Interview: Sam Stewart

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I recently met Sam Stewart at a meet up in Portland Ore. Sam and his wife Dana run Mad Hippie, a natural skin care company. It was a pleasure meeting Sam and hearing a little bit of his story. We’re glad to have an interview with Sam here on the site, and will be announcing the details of a Mad Hippie product giveaway later this week. 

Where do you live and how many kids do you have?
We live in the SW hills in Portland and have one 4 year old little girl.

Children have such a keen eye and curiosity for life that helps you rediscover just how amazing everything really is.

What do you spend your days doing?
Working from home (and the office) and spending time with my business partner, aka wife, Dana, and our little girl Ava (oh yeah, and our 2 bulldogs, Lucy & Monster).

What do you like most about your family?
We love to have a good time, traveling & exploring. Children have such a keen eye and curiosity for life that helps you rediscover just how amazing everything really is.

What parts of parenting come naturally to you and what parts are a struggle?
It’s hard suddenly having someone’s needs always come before yours. Our vacations use to consist of going to nice restaurants, wine bars, late nights etc, where now they consist of finding the best playground, children’s museum or other activities our daughter will enjoy. It’s funny though, as when my wife and I do (occasionally) get a couple nights away, we quickly realize how boring life is without our daughter, and those fancy dinners and late nights just aren’t as fulfilling as they once were.

What do you need as a parent?
A good support group is vital, from grandparents, to friends with kids.

How does where you live affect your parenting?
We recently moved from Austin to Portland, While we use to live near my wife’s mom, which was nice, we are loving all of the outdoor activities the NW has to offer. We have in the last 6 months gotten into hiking, camping, salamander hunting, waterfall exploring & outdoor adventuring in general. We hope this winter to teach my daughter to ski as well. Having grown up in Maine myself, I am so thrilled to be raising my daughter in such a beautiful area where I can share with her much of what made my childhood so special.

What are you especially conscious of as a parent?
Raising a child that is appreciative of life.

What nurtures and inspires you as a person?
Spending time with good friends & family, laughing, getting out into nature, always reminding myself to be grateful.

What is your favorite time of day?
Early morning. Waking up early and reading for an hour then taking an early morning hot tub soak with my wife and daughter…..especially on those rainy mornings when you can watch the clouds roll in over the hills.

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
I plan to live it and try to not take it for granted. I try to constantly remind myself just what a miracle life is and how amazingly lucky I’ve been to have found such a wonderful wife, be raising an amazing kid, and running a blossoming, fun company in an industry I love.

Is there anything you do that you want to share with our readers?
I always try to remind myself that life is about the journey and not the destination. We often get so caught up in where we want to take our business, life etc, that we don’t take time to enjoy each other, each minor accomplishment, each precious moment. Too many spend their entire existence working towards a goal, giving up so many amazing experiences in pursuit just to watch their life pass them by. I’ve always believed in working hard, but playing hard as well. My playing these days consists more of family time, playdates, and after school activities, but I always make sure to have plenty of time allocated to such and not get too caught up in the rat race. There’s a quote I have hanging up in my office from Brian Dyson, the ex-CEO of Coca Cola. It goes:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends & spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But, the other 4 balls – family, health, friends & spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”