Founder of Untethered Expeditions, Stephanie Rosario, on Helping Women Step into the Outdoors
Hello Stephanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:
I am Stephanie Rosario, and I founded Untethered Expeditions in 2021. I am a firefighter by career and have been for the past 12 years, and I absolutely love what I do. I began Untethered Expeditions as a women’s adventure travel company because I love helping women step into the outdoors and experience the beauty, healing, and freedom that nature offers us. We offer multi-day, all-inclusive, concierge-style women’s trips covering everything from backpacking to sea-kayaking to whitewater rafting. We handle it all to take the stress out of planning, gear-finding, acquiring permits, shopping for a cooking food, transportation, and accommodations. We want you to experience who you are when you are truly Untethered from everything life requires of you.
So Stephanie, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
My business is about empowering women in an intentional, supportive community of other like-minded women. We are not all fighting for a “seat at the table” like we have been conditioned to believe. If the table has one seat for us, then we know it’s time to make a new table! I absolutely love that Entreprenista League is doing just that: Empowering women to succeed in their businesses. There’s room for all of us and the more we support each other in all our endeavors and all of our uniquely beautiful ways of showing up in the world, the better off the world will be. There’s something big going on here and I am extremely honored to be a part of it!
What pushed you to start Untethered Expeditions?
Why Not Now? and Why Not Me? Every time I have this “nudge” of a really big idea, I start by thinking, “Oh wouldn’t that be amazing, in another life”?. But as Glennon Doyle says in “Untamed”, (and I’m paraphrasing) “Isn’t it funny how we think we get more than this one life? We have this one wild and beautiful life and we GET to bring our ideas and our dreams into the world”. And I always use the barometer of my kids. What do I want to model for them? I want them to know that if they have a really big dream, the only way we lose is by not going after it. I’ll never have to wonder how this would have played out. Because I chased that thing I couldn’t shake from my imagination, and I made it my reality.
So Stephanie, what was your background prior to starting your own business?
Prior to and currently, I am a career Firefighter/Paramedic in South Florida. I have tremendous passion for this career, and I will do it as long as I possibly can.
Did you have any idea that you one day wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Like many things, I did not think it was possible for me to own a business. I thought you had to have gone to college for business to at least qualify to own one. But then I learned that everyone starts somewhere and business school is just one of the many routes to get there.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
My marketing strategy was to “learn marketing ASAP”. It hasn’t and isn’t going as planned. This area is where I am severely lacking in knowledge and have the most room to grow.
Entreprenistas overcome challenges every day. However, these challenges are always learning experiences. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered so far?
I have had countless curve-balls in the process of starting my business. My original plan involved fleet van rentals to conduct all of my trips. However, I quickly learned I could not get the proper level of insurance that way, and I needed to own a van in order to get to the required level from the National Park system. That was my biggest curve-ball. What I learned is that even though something seemingly impossible can get dropped in your lap at any moment, if I return to my “WHY” for my business, I can remain calm and think critically about a work-around. There is ALWAYS a way. It just might look a little different than you even though it could!
Stephanie, you have lots to celebrate! What is the accomplishment you are proudest to date?
Executing my first trip was my absolute highlight. When the trip was over, seeing how connected and excited the group of women were was incredibly moving. Hearing that the majority of them can’t wait to return made me incredibly proud. Seeing all of my work come to fruition was pure bliss.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I absolutely believe in work/life balance, especially for the women of the world who take on everything. There’s so much pressure to be able to do it all and carry it all and wear it all well. Something that has helped me tremendously is having a yoga practice. And not feeling pressure to be “good” at it either! Yoga helps me to connect to the deepest and truest part of myself. It helps me quiet all the noise my life, work, responsibilities, motherhood, being a wife, being a daughter, and every other expectation surrounding me. Yoga is the closest thing I have found to being in the mountains that can quiet everything enough for me to hear my own soul, and what I really need. It helps the seemingly big things become very small. The same thing goes for being surrounded by incredible nature. It all helps me Untether.
Stephanie, prior to starting your own business, is there a piece of advice you wish you had known?
Don’t quit before the miracle happens.
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I’m coming into my 2nd season, and I’m still here!
I can’t wait to grow our community of women travelers. I can’t wait to share that uniqueness of having a sisterhood and adding new and exciting adventures every year to our offerings in new and stunning places.