into my work.

What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? How do you work with or around it?

There are so many challenges! I think the biggest challenge for me is making time for "real life" since I work exclusively in the virtual world and from my own home. When I'm entrenched in work mode I tend to get a little obsessive and develop tunnel vision. I don't make enough time for myself and uninterrupted family time. I've had to learn how to build better boundaries. My work focuses on the needs of others and I have just recently gained new insight on how my inability to nurture myself was affecting my work and personal life. Now in between meetings, client sessions and time spent writing and leading online e-courses I make sure I schedule fill up times throughout the week. Right now I'm filling my life with horseback riding, scheduled in-person get togethers with friends and a weekly ceramics class. To help keep my feet firmly planted where they are needed I make sure I also give myself transition time between the end of my work day and when I turn back to my roles of wife, partner and mother. Sometime I fill the space between with a long walk or hike and sometimes it means sitting my butt down on the coach and watching something on TV just for me. I need this time to turn my brain off from work mode and reengage with the needs of my family. Once my boys come home work is over and all my attention is on them. This wasn't something that always happened in the past but it has become a non-negotiable now.

When you feel burned out or uninspired, what lights your fire again? Please share a personal mantra, motto, or ritual for when you feel drained. How do you stay nourished and inspired as a soulful creative?

I recently took a lot of time off from my work in order to refuel. I was completely burnt out and my creative well had run dry. I was so nervous to take a step back! I thought people would forget me and that I would have to begin all over again if and when I came back to my work. Turns out, giving myself permission to just stop for awhile was exactly what I needed. I have returned feeling totally on fire with so much to share. I also gained a lot of insight on how to prevent it from happening again. I recently designed an e-course based on that experience and my time spent counseling women called Unexpected|Beautiful. During my sabbatical from the online world I kept the mantra "Make Room" close to my heart as a way to remind me why I was doing what I was doing. That there was time and space and reason for my need to clear space. That there was value to play and experimentation. That living without intended outcomes was actually incredibly freeing and helpful.

Who supports you?

Hands down, my husband. He is by far my biggest cheerleader. He has been there right from the beginning when I decided to go back to school to get trained. He is a sales superstar and has taught me so much about business. He has never doubted my abilities, even when confidence in myself was non existent. During big times of growth he has stepped in and taken on more responsibility so that I can focus on making it all happen. He is the best!

What was the biggest "lesson" you've learned through your experience in business?

I think the most powerful lesson for me, was learning to embrace and accept myself for who I truly am. Trusting that putting myself out there "as-is" would be my ticket to connecting to my right people. It didn't happen overnight. In the very beginning I felt a pull to be different than who I truly was. I thought I needed to be a certain size to have permission to talk about food and health. I found myself looking to others for inspiration instead of trusting what was inside my own heart. I thought I needed the right connections to be successful. I thought I needed to present myself a certain way to attract clients. It turns out I didn't need any of that. It took some time, but I learned that my voice and my ideas were enough to have value for others When I look in the mirror now, I see a women who doesn't have to change a damn thing to be allowed to share herself with the world.

Tell us a story or describe a time when something occurred in your business that made your heart leap and you KNEW you were doing the right thing.

What makes my heart leap is when I hear from former clients out of the blue and they tell me how our work together has impacted them. I love knowing that the work we did is something they still carry with them, helping them to inform their lives in rich and meaningful ways. I hear about how they are are now in love with their bodies. I hear about food they are now inspired to nourish their bodies with on a regular basis. I learn about the business's they have gone on to open and how their homes have transformed into soul spaces that reflect their essence in every way. It feels so incredible and gives me fuel to keeping moving forward.

About Stephanie—

Stephanie Perkinson is a mother of two and certified holistic health & lifestyle councilor. She dwells at the sacred intersection of home, body & life. Her greatest passions are helping women end conflict and disconnection with their bodies and the spaces they inhabit. Combining her unique distillation process and a customized approach, she helps women discover the forgotten pockets of their own spirit. She creates beautiful group experiences online and is also available for private one-on-one sessions. Stephanie is a passionate collaborator and can also be found co-leading retreats in gorgeous places around the globe. Visit her online at StephaniePerkinson.com, on Instagram & Facebook.