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…”
Liz Cantalamessa is a list-maker. Packing for vacation or presenting to a client, no matter the size of the task, she's a woman who likes a game plan. Long before her career in sales and marketing took her to Facebook, she was a girl who liked order and organization. "I never had a messy bedroom as a kid. For me, I need order and organization before I can get things done. At my job, that transcends into the business planning." Her job at Facebook is to serve as a US Agency Partner, where she manages one of the big six media holding companies and their relationship with Facebook and Instagram. "What that means is I act as the primary liaison, internal advocate and thought leader for my external agency partners," she says. She says the best part of her job is the camaraderie and the collaboration she is exposed to daily. "I work with some really smart people, clients included, and learn from them every day." She's a proud Penn State alum and last spring, returned to her alma mater to guest lecture at the Business School. She has plans to do it again this fall. A working mom who strives for balance between her job and family, she lives in Westchester County, NY with husband Mike and their 8-year-old son Dylan.
What is your personal Mission Statement?
As a working mother, I believe in work/ life “integration” so that I’m a present wife and mother when I’m home, and a present employee when in the office. The notion of “balance” can be tricky. I strive to lead a fulfilling life both in and out of the office. I also believe in paying it forward. To me that means sharing what I have, whether it’s my time, information or resources.
What inspires you to create the life you live?
Living and working in New York is pretty inspiring. I take the train to the city and arrive in Grand Central Station daily which happens to be one of my favorite NYC landmarks. Looking up at that gorgeous ceiling brings a smile to my face as I start my day. At Facebook we consider our work environment to be a high performance culture. I think the same applies for working in NYC. It’s such a fast paced city that it pushes you to be the best you can be. And then there’s the obvious – my family inspires me every day. I didn’t create this life alone. I have a phenomenal partner who shares my same vision.
Do you use any daily disciplines or practices to energize you?
Not really – maybe we can skip this one ;-)
What is the one piece of advice or words of inspiration you live by?
There are several (many of which I’ve learned from my employer):
Plan the work and work the plan
Done is better than perfect
Pay it forward
I also try to differentiate between a problem and a “luxury” problem. Delayed flight? Rainy day on vacation? That’s a luxury problem. I really try my best to keep things into perspective. I’ve got it pretty good.
What helps you Have Some Fun Today - each and every day?
I’m a planner and list maker (note the “plan the work and work the plan” concept above), so I love having things to look forward to. That might be something as simple as shopping for ingredients of a new recipe I’m going to try out on my family, scheduling a lunch date with a friend or planning a fun getaway with my husband.