We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Kleewein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from Colorado—born and raised in Morrison. We lived near Bandimere Speedway and Red Rocks, so even now, hearing the jet cars in the distance evokes nostalgic thoughts. I grew up with seven siblings and at one point shared a room with three sisters. We learned to work as a team and help each other. I LOVE having a big family! But I think it also gave me a sense of independence. I moved out when I was 18 and started my own family very young. My parents are my inspiration for providing my kids and family a wonderful life. Although it took a while and a lot of support from my husband, friends, and family, I was able to get my degree and follow my dream of one day becoming an editor. Having a big family, I know the meaning of loyalty, so when I was hired at a medical device company, I vowed to always be grateful and indebted to the company and the people who helped me get there. Unfortunately, after nearly 14 years, I was laid off. That’s when I decided to start my own business, freelancing at first, then eventually creating Stephanie Kleewein Communications. I’m always humbled by my clients, some of whom have been there from the start, and I am so grateful to be able to share my talents of copy editing, writing, proofreading, and a little bit of process management with them!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have always been artistic in some way, dancing, first-chair flutist, acting (well, attempting to), crocheting, and writing. When I was 11, one of my poems was published in the Anthology of Poetry for Young Americans (not a huge deal, as so was half my class, ha), but it really got me pumped to continue. I wrote poetry and used a notebook to write stories (mostly based on dreams). I didn’t have much going for me until college when a couple of my professors asked to use my work as examples or publish them internally. That rekindled my love for writing. I took a couple of side jobs doing transcriptions for an animation school, mostly interviews with some top-notch animators, and closed captioning for a fresh perspective on new ways of writing. My sister, Katrina, and I are like REALLY into movies. We briefly started a movie blog that didn’t last as long as we wished it would due to conflicting work schedules, but that was a dream of ours (even if short-lived, we did it)! Hopefully, we’ll start that and another blog about our Sisters Brunches again soon! Settling into my talent for editing, I realized that I’m happy editing and writing for anyone and anything, so naturally, I pursued that in my own business. Having a wide range of clients—medical companies, non-profits, fiction novels, and various websites—is a dream come true! My journey has taught me so much. Working as a receptionist, I went to school in the evenings with two kiddos at home until my husband went to work overnights. And, of course, because I was striving to get my degree and experience at the same time, I worked editing transcriptions after the kids went to bed. Long story short, with perseverance—and encouragement and belief from some wonderful people (you know who you are!)—I landed an amazing opportunity that in the long-run has equipped me with the knowledge and drive for Stephanie Kleewein Communications. Now with my business and Nic’s (my husband’s) franchise, we see the fruit of our 20-year journey (other than the fact that we have two of the most amazing children). So, for anyone doubting that jumping is the wrong move, stay determined and follow your dreams (as my best friend says and continues to teach me)! You’ll get there.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a go-with-the-flow type of person, but I’d have to say I would have to show off some of Colorado’s most beautiful camping spots for a night. We used to go to Mt. Evans and hit the 4×4 trail to a camping spot above Clear Creek we lovingly called “The Planetarium”. Getting up that high and drowning out “most” of the light from the city is amazing. When I do go downtown, I like to hit the chain of Speakeasies because I’m a history nut (if you like that idea go to Durango; there’s some really cool history there and the train ride to Silverton is great). Maybe take a little road trip if the band isn’t playing close, I’d have to show off my favorite local band, The Movers and Shakers. They’re so much fun. I also like tea, and I recently discovered (thanks Alyssa) Carolyn Autry’s tea shop called Lynn’s Tea Shop and Café in Littleton. They have delicious lunches, which Carolyn cooks herself, and their tea is so good!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to give credit to all the people who believe in my work and have reached out to me (Bradley, Lisa, Claire, Danyelle, Melissa, Dad). Their encouragement and thoughtfulness are beyond anything I could have ever asked for. And my family and friends, who have been so patient with the time a business takes to start and the support they’ve given me (Mom, Dad, Nic, Corbin, Elizabeth, Melissa, Marc, Katrina). I also want to recognize the organizations and clients that make this possible, remember me, and refer me. Thank you!