* This March, Stephanie Rado Taormina; founder of Have Some Fun Today will be telling her story at the Women2Women luncheon event at Folino Estate Winery. A link to purchase tickets for the event can be found below.
Q&A With Stephanie Rado Taormina, Founder & CEO of HSFT:
What words of wisdom would you offer to other women?
To believe in yourself & have faith.
What is the most valuable way women can support each other?
I believe the most valuable way women can support each other is by giving each other the benefit of the doubt. So often when someone is different from us, we tend to be suspicious of their motives, but if we give each other the benefit of the doubt, we are giving them a chance.
Is there an "aha" moment or experience that defines who you are?
The moment when I had the vision to create with the slogan "Have Some Fun Today." since that day 8+ years ago I haven't looked back, and I feel such a purpose around creating a truly inspiring body of work for all people.
What is your favorite mantra, favorite saying or words that keep you grounded?
Have Some Fun Today!
What's your mission?
To make people smile and feel connected to each other.
What do you consider women's main asset?
The ability to multitask.
What do you consider women's main threat?
Other people's misperceptions of her.
What three things do you recommend that contribute to your success?
Belief in myself, being open minded, having laser focus on what it takes to get the job done efficiently and always doing what I say I will do.
How do you want to be perceived / remembered?
I'd like to be remembered as someone who shared her gifts to bring joy to others and to be a role model for others to break free from limiting beliefs to turn their dreams into reality.
What is the best advice you have received?
To: Have Some Fun Today - (from my dad.)
You recently shared on social media that you'd like to change things up a bit and include more of what you love. That might include art? Tell us how you realized it was time to reinvigorate the brand / yourself.
My company Have Some Fun Today was started in 2014 with the idea of a painting I wanted to make. My mind quickly envisioned the painting, then the tote, the pillow, the tees, the hat and so on. All in the span of five minutes one morning while doing my morning meditation. As I developed the brand over the coming months, including the initial pairings, I soon realized that I was stuck on the way the paining were coming out and so I didn't do much with them over the following years.
Then there was this global pandemic and it seemed like people all over were discovering the artists inside themselves. I had been painting all along, but something moves me to try something again with the words of my brand Have Some Fun Today. Maybe it was the self-work I had been doing, including the therapy I started to do last year. Whatever it was, when I approached my painting with those four words this time in my handwriting, it didn't turn me off! To the contract, something clicked! This time my own handwriting felt just right. Like I turned a corner in my own self-acceptance. The handwriting didn't need to be perfect, it was perfect in its imperfection. Just like me. Just like all us truly are.
That was a breakthrough. I worked on experimenting with the concept of doing some paintings in my abstract style, with the words Have Some Fun Today boldly written down the middle. I worked for months to find the right formula, and one day not too long ago it all came together. I found the style and it has reinvigorated the brand for me so much so that I am embracing my abstract colorful style back into the designs for the brand in the bags & clothing for 2022.
You see, I am not a follower. Never have been, never will be. However, when you are making and designing things to sell you do need to balance what people like and want with what you like and want to do. But, now that I have done some substantial laying the foundation of the brand, it's time to be a lot more playful with what we put out there. It's time for color and pattern and some FUN energy in everything we make. Stay tuned.
Please share why you believe W2W is important for the community:
For a very long time as a creative, I didn't resonate with being an 'executive'. After moving back to Berks County from NYC 25 years ago, I worked for myself for a very long time as a design consultant. It wasn't until my career path changed that I really went past being a Creative and became a Founder. Now that I'm here in the C suite space of my won doing, I have this new awareness that yes, I am an executive and yes, organizations like Women2Women are really important for our community. I've had my head to the grindstone for the past eight years and finally looked up this past October to attend my first Women in Retail Leadership Summit, and what I experienced has opened my eyes to the benefits of hearing what other women in business leadership roles can offer to each other in terms of support & guidance. It is truly a wonderful resource for our community to any woman who utilizes it.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Just that it is an honor to be noticed by other business leaders in our community for my work and having this platform to share my experience. Over the years I've had many people privately reach out to me to give advice on starting their businesses and I am always happy to listen and give some advice. To me, it is very important to give back whenever I can to my community through the different events we have at Have Some Fun Today that often benefit local charities. Part of what makes what I do so special is that it is a way for people to connect and feel connected. Two strangers passing each other both wearing something from Have Some Fun Today are bound to strike up a happy exchange and your whole day feels warmer and brighter. No other brand does that. I'm not solving the homeless issue (although I'd love to work that someday) or curing cancer, but I am creating a way through my designs that reminds us to reframe our attitude. What you bring to your daily grind is a matter of choice. You can go to work or school with an attitude of drudgery, or you can go with an attitude of "Let's make this fun". It changes everything.
Join us for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s “Pursuit, Passion & Paying it Forward” luncheon:
On Wednesday, March 16, 2022 owner and founder of Have Some Fun Today, Stephanie Rado Taormina, will be speaking at Folino Estate Winery from 11:30 AM to 1 PM for the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s “Pursuit, Passion & Paying it Forward” luncheon. Stephanie is a fine artist and interior designer who began her career in fashion over 30 years ago.
Learn more about how Stephanie's life experiences and abilities helped form her life direction, and see how she plans to take her brand into the future by purchasing tickets for the March 16 luncheon here, and be sure to read the full Cover Story in Women2Women's Winter edition here.
Have Some Fun Today is a lifestyle brand that’s got soul. The roots of our company began in the mantra that our founder’s late father used to say to his kids when they set out for a new day. Have Some Fun Today. Those words stuck. They set in motion a mindset and a philosophy that HSFT founder Stephanie Rado Taormina never forgot. And after his passing, she decided it was a mindset and philosophy she wanted to share with the world.
“I think it probably makes her feel closer to her Dad,” says Stephanie’s mom, Elaine Rado, of her daughter’s company. “Joe always encouraged all of them and I think when her Dad died, she just realized what a great thing that saying was.”
The Humble Beginnings of Barbies and Nuns
Stephanie is the oldest of five siblings. Her mother says it was clear from the beginning that her first born daughter was creative. “She was always an interior decorator and fashion designer,” she says.
“Barbie World” took up a large portion of the basement where Stephanie and her three sisters could dream up anything they wanted. It’s no wonder those early days of creative expression and playing with Barbies would lead to her working in the fashion industry, becoming an artist and an interior designer.
“She was always creative, from the time she was little. I can remember the nuns at school telling me she was always day dreaming. She was a good student, but she was always in another place,” she remembers. “She entered an art contest and she won. She did beautiful art work, even back then.”
What was it like raising five children?
“Juggling!” she says, laughing. “It was always a balancing act.” Her four daughters and son kept her on the go.
All five of the Rado children were encouraged to be individually expressive and creative. “…. as long as they weren’t doing anything wrong,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. Elaine says the creative thinking runs in the family.
Elaine credits her own parents with instilling in her a strong work ethic, which she thinks her children have inherited. Her parents both worked long hours, her dad working 7 days a week. She was raised the only girl in an Italian family with three brothers, and was expected to help with the cleaning and the chores. “My kids have picked up those values. They are not afraid of work,” she says proudly.
She and her husband Joe were six months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary when he passed a few years ago. She says it was after he died when she realized the impact he’d had on so many people. A former high school teacher and wrestling coach, he served as a mentor to many kids. Weekly steak dinners at Coach Rado’s house with members of the wrestling team was not unusual. Many of his former wrestlers and students came to pay respects at his funeral and told her how important he’d been in their lives. “I understood it then,” she says, realizing the legacy he’d left behind.
A Reminder of a Father’s Love
It’s those four little words, Have Some Fun Today, that daughter Stephanie is making part of her father’s legacy, too. He wanted his kids to find the fun in life, see the joy in the everyday. Life is what you make it, so make it FUN!
“My husband would also say, “If you are going to do something, do it right the first time. The kids have learned that, too. And he liked to have fun!” she says with a big smile. “But you already know that…”
Written and contributed by HSFT writer Rebecca Doubek....
In loving memory of Joe Rado, who left this earth three years ago.
HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - We believe in angels. We think they are all around us...
That's kind of where it all started for HSFT. Founder and designer Stephanie Taormina was sitting in her living room a few years ago, practicing her meditation and gratitude ritual as she did every day, when she was hit with the most vivid vision. Her father had a recently passed and she was thinking of his mantra, the "tag line" he said each time someone left or said goodbye. "Hey, have some fun today." She pondered her Dad and those four words, and how it was so representative of the loving, kind man who just wanted everyone to see the "fun" in each day.
A Company Comes To Life
And then she saw it. Stark Black and White images and letters. Pretty soon "Have Some Fun Today" was more than the words her loving father said, it was now a painting in her head. A fine art painter and studied artist, it was not unusual for her to have a clear thought or ideas for a painting. But this was different. The image was vivid and alive.
"I was in my mediation, sort of thinking, non-thinking and I got hit with that vision. And it was like, this is it. This is what it is gonna look like. And then I want to make a t-shirt. And a tote. A hat."
That vision became the painting, became the original graphic t-shirt, became the company that is today Have Some Fun Today. Those four, loving, sweet words her Dad had said every day were coming alive and manifesting in a way she never expected. He was gone but this was a part of him that would live on.
Is There Anybody Out There?
If the souls and spirits of those we love move into some other cosmic plane or ascend to the "pearly gates", isn't it possible they're still trying to connect with us? Stephanie certainly felt in that moment that her father was trying to connect with her.
Experts in every field from mediums to spiritual guides have plenty to say on the topic. And while you can always find a fair share of skepticism, you'll also find some pretty common beliefs of how those near and dear to us may choose to send us a sign.
Dreams, thoughts, nature, a felt presence, fragrance, even leaving small objects are just a few of the ways that experts think departed loved ones choose to communicate.
The Legacy Lives On
"I feel like what I'm doing everyday is my Dad. I rarely feel sad," Stephanie says. A spiritual medium told her several years later that it's because she was thinking the way her Dad would and that she is, in essence, channeling him. His thoughts and his messages are coming through her.
Her work now is an expression of that first vision she believes came from her Dad. She is inspired to share this simple yet powerful philosophy with the world. The same one he'd call out as she left the house for school or when they'd part ways from a family gathering. Have Some Fun Today.
It's safe to say, message received.
With respect and honor for the late Mr. Rado, this piece was written and contributed by HSFT writer Rebecca Doubek