We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristina Lersbuasin Israel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
StaySmilinLife started as an idea to put a smiley face onto a hat. It was a personal reminder to smile. What we discovered that the personal reminder ended up making other people smile as well when they saw the smiley face. The StaySmilinLife platform was created to inspire people to choose happiness through transforming and supporting a positive mindset. It’s the ideas that we live and breathe everyday to do our best to stay smiling everyday. The four of us who’ve created StaySmilinLife wholeheartedly believe everyone deserves to be happy, and our goal and passion is to help others feel in control, and empowered to choose happiness.
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?
After years of walking around with a smiley face hat led to people constantly asking for hats and then tools, tips, and tricks as to how they can transform to having a positive mindset. Eight years later, after a crazy amount of work finding our own smiles and learning how to empower others find theirs, we’re excited to roll out an official series of tools for people to achieve greater happiness based on our philosophy. The StaySmilinLife philosophy is a culmination of our own experiences as well as the hundreds of people we have worked with. We have found that happiness is more of a result of honestly assessing and addressing 9-ish life areas, rather than something a person pursues or attains. The areas of life that we challenge you, and will help guide you, to look at are your: Purpose, Health, Self (Self-Esteem/Image and Personal Stories), Productivity, Finance, Mental Diet, Environment, Hobbies, and Human Connection (Family, Friends, Love, Boundaries, and Community). By taking an honest and deep look at these areas, and then working to address what you find which is causing discomfort, pain, embarrassment, heartache, sadness, regret, among any other feelings, you can begin to build up all things YOU, and we hope you see happiness will join you for the journey. Understanding everyone learns in their own way, we are filling the StaySmilinLife platform with blogs, videos, and physical reminders to smile (aka #smileminders) like our hats. We are excited to build a community of active participants who choose to lead their lives in a StaySmilinLife way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego has so many amazing places to check out! Where do we begin?! Day 1: – Bike ride around downtown and the Embarcadero, Harbor and Shelter Island, and Little Italy. – Walkthrough the Little Italy farmer’s market – Sit down at Monello and order some squid ink pasta with octopus in a lobster sauce or get the cheese wheel dish! -Ferry over to Coronado – Visit Hotel Del – Spend the rest of the day relaxing on one of Coronado’s picturesque beaches Day 2: – Grab a bite to eat at Liberty Public Market in Liberty Station – Next head over to Modern Times off of Rosecrans and enjoy a couple of drinks. Their barrel-aged coffee beans are to die for, so grab a bag on your way out or pick up a cup of coffee on your way out for a pick me up. – Drive over to Mission Bay with some chairs and spend some time relaxing – Go to University Heights for some eats at Plumeria. This is a vegan and vegetarian establishment that has the best larb duck! Day 3: – Get a hike in at Torrey Pines and enjoy that ocean view and breeze – Head over to the Convoy district for an insane amount of delicious food. A top choice is Dumpling Inn, the beef curry dumplings, potstickers, and xiao long bao will definitely be ordered Day 4: – Explore our fun neighborhoods, including North Park and eat at Soi 30 – Grab a dessert at Su Pan in City Heights – Go taco tasting and stop by Tacos El Gordo
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We could not have gotten to the place we are today without the help of Elsa Pong Esch and Ruth Coyne from Nourish Marketers. These two wonderful women took a leap of faith with us, and led us through so many exercises and challenged us to think of what we wanted to be and where we wanted to go as a company. It’s how we concretely realized that we wanted to be more than a company that offered smiley faces on hats. We wanted to teach people how to live a StaySmilinLife.