Stephanie Watanabe


Stephanie Watanabe

Writer, Creative Catalyst, and Founder + Curator-in-Chief at The Girl Who Knows

Los Angeles, CA


What do you do?

I’m the Founder + Curator-in-Chief at The Girl Who Knows, a place online (and off) for all things sensory and soulful.

I’m all about getting people back in touch with the most basic element of being human - their senses (because they’re the key to living a rich, meaningful and pleasurable life).

On a more practical note, I write, manage a team of guest editors, host workshops, events and pop-up dinners, create digital courses and experiences and consult with businesses on how to make their own products and services irresistible. I’m also known to make films/videos from time to time.


Give us a specific example of how you do your job like a BOSS. 

I think attending AFI and working at places like Creative Artists Agency and Disney really helped me think strategically and get really, really good at juggling. I’ve learned to wear many hats and wear them all pretty well. Which comes in super handy as the founder of a new business!

I also balance my entrepreneurial drive with a hefty dose of listening to my intuition and embracing my creativity. I take my time with things. I don’t rush. I’m easy-going and kind to others. I set aside time to play. I indulge my senses on the regular. I truly think it’s possible to work your ass off AND practice self-care (like a boss). And not only is it possible, for me, it’s a non-negotiable.


For other people in your field, what do they usually lack? 

In terms of creating a lifestyle brand, being a creative and/or an aspiring entrepreneur - I think having clarity of vision, and knowing WHY you’re creating what you’re creating is really important. Building a business takes time (lots of it) and knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing is going to be key to sticking things out and being around for the long haul.

I also see a lot of people being afraid to stand out or infuse their uniqueness into what they do, and instead look to other businesses for inspiration and guidance. Let’s be honest, we don’t need anymore copycats in the world. Customers don’t want more of the same thing. They want what makes you, YOU. So, if you want your projects or business to truly stand out, infuse your quirks, your creative genius, your story, and your soul into what you do. If you do that, the notion of competition isn’t relevant anymore.

If you have multiple jobs and/or skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?

Running an online business is filled with so many administrative tasks and technical things, which I don’t mind doing, but I’d really love to focus solely on creating. Whether it’s writing a blog post, putting together the details for a dining experience or collaborating on a web series for the site - I just want to create!

What is frustrating you right now?

I’m gonna be honest here . . . myself. I could easily say, not having enough money, time, help, etc. but the reality is, no matter how much money, time or help I had, I would still be faced with my own resistance and fears. Right now it’s the idea of putting myself out there and asking for help when I need it. And also my inner resistance towards charging premium prices for what I do. But, no matter how scary it is, I’m sure not gonna let it stop me!

What are you putting off right now, but you know you have to get to, but you haven’t had the time?

Putting together an ad for an intern, which I SO need right now. Also, I’ve been putting off moving forward on all the details for my first pop-up dining experience which is happening in the spring. It’s a huge project, one that I’m insanely excited about, but haven’t carved out time to organize it all. I’m also putting off looking into more marketing and PR opportunities.

If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?

I would have them take over scheduling of our blog posts, social media and newsletters, which takes up a huge chunk of my time. I’d have them do workshop and event research, reach out to potential advertisers, solicit guest writing opportunities for me, identify and connect with future guest editors, photographers, collaborators and influencers, and help create systems to keep us organized.

What are all the tools (digital or physical) you use on a regular basis?

My inner tech nerd is having a field day with this question! I’m a big fan of digital tools to help streamline my workflow. Right now a few favorites I’m using are...

Evernote: to write all of my articles, guest blog posts, keep notes, ideas and more. Evernote is my favorite tool. Ever.

Sunrise Calendar: to keep my calendar color-coded and organized and synced with social accounts and to-do lists. It’s kind of brilliant.

Asana: for task management and keeping my never-ending list of  to-do’s in one place.

Edgar: though I’m just getting started using this social media scheduling tool, but right now I’m enamored and totally hooked.

Unrollme: greatest invention ever! Helps me keep my inbox (mostly) lean and clutter free.

In terms of physical tools, I swear by my Midori Traveler’s notebook (which acts as my wallet, inspiration journal and place for notes), Delfonics pens, my iPhone and my Canon 7D digital SLR camera.

If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about? 

I would love to speak to someone around the overall strategy, marketing and PR needed for growing my lifestyle site, in-person events and creating a multi-dimensional brand, all without sacrificing quality, soul or sanity. I really respect what Sonja Rasula has created with The Unique Space, Unique LA and CAMP. And what Kinfolk Magazine has done with their print journal and global dinners. And also, the one-of-a-kind collaborations found at GOOP.

What are you working on right now?

I’m in the beta-testing phase of a new offering for businesses that I’m super excited about. It’s a brand review for lifestyle businesses (online or brick & mortar) that are looking to take their business up a notch, but aren’t sure where to start and are overwhelmed at the task at hand. I take a comprehensive no-holds-barred look at their business and deliver a report with customized suggestions and a game plan to implement the improvements. So far the feedback is that it’s incredibly helpful and absolutely needed. I’ll be launching to the public in early spring.

I’m also working on a really exciting, unconventional, reimagined “pop-up” dining experience that is going to be over-the-top amazing. I literally can hardly contain myself. I get giddy talking about it! And I’m doing a complete overhaul on my signature digital program called The Birthday Month Experience which will be so much more luxurious and FUN. There’s lots on the horizon, that’s for sure!

What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for right now?

I’m looking for contributors to The Girl Who Knows (writers, photographers, etc.) who want to contribute their wisdom and artistic genius.

I’d love to find just a few more online or brick & mortar businesses that are interested in helping me beta-test my brand reviews. If that’s you, get in touch!

I’m also looking to host sensory inspired workshops and events throughout the country and would love to collaborate with cool brands, artisans and creatives who dig what we do. And I’m always open for other creative collaborations of any kind.

You can hit me up at if any of the above interests you or you have some fun ideas!

Describe your ideal client/job/collaboration. Even if it doesn’t actually exist!

I would love to open an online boutique, filled with sensory and soulful products and gifts (that also gives back to charitable organizations/causes). It would be a dream to create unique products for the shop, by collaborating with some of my favorite brands (mostly small batch, artisanal creators). I had the dream of owning a retail store as a kid and I think part of me still wants to fulfill that dream, but in a new and exciting way.

I’d also love to collaborate on a totally over-the-top sensory dining experience with chef Eric Ripert. :)

Describe a client/job/partner you would rather not have. What are your deal breakers?

It doesn’t matter if it’s one of my brand review clients, a reader or workshop attendee or potential business collaborator, if you are negative, see the glass half-empty or lack passion - we most certainly won’t be working together. Apathy, negativity and lack of humility are total deal breakers.

What is your hourly rate, retainer, or salary range? If it depends on the project, give us some examples of projects and the cost.

All of my digital experiences, workshops and events have their own unique price point which currently ranges from $49 to $500+.

When I work 1-on-1 with a client, a brand review is between $750 and $1000.

How should someone approach you about working with you?

Email me! I respond to all emails personally. A few tips: let’s keep it casual (I’m not into the fancy cover letters and all that jazz). Talk to me like we’re friends and I’m much more likely to respond. Be sure to tell me what you want to collaborate on, why you want to work together, and most importantly, why you’re awesome! And don’t forget to include links to your online home, social profiles, etc. so I can properly stalk you. ;)

This member profile was originally published on January 2015.