Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious—and maybe a little obsessed—about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us feel a little better. Every Friday I’ll feature a new interview. Here’s what Stephanie Hirsch had to say…
No. 23: Stephanie Hirsch, Artist
Where I live: Manhattan
Ages/genders of kids: Two boys: Dash (5) and Hunter (10)
Is the job you have now the same one you had before kids? If not, how and why did you change directions?
When I had my first son I was a fashion designer (I was the founder/designer) of INCA, a luxury resort swim wear line, and I was also an author (Mother Nurture). I sold my company in 2008, and I was in a very dark place in my life. I believe that art found me. I did not go searching for it.
Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
I believe we can have “it all” just not “all” at the same time.
What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Well, to me, at different times “balance” means different things. My day usually always ends at 4 pm to attend to my kids. I know I am very lucky and blessed to be able to have my own schedule and decide when the day is over. I feel so much gratitude to be able to be my own boss and create my own schedule. First and foremost my kids are my number one priority, and work comes second. With that said there are times when work becomes a priority (never at the detriment of my children or their schedules), but if I have a deadline or have to meet with a client, the “balance” shifts to work, but not for an extended period of time.
What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
The part of me of me that I am trying to get “balance” in my life is not taking it all so seriously. I try to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible and also to instill this in my kids. I hear myself sometimes, and I sound like a drill sergeant. I need to calm down and realize if we are out and the restaurant does not have grass-fed beef, they will be OK. I need to calm down a bit and realize it is a balance and that we basically eat super healthy and once in a while it is ok to “go off the deep end.”
What was the best advice you ever heard on balance…
From your mother? “Always be able to take care of yourself.” And, “You must love yourself first before anyone else can love you.”
From your kids? “Life has many reasons.” –Hunter, age 10
If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Lying in bed, reading.
What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
Don’t be so frantic and worried. “Trust the Universe” and all your wishes, dreams, and goals will come true.
What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
That fear was really a liar.
What one part of your home life do you wish you could outsource?
Kids’ bedtime. (I mean I would never. but sometimes it is really trying.)
Whose job do you wish you had?
Stevie Nicks in the 70s. To be a singer, a gypsy, and so free would have been amazing.
Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
I am just grateful for what I have. I don’t compare myself to others. The job that I would never want might be someone’s dream job.
What are you reading right now?
Wishes Fulfilled, by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.
Website? Trolling Instagram.
How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
What do you read every morning?
I read my daily mantra, meditate on it, manifest it, and then release it to the social media world.
Complete the following sentences:
I think I: am finally getting it.
I wish I: had no fear.
My kids: are a gift from God.
Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
Trust the Universe.
Stephanie Hirsch appropriates iconoclastic images and sayings that have become somewhat commonplace and re-infuses them with the anarchistic spirit from whence they came. Through her use of beads, sequins and embroidery, Hirsch’s canvases are literally ‘illuminated’ with words of enlightenment and hope. Her simple text and quips often cause the viewer to question their moral standings and beliefs, all the while offering aesthetically charged images that are simultaneously foreign and familiar.
Stephanie Hirsch has shown in exhibitions in New York, the Hamptons, Miami and San Francisco. She has had 2 solo shows at The Lyons Wier Gallery (2013 and 2011). She was a featured artist in Miami Design District’s Art Walk (2012) and showcased in the Mercedes Benz VIP lounge at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week (2012). Hirsch was among 30 artists commissioned to create a unique commemorative crown for display in Harrods (London) in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (2012.)
Please share your own tips on balance and check back every Friday for another interview from THE BALANCE PROJECT.
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 1: Jessica Mindich, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 2: Veronica Beard, Fashion Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 3: Emily Liebert, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 4: Lyss Stern, Mom-trepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 5: Lauren Slayton, Nutritionist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 6: Elizabeth Moyer, Blogger
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 7: Annabel Monaghan, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 8: Holly Gordon, Director
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 9: Jill Salzman, Entrepreneur
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 10: Jennifer Levinson, Jen’s List
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 11: Jenny Hutt, Media Personality
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 12: Angela Santomero, Kids’ Media Creator
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 13: Carola Donato, Yogi
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 14: Tiffany Washington, Pastry Designer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 15: Emily Giffin, Author
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 16: Alana Sanko, Writer
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 17: Cara Lemieux, Journalist
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 18: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, Authors
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 19: Nikki Mark, Author & Foundation Director
Shonda Rhimes on Doing It All
Indra Nooyi on Balance
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 21: Jill Bryan, Comedian
THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 22: Cindy Callaghan, Author