Stephanie Nitsch is an athlete, snowboarder, business owner and promoter. She does it all just by being herself. Stephanie bursts with energy, enthusiasm, and success. And she wants other young women to know they can set their own course in life by following their heart and their interests.
“I always say ‘Yes’ to things that excite me,” she says.
What kinds of things excite her? Right now she designs snowboards for women. But how did she get to this point in her life?
Stephanie’s early life was fairly typical for families who live in snow country. She liked snow and learned to ski as a child, so when she was a little older, she took a job as a “liftie” at a resort and later interned with a snowboard company. Her life was forming a pattern that involved snow.
After graduating from college, she packed her car and headed for Colorado to become a “mountain girl.” Along the way she stopped in Utah, saw a job posting, and became the PR coordinator for the City of Park City. It was one of many snow-related positions she would take in the US and also in Canada.
Along the way, she jumped at an opportunity—an international job in the ski industry. It sounded great, but the job turned out to be boring because she was “staring at a computer all day.” She looked for a way to put a positive spin on the boring job by focusing on meeting interesting people, and although that was years ago, she still stays in touch with them. Staying in touch is networking at its best, and she’s an expert at it. “Every contact is a good contact,” Stephanie says.
Life has a way of weaving strands together. As a youngster, she sold Girl Scout cookies from door to door. “I always wanted to sell the most,” she said. “My parents called me an entrepreneur, but I didn’t know what the word meant.”
These days she’s an adult-sized entrepreneur. She listened to female riders and saw the need for a female-specific snowboard. She now owns Pallas Snowboards, a Salt Lake City company with an expanding female market.
“I wanted to build a snowboard for women from the ground up, not just decorate a beefy male snowboard with girly graphics.”
To promote her board, she travels to shows, demos, and races. To help gain product recognition, she offered her board to several old snowboard racing friends—friends she made at the job she hated. Most of them raced on her Pallas brand board and won. Only one who rode her board lost the race.
Nothing stops Stephanie. She says “Yes” to things that excite her. Her philosophy is: “Never bog down. Look at all the things that might be possible and go forward.”
Famed Yankee baseball legend Yogi Berra said the same thing in a different way: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Stephanie’s ‘Yes’ is important one-word advice. It’s the first step in moving from where you are to where you might possibly want to go.
Always dream big and follow your interests.