(photos by Shelby Brakken Photography)
This month I am very excited to introduce Stephanie Richen to you! Stephanie is that “rare ray of sunshine on a cloudy day” kinda gal. I met her about a year ago and she has been lighting up my life ever since. She has a open and kind heart and she has a way of making everyone feel at home in her home away from home (AKA her 2 Pure Barre businesses in Portland, Oregon).
She is a breast cancer survivor, a small business owner and a general badass. Meet Steph!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Born and raised in Seattle, I grew up with a love of animals and always had pets in our home. After high school, I became a vet technician and worked for a pet hospital for almost 8 years. I wanted to further my education, so I decided to leave the field and go back to school to become a nurse, but this time for humans. =)
I was lucky enough to land a job at The University of Washington as an anesthesia technician working in the operating room with very ill patients waiting to receive a heart, lung, or kidney transplants. Because of the high stress, it didn’t leave me much time for myself or to even work out. One of my friends, Christine, told me about this workout she’d been doing called Pure Barre. She invited me to join her that night. My life changed.
I worked as a tech for 3 years until my husband got a job opportunity in Portland. We moved shortly after and once I registered for school, I had some time before I needed to go back so I wanted to keep up my awesome workout. Turned out that there was not a Pure Barre in town! I did some research and contacted the company and 3 months later I was approved to open up my own location. I was so excited!
A year after opening my studio, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had to go through chemo, surgery, and radiation. It was a very difficult time in my life while also running a brand new business. Having the support of my family from Seattle and our amazing community here at the studio, I was still able to teach and workout. It helped me bounce back a lot faster post treatment. That’s what’s so great about Pure Barre. It’s low impact, so anyone can do it. We welcome all walks of life, ages/sizes etc. I’m honestly not sure where I’d be without Pure Barre.
I’ve been cancer free now for almost a year and am focusing my energy into my business, nurturing my relationships, and possibly starting a family soon.
What kind of a “Portland Girl” are you?
To me, a Portland Girl is someone who doesn’t give a f*ck about what anyone else thinks and lives her own life. Now that I’m in my “almost” mid 30’s, life is too short for petty sh*t. We need to build one another up, support one another. More so now than ever. Treat others the way you want to be treated, be a good person. You have this one life. Go live it and forget about the bullsh*t.
Favorite quote or motto?
“All the things that hurt you, actually teach you”
I’ve had many struggles, especially in owning a business. I’ve had to find a way to work through it and come out on the other side. Business is all about keeping up the momentum because once you lose it, that’s when things are likely to fall apart. I’ve used the tough times as a way to fuel my passion and keep up my strength to push through.
What is your biggest outlet for your creative expression?
I love love love to work on my house. My husband and I constantly have a new project we’re working on. It gives me an energy that I cannot explain. I also love to find unique pieces for my home or the studio. Antique shops are my favorite. Thinking of where some pieces came from and what they’ve seen in their lifetime. It truly excites me.
What 1 food and 1 beverage could you not live without?
Give me carbs, give me coffee. Hands down. One of my favorite coffee shops is right down the street from the studio called Saint Simon. They’re locally owned, and have killer drinks and customer service. Support local ya’ll!
What is your favorite part of living in Portland, OR?
I love this city and the people. I love to connect with others, hear about their lives. It’s so easy to strike up a conversation up with anyone here in town.
One of my favorite things is crafted cocktails and I couldn’t be in a better city for that. I love Radar and Quaintrelle on Mississippi. I also love Spitz and Backyard Social on Killingsworth. Supporting other local businesses is very important to me.
What is your current self-care routine, and why is it important to you?
I go to The Portland Girl! This is my once a month time for myself, to relax and focus on myself. During the week I work out at my studio and find more house projects to work on, which helps keeps my stress levels low. We also just finished our backyard project, so we have been spending a ton of time hanging out in it with our 2 dogs, Rowlf and Lily.
If you have a business or want to be reached, how can our readers get in touch?
You can call/txt at 971-202-2696
E-mail – Lloydportland@purebarre.com
Locals get their first week for FREE so if you’re interested in checking us out and see what we’re all about, contact us! We’d love to meet you. <3