ON STEPHANIE SCOTT by Heather Joy Thompson

Stephnanie Scott First and Last PR.jpg

On Location: (where do you call home?)

Jersey City, New Jersey

On Occupation: (What do you do to pay your bills?)

I am the CEO & Communicator-in-Chief at First and Last PR (www.firstandlastpr.com) and the Founder of the First and Last PR Foundation (not paying the bills but feeding my soul). First and Last PR is a beauty-focused traditional public relations and social media marketing firm. Check us out!

On Love: (What do you believe about love, romance relationships?)

I believe that everyone deserves to be loved and treated well. This starts with self-love and appreciation. There is beauty in treating yourself well – putting on a bold red lipstick before heading out the door, spritzing on a sexy parfum with no particular place to go to see where it takes you and a weekly ritual of maintaining one’s nails. Do these things well and do them often.

On Beauty: (What is your beauty/grooming ritual? Do you have any products you can’t live without?)

Oh my goodness, where do I begin?!? Before opening my beauty public relations firm, I was a beauty editor so I have a true love for all things beauty. I’m a sucker for great skincare and hair care products. Some might say that I have a thing for fine fragrances and I would have to agree. The sexier, the better. Above all, I love a good spa treatment. We live in such an instant world that I love putting on a plush robe and tuning out for a few hours or days.

On Style: (What’s your uniform? What do you wear to make yourself feel up to meeting the challenges of the day?)

My style is eclectic and changes constantly depending on my mood and agenda for the day. Being the owner of a top beauty public relations firm means that every day – and outfit – is different. Somedays, I'm in the office working on campaigns, others I’m meeting with clients in a dress or pencil skirt and other times you may find me on set of a beauty shoot or hosting an event. I try to let my life lead what I’m wearing and not the other way around.

On Philosophy: (What’s your guiding belief?)

Be nice to everyone and try to give back in small ways. It’s amazing how transformative doing something simple for a stranger can be – especially in this fast paced world of today. And it’s so easy! Pay someone a compliment, hold a door open, let them know their slip is showing. Or just say good morning or ask how their day is going and listen for the answer if you do. Small gestures have big wings.

On Vacation: (Where do you go to recharge and relax?  What makes that place special?)

Wherever Heather Joy is stationed at the moment. LOL. I really enjoy travel and exploring the commonalities that we all share no matter the culture. I’m more often in the salt water than the snow.

On Transportation (How do you get around? What’s your preferred mode of transport?)

I like to walk. Being a busy entrepreneur, I don’t always have time to get to the gym so I try to walk to work or to run errands. It helps me to prioritize my day, clear my head and stay in shape while saving gas at the same time. When necessary, I drive or take a car but I prefer to walk weather and 6” heels permitting.

On Reading: (What’s your favorite book, magazine, poem?)

I tend to read multiple books and magazines at the same time depending on my mood. On my nightstand now: The Perfect Find (Tia Williams), Walking with the Muses (Pat Cleveland), Second House from the Corner (Sadeqa Johnson), I'm Judging You (Luvvie Ajayi) and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Helen Oyeyemi).

On Dining: (What foods can’t you get enough of? Do you have special dishes you like to prepare at home or favorite restaurants?)

Anything spicy not moving!! There’s an arragosta pizza at this amazing place in DC called Menamale- it’s a must have whenever I’m in the Nation’s Capital. I love to cook at home or eat home cooked meals like Soft Tofu Soup at this amazing local Korean restaurant that I go to whenever I crave something warm and tasty. I also love experimenting with my slow cooker and testing out new recipes.

ON IVAN RIOJA SCOTT by Heather Joy Thompson

On Location: (where do you call home?) Home for me will always be Madrid, Spain but right now my temporary home for the past 5 years has been and is Chicago.

On Occupation: (What do you do to pay your bills?) I’m the Editor-in-chief of a Spanish language B2B food magazine called Industria Alimenticia.  I visit many food processing plants all across Latin America and write about these amazing engineering masterpieces. Then I manage and edit the monthly magazine, our website and a few other digital products. However, I’m in the process of starting a classic car club that will be called RS Rally & Classic Club, and I hope this will pay my bills in a near future.

On Love: (What do you believe about love, romance relationships?) This may be a bit “direct”, but in love and romance it’s all about timing! I find that the little things that some people think are defects that they have is what you end up liking the most about the person you share your life with. I can’t leave out friends here, they often become part of your family and they tend to make life a hell of a lot more fun! And above all, the love for your children is insurmountable!

On Beauty: (What is your beauty/grooming ritual? Do you have any products you can’t live without?) I’ve got my morning ritual down to a science of saving time, main reason for which I grew a beard. I don’t comb my hair and besides the occasional spray of cologne, nothing else is required for my day to day.

On Style: (What’s your uniform? What do you wear to make yourself feel up to meeting the challenges of the day?) There’s nothing quite like a tailored suit and shirt with a great pair of shoes. With that said, my day to day is mostly informal, so jeans and button downs are my daily uniform. But I have to admit that a professionally pressed button down is a must for me.

On Philosophy: (What’s your guiding belief?) A combination of these two popular sayings: “if there’s a will there’s a way”. And “you only get out of something what you put into it”. I believe that 99% of limitations are only in our minds and they don’t exist in reality, so I try not to use excuses that justify these limitations, just get things done.

On Vacation: (Where do you go to recharge and relax What makes that place special?) I always go back to Madrid but it’s hard to relax there because there are so many people to see and so many things to do. There’s a little island off the coast of peninsular Malaysia called Redang. They have a landing strip for an airport and the vibe there is just 100% relaxed. If I could, I would go back every year. The Cabos in Mexico are also a relaxing spot if you know where to go and last but not least, Tucson, Arizona. My mother is from Tucson and lives there and it’s always nice to go back and enjoy the nice weather and small town feel.

On Transportation (How do you get around? What’s your preferred mode of transport?) I know I’m against the fashion/norm on this one, but I love my motor vehicles (cars and motorcycles). Right now my favorite mode of transport is a 1964 Land Rover 88. It’s completely mechanical and requires very involved driving. It has no radio, no AC or heat and the seats are fixed, so it’s your body’s position the one that has to adapt, not the seat’s position.  The only thing I like about public transportation is people watching. Chicago is very diverse, so even a quick ride on the L (elevated train) usually offers at least an interesting character or two. But if I have a choice on how to get around in the city, it’s always a motorcycle.

On Reading: (What’s your favorite book, magazine, poem?) Needless to say, my day job involves a lot of targeted reading, which is great. Other than that I have very little time in my day to read and I have several shelves full of books I want to read and just don’t get to fast enough. I do find time to read on airplanes and recently read a book about Mexico City, a place that I go to often for work, called “El Circuito Interior” by Frank Goldman. It’s a very realistic, semi-autobiographical look at Mexico City, politics and society.

On Dining: (What foods can’t you get enough of? Do you have special dishes you like to prepare at home or favorite restaurants?) I like almost everything and Chicago’s food scene is quite possibly one of the best in the world, so in that regard we are spoiled here. I’ve started experimenting with curing fish lately which has yielded different results. I’d have to say the roasted duck is something I can always eat as is sushi but my most favorite food is gazpacho. 

ON YVONNE GONZALES by Heather Joy Thompson

On Location: (where do you call home?)  I call Anaheim, California home, but Washington D.C. has become my second home over the past three years and I have a house there.

On Occupation: (What do you do to pay your bills?)  I'm a diplomat currently serving in Harare, Zimbabwe.

On Love: (What do you believe about love, romance relationships?)  I'm single and at age 45 I have no fantasies about marriage.  I know how much I'd be giving up and I'm not willing to give it up easily.  I do think it would be wonderful to fall in love with my best friend and enter a lifelong partnership with a man who shares my same faith and world view.  Otherwise, it doesn't really make sense for me to be in a relationship because I'm a lot more focused, effective, and emotionally steady when I'm not in a relationship.

On Beauty: (What is your beauty/grooming ritual? Do you have any products you can’t live without?) First of all, I never go to bed without washing my face and applying moisturizer (and eye cream now that I'm beginning to see the signs of those nasty little crow's feet.)  I don't have any special beauty routine.  My favorite products right now are Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, Hourglass eyebrow pencil, and Aqua XL eye pencil.

On Style: (What’s your uniform? What do you wear to make yourself feel up to meeting the challenges of the day?I feel most confident in a well-tailored skirt suit or dress.  As a petite person, almost everything I wear is altered.  I like to have my skirts hit right at or just above the knee.  With fabulous heels - always heels. 

On Philosophy: (What’s your guiding belief?As much as we like to think we're the masters of our own lives, there's little we actually control, and we're all subjects of whatever or whoever we worship.  I worship Jesus, and yes, I fail and frequently find myself worshiping other things and people and often myself, but I just keep returning and he always takes me back.  How I treat people, what I care about, how I spend money...everything I am and do comes back to who I worship.

On Vacation: (Where do you go to recharge and relax? What makes that place special?I really love to vacation at the beach.  The sound of the waves and the smell of the ocean really help get me to a calm place.  My favorite escape to place is Bali.  I've never been able to exactly explain why Bali is so special.  It doesn't have the most beautiful beaches or hotels.  It has something to do with the ambiance and sense of peace.  Somehow it feels luxurious yet accessible and inclusive, not only for the privileged. 

On Transportation: (How do you get around? What’s your preferred mode of transport?)  Currently I'm living in Zimbabwe so I definitely need a car, but I like to walk when the weather is nice and I don't have far to go.

On Reading: (What’s your favorite book, magazine, poem?I don't have a favorite book, but right now I'm reading a fascinating memoir called When a Crocodile Eats the Sun by a white Zimbabwean journalist, Peter Godwin, who talks about the disintegration of Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe's rule.

On Dining: (What foods can’t you get enough of? Do you have special dishes you like to prepare at home or favorite restaurants?)  I love all kinds of cuisines and would love to take some cooking classes.  Generally, I live with a constant craving for Mexican food because I literally can't get enough decent Mexican food outside of Mexico and California.  The only silver lining is that it's forced me to learn how to make a few of my favorite (and simple) Mexican foods like tacos de carne asada.

ON RYAN ANDERS WHITNEY by Heather Joy Thompson

On Location: (where do you call home?) - Mexico City! Instagram: mister_whitney 

On Occupation: (What do you do to pay your bills?) - I'm an Urban Geographer with a focus on creating cities that are better for cycling and walking. In Mexico City I work for an academic from the University of Toronto in partnership with a local municipal government department called Laboratorio para la Ciudad. Here I investigate the rapidly changing urban landscape in Mexico City as it evolves to be more inclusive of cyclists and pedestrians. I am preparing to begin a PhD at University of Toronto in Urban Planning starting in September 2016 on Latin American urbanism with a specific focus on Mexico City and Buenos Aires. 

On Love: (What do you believe about love, romance relationships?) - I believe that they're beautiful yet incredibly challenging. They give you the chance to see yourself, and someone else, for who you/they really are. A rare and powerful opportunity. 

On Beauty: (What is your beauty/grooming ritual? Do you have any products you can’t live without?) - I love to take baths - in fact, I rarely ever take showers anymore. I usually do a clay-based mask once a week along with a facial exfoliation. I use sweet almond oil nightly as a facial moisturizer. I have a beard and do a quick trim daily and treat it with a combination of oils once a week. 

On Style: (What’s your uniform? What do you wear to make yourself feel up to meeting the challenges of the day?) - I love style. Generally I like to wear solid colors - especially blue or black - but also venture into bright colors depending on my mood. My clothes are always form fitting; I really don't care for a baggy fit unless it's part of a specific look. Generally I prefer winter clothing to summer as I love to layer. 

On Philosophy: (What’s your guiding belief?) - I suppose most of us could benefit from being a little less serious and self-involved. 

On Vacation: (Where do you go to recharge and relax?  What makes that place special?) - There's no single spot that I always return to; I like to explore new places. However, there are specific cities that I love and will likely always return to: Montreal, Mexico City, Madrid and Buenos Aires being among them.  A favorite quick holiday in Mexico is to leave the city for a temazcal, which is essentially a pre-hispanic sauna. They're amazing. My favorite part is when you have to apply aloe vera on the skin directly from the plant. 

On Transportation (How do you get around? What’s your preferred mode of transport?) - My bike and I are inseparable. If I can't bike for some reason (usually only because of rain or distance), I nearly always prefer to walk. If I can't walk or bike, I Uber or take the metro. 

On Reading: (What’s your favorite book, magazine, poem?) - I don't read anything specific on a regular basis outside of work. In fact, during my spare time I rarely read at all. Instead I like to go running, cook, explore a new neighborhood, check out the latest restaurant, attend events, travel and involve myself in social activities. 

On Dining: (What foods can’t you get enough of? Do you have special dishes you like to prepare at home or favorite restaurants? - I love anything fresh, avocados and raspberries being my favorite. I've been eating a lot of Mexican food over the past three years living in Mexico, which is awesome. My all time favorite cuisine, however, would be most definitely be Italian. I can't get enough. Ever. 

RYAN ANDERS WHITNEY