Krista Parry and Lindsay Stephenson are the 38 and 40 year old (respectively) sisters and founders of SisterUp, the organization that empowers women to start and run their own business, making money doing what they love. Krista, based in Salt Lake City, and Lindsay, based in Los Angeles, are both alumni of Utah State University (B.A. Communications) who know a thing or two about making big things happen in their careers. Krista was tapped by Park City Mountain Resort at just 23 to run their marketing program, which she did for 15 years, climbing the corporate ladder all the way to Senior VP of Media and Partnerships in a male-dominated industry. Lindsay has led many lives in the media and communications worlds, including working in public relations in New York City, owning her own boutique PR agency, spending time overseas, and producing three Hollywood films. (Are you keeping up?) After experiencing their own epiphanies and diving headfirst into what would make them happiest when it came to their work, they left their comfortable careers behind to set forth on an entrepreneurship adventure together. And we are so glad they did. Earlier this year they launched SisterUp as a way to combine their successes in business to empower, enrich, and support women. SisterUp offers online programs, one-on-one coaching, and workshops to help women find that business or side hustle idea, then guide them through the steps in order to find success (through finances, marketing, customer service, legal, and so much more). Krista and Lindsay are thoughtful entrepreneurs, crazy intuitive, and strategic as hell #MomBosses (Krista has two boys and Lindsay has three girls) that consider themselves champions for all women in the workforce. They put the ‘hustle’ in hustle (get it?!). From sharing their first jobs out of college and the moments they felt like they hit a groove in their careers to how they stay healthy, we’ve charged Krista and Lindsay with 20 of our favorite questions.
1. What was your first job out of college?
Krista: I actually was still in college when I was asked to travel as the spokesperson for the 2002 Winter Olympics. I will always remember the day, September 12, 2001, when I went up to talk to the Dean of my department, to tell him that I was withdrawing from my senior year. It was an incredible opportunity and one that set the tone for my career.
Lindsay: I graduated from college in Utah and because my boyfriend at the time was finishing his Master’s Degree I wanted to stay in the area to be close to him. My dad suggested I call the Salt Lake Olympics (as they were a few years away) and talk with their PR department. I called and they connected me with the PR firm that was handling the Olympics. I met with the CEO of the firm the next week hoping to secure a job in Salt Lake City. After my 4-hour interview he offered me the job…in New York City. Ever since I was a little girl in Montana I dreamed of working in a big city so I took the job. Needless to say my relationship with my boyfriend didn’t last long.
2. When you were in college, what did you think you’d be doing today?
Krista: For the first three years of college I was studying to get my exercise science degree to be a corporate wellness executive, however a visit to my sister in NYC for spring break my junior year changed that. I was on Total Request Live (TRL) with Carson Daly (yes, when MTV played music videos…) three days in a row and it was then that I knew I needed to go into PR. I always wanted to be an executive and I’ve always wanted to own my own business. It’s amazing how life works out!
Lindsay: I always knew I loved to work. I imagined I would be some executive at a large company, wearing high fashion, high heels and drinking coffee. That is what the movies told me I would be doing. Ha.
3. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Krista: In the ski industry, there are very few females who are in upper management, let alone females who are young. I learned very early on that you have to ‘Fake it until you make it.’ I was very fortunate to have mentors that believed in me and my abilities, even when I doubted myself. Surround yourself with supportive people!
Lindsay: I have been blessed with many mentors in my career. I started at a PR firm in New York City and I was one of two females out of 25 employees. I could have chosen to see myself differently or less of because of this but it wasn’t even a thought. I quickly learned that you are in control of your own path. Work hard, respect yourself and others, be kind and show up. Even if you don’t feel like you “fit in,” act like you do until you feel it. I was surrounded by wonderful leaders that encouraged and believed in me. So I believed in myself. It is okay to borrow someone else’s confidence in you until you can create your own.
4. Can you recall the moment you felt like you hit a groove in your career?
Krista: I spent 15 years as a corporate executive and for some reason I never really felt like I hit a groove…mostly, because I don’t think I was staying true to my core values. I really felt like I hit a groove when I started SisterUp with my sister. Helping female entrepreneurs is what I was born to do. However, I am so grateful for the 15 years of knowledge and skills that helped me get to where I am today!
Lindsay: I’ll let you know when that happens 😉 Honestly my career has taken so many different turns in the past 20 years. From public relations to radio sales rep to Hollywood producer to business coach. For me every time I feel my groove something shows up to challenge me even more. I love learning and growing. I am not sure I’ve hit a groove, but a few years ago I finally started valuing my knowledge and experience, and feel confident that I know what I am doing. The Imposter Syndrome still pops up, but definitely not as much.
5. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office every morning?
Krista: I work out every morning at 5:30 a.m. I then have what I call my two ‘Power Hours,’ where my brain is on full speed and my creative juices are flowing. My office might be my backyard or my kitchen table.
Lindsay: I work from home and we recently moved so my office is my dining room table. I have three daughters, so after my husband and I walk the kids to school we pop by our local coffee shop grab coffee and then I head home to begin work. I always sit down and make my “to-do” list for the day before checking emails. It gives me a plan of what I need to accomplish that day.
6. What’s one thing you do daily to stay organized?
Krista: I LOVE sticky notes! My mentor and friend, Lyn Christian, has an incredible tool Today and Not Today that I use to focus on what needs to be accomplished.
Lindsay: I LOVE making lists. Like maybe a little obsessed. I have notebooks full of them. I make my list and then draw a box next to each item so I can check it off when I have finished it. If I do something that is not on my list I go back and write it and add the box just so I can check it off. I get this from my dad. He was an endless list maker.
7. How do you sign off emails?
Krista: XOXOX. I am a total hugger! I hug everyone I meet. In my corporate career I was often the only female in the room. Imagine a room full of men who get a hug from me after each meeting…
Lindsay: Depending on who it is too but I usually add Many Thanks, Much Love or Thanks. Maybe I should come up with something more fancy like “Catch you on the flip side.”
8. What’s the one character trait that’s vital for success in what you do?
Krista: Courage. It takes courage to move towards what you want to do. And courage doesn’t exist without fear. You really have to get out of your comfort zone to make big things happen. I think for a lot of people, especially women, having courage and being brave is what allows us to follow our hearts and be aligned with our core values.
Lindsay: Perseverance. As an entrepreneur you can feel like you are queen of the world and are killing it in your business one day and then the next question if you are even doing it right. I’ve learned to just continue moving forward, taking action (even if it’s a small action) every day towards your goal. Action creates confidence. Inaction creates the opposite.
9. Can you share a career goal for 2017?
Krista: My sister and I are launching our first online course for SisterUp to help women find their strength and then turn that into a business or side business. My passion is to empower women around the world and provide them with the tools to follow their dreams. This is one step towards that.
Lindsay: My sister and I are launching our first online course for our company SisterUp. It’s an online course that helps women find their strength and turn it into a business or side business. We found in ourselves and friends that over the years you can forget what you are good at or love to do, so we created a course to give you the tools to re-connect with those traits.
10. What’s your favorite magazine?
Krista: I love reading magazines so it’s hard to choose just one. From domino to Allure to Runner’s World. I love them all.
Lindsay: I use to get so many magazines but just recently my husband and I started to simplify and have been very intentional of what comes in and out of our house. I was just stockpiling magazines that I wasn’t even reading. So now I just focus on books. I’m reading You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero. Loving it.
11. Do you have a can’t-live- without beauty product?
Krista: I seriously love the DETOX Mask from CRUDE Personal Care. It brightens my skin and makes me look young and fresh!
Lindsay: My eyebrow powder. Due to strong traits and an autoimmune disease I have thinning eyebrows. The one I am loving right now is The Brow Gal by Tonya Crooks.
12. What’s your go-to cocktail?
Krista: I’m not much of a cocktail girl, but I do love LaCroix. Does that count? Any flavor will do!
Lindsay: I’ve been on a journey the past year of healing my body through what I eat and drink, so I’ve mostly taken out drinking. Every once in a while I will have a Pinot Grigio but my favorite go-to has been Sprindrift Sparkling Water in Raspberry Lime.
13. Do you have a wardrobe staple?
Krista: Black jeans or pants paired with a colorful top. I was at a meeting the other day and I was wearing gray jeans and a denim top and someone mentioned they loved “Dressed-Down Krista.” I had to laugh.
Lindsay: Anything black or gray.
14. Do you have a spirit animal?
Krista: A Grizzly Bear. Appearing strong and confident even when I’m scared as hell!
Lindsay: Birds. They always seem to show up in my life when I am looking for direction. Most recently a Barn Owl took up residence in the tree across the street from our home…in Los Angeles! I loved hearing it at night. It made me feel like I wasn’t in the middle of a bustling city.
15. Do you collect anything?
Krista: I’m not a big collector of things but I am a collector of experiences.
Lindsay: Trying to live more simply, it has to bee something I really need or love. My husband and I really love discovering Native American prints and artwork.
16. How do you stay healthy?
Krista: I exercise every morning, drink LOTS of water and I try and eat clean 80 percent of the time. Connecting with my family and friends keeps my mind healthy.
Lindsay: Eating clean, drinking water, exercising, yoga, 8 hours of sleep, reading a good book, spending time with friends, laughing with my kids and dating my husband. When all of those things are in check I feel amazing. More often than not one or a doze of these things is off kilter but I’m always striving to fill my soul with these things.
17. What’s the best hashtag of all time?
Krista: #SisterUp It’s an action.
18. What’s your decorating style?
Krista: Modern meets colorful!
Lindsay: Mid-century modern with a mix of flair.
19. What do you eat for breakfast most days?
Krista: I drink a shake with ½ banana, 6 ice cubes, 12 oz water, and chocolate protein powder every single morning.
Lindsay: Eggs, veggies, and lately I’ve been adding in gluten free toast with a little butter.
20. Who would play you in a made-for-TV movie?
Krista: Rachel McAdams. She’s the girl next door and everybody’s friend.
Lindsay: When I was in college I had the Monica Geller haircut and everyone told me I looked like her. So I would say Courtney Cox, circa 1998.