When was the last time you connected with someone new?


Photo by Mandy Jay Photography

About Yinzpiration
Inspired by the positive energy of the Steel City and a presentation by Nicole Crimaldi, I've set a goal to interview 100 Pittsburghers.

Nicole challenged our class at PodCamp Pittsburgh 5 to have coffee with someone new every week.

So, I decided to start an interview blog, and Yinzpiration.com was born (thanks to the help of Nik, my web developer husband). I hope you return to read what I have learned over the next 100 cups of coffee... or tea, my drink of choice.

About Kate
I thought it was only fair to introduce myself Yinzpiration style after asking so many others to do the same. I hope you enjoy! 

(If you're looking for a more formal third person bio, scroll past the Q&A.) 

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Name: Kate Stoltzfus (pronounced stoltz-foose)

Job title: Editor/founder of Yinzpiration.com, CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh host, co-pilot at Propelle, and digital strategist at Plumb media.

Twitter: @katestoltzfus, @yinzpiration

Blog: Yinzpiration

Neighborhood you live in: The ever vibrant and energetic Garfield!

Coffee Shop Drink of Choice: Hot chamomile tea (cold day) iced hibiscus tea (hot day)

Current Shampoo Preference: My latest was purchased purely because of the packaging. It’s rectangular bottle and covered in a bright flower print.

Why do you choose Pittsburgh as your home?
Well if you haven’t already gathered from the content of this blog, it’s Pittsburgh’s people that have me falling in love with our city over and over again.

In my own experience, I’ve discovered that Pittsburgh is the perfect place to be a young, imperfect dreamer.

I moved here the day after graduating college, and the only thing I knew about the city was that there are lots of bridges and that my then boyfriend (now husband) Nik resided in a neighborhood called Squirrel Hill.

I soon got my very first job, spent a year as a PULSE fellow, quit my job, fell into a depression (aka Mac ‘n Cheese syndrome), broke through depression, got hitched, began to write, bought and renovated a building, failed hard and often, celebrated many victories, embarrassed myself, surprised myself, disappointed myself, and delighted myself.  

Pittsburgh was with me through thick and thin. We've cultivated quite a relationship over the years. I love this city and I feel my roots here growing deeper and stronger.

I've got 57 reasons for living in the 'Burgh and they're just scratching the surface. I'm reminded daily how lucky we are.

Who do you spend your time with?
My dapper husband, Nik, our cat, Sgt. Pepper, amazing friends, co-workers, neighbors, and clients.

What are your favorite aspects of your job?

  • Yinzpiration: I get to meet the most amazing people every single day. Hear their stories, share some of mine, learn how we can help each other and repeat. Then I get to share them with the world!
     
  • Propelle: The women entrepreneurs that attend our our networking events and workshops are incredible.
     
  • CreativeMornings: witnessing the postitivity that happens when people take the time out of their week to share new ideas and inspiration. 

Do you have a soul food?
Soft-boiled egg with toast. My mom taught me (and her grandmother taught her) to break the toast into pieces in a bowl and then place the soft boiled egg on top. Cut it into quarters with your fork and mix together. Add salt and pepper and you'll have one delicious breakfast.

What are some of your recent personal goals?

  • Do something that terrifies me every day.
     
  • Take a cross-country road trip. (Completed this one in 2012!)
     
  • Host more dinner parties. (I love pairing friends who don’t know each other all that well.)
     
  • Write a book.  

What are your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants?

  1. Lunch: People’s Indian Buffet. My favorite dishes are the vegetable korma and palak paneer.
     
  2. Happy Hour: Harris Grill (You can't beat the patio on a perfect summer evening) + Verde (love the chips and guacamole!)
     
  3. Fancy Pants: Salt of the Earth. Sitting at the bar watching the chefs work their magic is my favorite thing!

Describe your ideal day.

  • Wake up early and naturally.
  • 3 mile run, with hi-fives and bands playing along the way.
  • Receive a 90 minute massage in my home.
  • Brunch at a friends house including several courses and mimosas. We'll laugh until it hurts at least 3 times.
  • Meet one new person who is doing something awesome in Pittsburgh and beyond.
  • Write something that inspires and helps at least one other person.
  • Buy and wear a new red dress.
  • Receive a hand-written note.
  • Take a sunset boat ride around downtown Pittsburgh, with champagne, personal chef, and on-board karaoke.
  • We see at least 3 shooting stars.
  • At the end of the night: fireworks. Lots of fireworks.

What is the most memorable live show you have seen in Pittsburgh?
My Morning Jacket, summer 2010. The lights, the beautiful weather, all the dance dance dancing. Unforgettable.

What do you think Pittsburgh will be like in ten years?
Beautiful. Thriving. Unstopable.

What do you love most about the city?
I love that Pittsburgh is full of people who care, help each other, and work hard to make our city an incredible place to live.

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Looking for a formal bio? Here's some sweet third-person action just for you: 

Kate Stoltzfus wants to live in a world where dinner parties outnumber meals in front of screens, handwritten notes are just as common as a tweet, and heartfelt conversations happen every day.

As the creator of Yinzpiration.com, an interview and connection adventure blog, she’s changing the way people think about meeting their neighbors and making new friends.

One reader described her insights as, “a pitch perfect blend of intuitive knowing, warm hospitality, and willingness to challenge.”

As a connection enthusiast, she’s been featured in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, WTAE-TV,  and Pop City. She was recently honored as a 2013 40 Under 40 recipient from Pittsburgh Magazine.

In addition to her work with Yinzpiration, Kate is the co-founder of Propelle, a venture that helps women entrepreneurs take flight. She also serves as the host of CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh, a monthly breakfast lecture series.

When she’s not connecting up a storm, you can find her running in Highland Park, taking road trips with her husband Nik, and snuggling with her cat Sgt. Pepper.

Discover more about courageous connecting at yinzpiration.com. 

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Yinzpiration in the press:

Forbes, January 13, 2014

Pittsburgh Magazine, 40 under 40, October 21, 2013

Imagine Pittsburgh, August 1, 2013

Pop City, February 27, 2013

EmilyLevenson.com, February 13, 2013

PULSE Blog, December 3, 2012

The Pittsburgh Scene, August 0, 2012

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 1, 2012

The Swerve Magazine, August 16, 2011

That's Church, December 13, 2010

Pop City, December 8, 2010