We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Miller and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I think the two most important things behind any success are being open to new opportunities (often disguised as extra work) and who you surround yourself with. In my business, being open has come in the form of educational and growth opportunities that have catapulted my success. Applying for a coveted spot on a blogging retreat in Bali with one of the most successful travel bloggers in the industry – Kiersten Rich aka The Blonde Abroad. There, I learned the ins and outs of running my own travel brand and the skills to make it a success. That soon led to the opportunity to attend her photography retreat in South Africa where I sharpened my skills behind the lens. And, I’ve attended travel and blogging conferences over the years that have given me invaluable knowledge and introduced me to many experts in the space. Surrounding myself with these experts and like-minded individuals has kept me motivated and engaged. Chatting with Matt Kepnes about what it took to write a New York Times bestseller. Getting writing feedback from Jason Cochran, an award-winning travel journalist and Editor-in-Chief at Frommer’s. Learning photography tips from professionals like Lawrence Norah and Nick Cobbing, whose work appears in publications like National Geographic (a dream!) Putting myself in a position to be around incredible individuals like this has helped me immensely in my own pursuits (not to mention they’re just really great people!)
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started my travel brand, The Scenic Suitcase, about three years ago to share my love of travel and photography with others. Since then, I’ve had my photography featured in places like National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, and Lonely Planet. And, I’ve written contributions for publications like Travel + Leisure, Reader’s Digest, and Nerd Wallet. Which has, of course, been very exciting. But, what I’m most proud of is how my website has inspired people to see more of the world and learn more about photography. Having people tell me I gave them the courage to book their first trip abroad. Or that by using my packing tips they were able to finally fit everything in a carry-on suitcase (and how it made their trip so much easier). Or that because they read one of my articles they decided to dust off their DSLR camera and finally start to use it. Hearing stories like that is incredibly rewarding and keeps me going when things get hard. Because learning how to run a website has not been easy. From tech issues to learning about search engine optimization, it’s certainly been an uphill battle. But, focusing on why I started my website in the first place – to share my passion and help others – has helped me move past the hurdles to where I am today. And in doing so, I’ve enriched my own life as well.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado has a lot of really amazing things to see and do. I’d first start with a day in Estes Park to hike and check out some shopping on the mountain town’s main street. Ducking into Mama Rose’s for some delicious Italian fare from a porch overlooking the river. Then, I’d show them around Denver for a day. Riding scooters through RiNo to look at the beautiful street art and grabbing a bite to eat at the Denver Central Market (where they have the best ice cream and gnocchi in the state!) Then, we’d catch an exhibit at the Denver Art Museum or a show at the Denver Center for Performing Arts. Next, we’d head up to FortCollins for a day of paddleboarding at Horsetooth Reservoir. After, we’d grab dinner at Beau Jo’s in Old Town and an ice cream cone at the Walrus. Then, we’d watch a movie at the drive-in theater under a starry Rocky Mountain sky. Those are just a few ideas, but Colorado has plenty of other activities to keep guests entertained!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My dad for instilling my endless love for adventure. My mom for teaching me to always stand up for what’s right. And Drew Sauer, for encouraging me in pursuit of my dreams.
Other: PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thescenicsuitcase/boards/
Images are all mine. 🙂