52 Stories is Live on Squarespace!
A lover of people and human connection, Stephanie Del Paggio created 52 Stories, a blog sharing the stories of New Yorkers. One story a week—an interview of individuals chasing dreams with a passion for life—and 52 stories a year. This new project was born out of Stephanie’s desire to make her living doing what she loves—and writing is just that!
We loved working with Stephanie on her Restyle for her new site as she introduces her brand to the world! Stephanie envisioned an elegant, yet powerful design to assert a smart and sophisticated brand. We began with our Radar Template from our Shop, from there creating clean, modern elements for the site to create a unique design. We loved helping Stephanie’s dream come to life, and now we can't wait to read the powerful interviews 52 Stories will be home to!
"My website is all about sharing stories which is my passion. I entered college wanting to be a screenwriter and left with plans to work at a Big 4 accounting firm. This website is a step back to a place where I feel most nurtured and happy."
Check out our Q & A with Stephanie about her Restyle
Stephanie chats with us about her passion for telling people’s stories, the spark she gets when interviewing, and her goals for inspiring others to know that their dreams are possible.
GO LIVE: Where did your passion for the industry or craft start?
STEPHANIE: My website is all about sharing stories which is my passion. I've wanted to be a writer forever but I didn't know what type of writing specifically. I entered college wanting to be a screenwriter and left with plans to work at a Big 4 accounting firm. This website is my step back to a place where I feel most nurtured and happy.
Before I learned to love writing though, I loved reading first. I would sit under my piano for hours with a book and often finished one book a day during my childhood years. Later on in high school and college, I found that Literature and English were my favorite subjects and writing came naturally to me. And even before writing and reading, I loved playing piano, which is another form of sharing stories, but through sound.
52 Stories is a way for me to write, but also for me to meet new people and share their stories with the world.
GO LIVE: Did your education help prepare you for starting your own business? Or are you self-taught?
STEPHANIE: I don't think my education played a large direct impact, but it did play an indirect impact in teaching me how to act professional and communicate well, which I think are the two largest strengths one can have in this world. Without those skills, the transfer of any knowledge one might have isn't as impactful. Besides that, I think the best education I've been given is just by experiencing more of this world. Every new experience has taught me something and I think that by getting to know yourself better, you become a better business person as well. It's funny because in school, being a business major seems so separate from the other areas of academics, but after you graduate, you realize the entirety of the world is basically one big business and that you learn more about business by doing it than by studying it.
GO LIVE: What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned in your business?
STEPHANIE: I think the hardest lesson or struggle has been putting yourself out there. Starting up, you have to take yourself seriously in order for others to take you seriously, but at the same time you can't be too hard on yourself when you do make mistakes or when you face rejection. Rejection is just a part of the process. There are people that I really want to interview but they're not going to talk to me until I establish a base and build more credit and I'm okay with that. I love the process of working towards a goal.
The other hardest lesson is devoting yourself to something that isn't guaranteed to work out. With that in mind though, it is better to have tried and known than to never have tried and wondered "what if?" your entire life.
GO LIVE: What do you wish someone would have told you when you started out?
STEPHANIE: I'm still starting out, but what I would tell my younger self is that it's okay to ask for help and to even hire other people to do what they do best so that you can focus on what you do best. When I first created a website, I spent a lot of time trying to learn how to code and create everything myself with no technical background. I then realized I was spending all that time trying to do something I wasn't necessarily good at instead of spending that time creating content that I was passionate about and (hopefully) good at doing. Often I think we put this pressure on ourselves to do everything on our own, but in the long run it's actually better to synergistically work with others. We all contribute something to society and if we focus on those things we like doing and are good at, we all win.
GO LIVE: What was the moment you had when you said, “I should do this” or what made you take the jump into working for yourself?
STEPHANIE: When I realized that I feel this spark whenever I interview people or get them to share their story. It makes all of the other time I spend doing admin/behind-the-scenes stuff worth it. I think you should do things that make you feel grateful to be alive and this is something that does that for me. It's also something I want to spend my free time doing and I'd rather do this over a lot of other things.
GO LIVE: What have you gained / do you hope to gain in your life from following this dream?
STEPHANIE: I think ultimately what I want in life is the freedom to do what I love for a living, working for myself or with someone whose interests are aligned in giving back. What I don't want is to spend 80 years working for a company whose mission does not align with mine. My dad has spent his entire life pursuing a more clean and renewable world because he is devoted to that cause and I want to find that, but for me. I want to devote myself to a higher cause while also having the freedom to work where I want and live how I want to. Part of why I want to interview people who are chasing their dreams is so others can see that it is possible to live a life in which you feel fulfilled and excited about. Anything is possible and sometimes the first step towards getting what you want is just being educated about the possibilities.
GO LIVE: Why did you ultimately decide to take your brand for a restyle with us?
STEPHANIE: Go Live has the best designers for my taste. I think brand and design wise, it was a perfect fit for me. I browsed through A LOT of templates and companies before Go Live but the second I landed on Go Live's page, I knew it was the one. It's kind of like what I presume love to be like…when you know someone is the one, you just know. That was Go Live for me in terms of website design. I knew right away I wanted to work with them and that they could bring my vision to life.
Congrats to Stephanie on the launch of 52 Stories! Make sure you all follow along as Stephanie goes live and shares the stories of New York City!
(NOTE: Responses were edited for length and clarity)