You Should Know: Sarah Kathleen Peck

Sarah K Sarah Kathleen Peck is a writer, media designer and storyteller. Her personal blog, It Starts With, is a stories-based website focused on psychology, motivation and human behavior.

Sarah began her career in architecture and design with a focus on how the built environment affects human potential and happiness. Today, she teaches writing workshops, speaks regularly on communications strategy, and consults with private clients on marketing and communications best practices. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, 99U, Psychology Today, Life Hacker, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, and she has worked with CEOs, thought leaders, and design leaders on crafting beautiful stories.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Sarah loves movement: she is a 20-time NCAA All-American swimmer who has successfully swam from Alcatraz 9 times. When she’s not writing or teaching, you’ll find her running, doing handstands outdoors, or teaching yoga.

11010_SarahPeck_0037-1240558546-O Name: Sarah Kathleen Peck
Occupation: Writer, Maker + Mover.
Twitter Handle: @sarahkpeck

What are three words that best describe you?

Compassionate, Motivated, Thoughtful.

Tell us why you’re awesome in two sentences or less.

I love encouraging people to tell their stories and find their voice, an adventure that requires bravery, openness, and honesty. As a teacher, finding a way to convey ideas in a way that’s inspiring, useful, and meaningful is difficult to do well—and when it clicks, when something I’ve explained or taught helps someone else find their voice, I feel like I helped make someone’s life a little bit better.


What are your three biggest indulgences?

Chocolate, wine, and yoga.

What’s currently your favorite…

Restaurant: Cochinitas in Brooklyn, New York. I LOVE tacos.
Food: Arugula or Kale salad.
Cocktail: Grapefruit + eggwhite cocktail blends, or summer drinks like cold watermelon lemonade. Also, virgin bloody mary’s. I love tomato juice right now!
Shopping destination/store: I dislike big shopping malls—if I can do it from home, that’s best! For boutique stores, I love local green stores and stationary stores, like Green in Brooklyn, which has lovely aromatherapy scents and awesome reusable bags that I use instead of plastic or paper. And I can always get lost inside of a bookstore.
Fashion item: Yoga pants and loose, flowing tops. A really well-fit sports bra.
Place to hangout: Parks, coffee shops, libraries and street plazas. Right now in my neighborhood, I love Prospect Park, OutPost Café in Clinton Hill, and Brooklyn Coffee Roasters in DUMBO.
City: Don’t make me choose just one city! I love cities, period, in how they show off all of what’s working and what needs work with civilization, society, and individuals. In the past year alone I’ve been in Hong Kong, Ubud, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Barcelona, Zurich, Berlin, and several more. (I can’t wait for the solar-powered airplanes).
Travel item: Earplugs, Vick’s Vapor Rub and a sleeping mask or a soft scarf. These three things save me from a noisy plane or a strange neighborhood. The trick with Vick’s is to get an old contact lens case and use that to carry your travel lotions and goop like Vick’s or Vaseline so it’s super small. Vick’s is smelly enough that it blocks other smells—if you’ve ever been stuck on the back of a bus with a horrid toilet smell, just wipe a small amount of Vick’s peppermint and menthol under your nose and the bus ride goes by in a breeze. I wrap the scarf around my head to go to sleep and/or use it as a blanket when it gets cold.
Beauty product: Tea tree oil, moisturizing lotion (or some coconut oil).
Hostess gift: A plant, flowers, or something durable and use-able, like a new set of dish cloths or napkins. Cute socks are always nice, too!
Home décor item: Plants hanging in my windows + succulents on bookshelves.
Book: A return to love, by Marianne Williamson; the power of habit, by Charles Duhigg, The Fear Project, by Jaimal Yogis, (and so many more!)
Website: Honestly, I still love Facebook and Instagram because it’s where my friends are—and I love my friends. I find so much interesting, useful, wonderful news from my network of friends. Also, I love the New York Times, Quartz, Circa, and the Atlantic. I also love IFL Science and Mind Body Green.
Magazine: The New Yorker.

What’s the ONE thing you absolutely can’t live without?

A moleskine. (And a pen—is that two?)

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Probably ignorance or rudeness — especially when people don’t bother to understand the deeper issues or circumstances that brought them to where they are.

If you could have dinner with anyone (living or not) who would it be?

Meryl Streep. I think she’s phenomenal.

What does it mean to you to have a strong, engaging brand and how has having one helped you?

Having a strong brand means that people know what you stand for and the kind of work you are making in the world. I’m always surprised—and delighted—when my ‘right people’ find me and want to work together or make things in the world; a great brand is like a magnetic force that attracts people and opportunities to you at a deeper level. Having a voice online and telling stories has connected me with hundreds and thousands of people, and it’s made running my business, exploring new opportunities, and working with brilliant collaborators fall into place so much more seamlessly.

What is your #1 tip for fellow women entrepreneurs?

Find a motivation that’s deep within you. As you go through all the ups and downs of life (and business) having a core, unshakeable belief in what you do (and a vision for what you do) will get you through the tough times. You will feel all of the feelings—good, bad, ugly, inspired, wonderful—and it’s important to stay close to what’s driving you.


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1. Refined Silk-Cashmere Wrap
This silk-cashmere scarf drapes beautifully and is classic for a reason.

2. Teva sandals
The Olowahu flip flops for women offer an elegant strapping system with a unique look that you’re sure to love.

3. Vicks Vapo Rub
This tried and tested product has been around for generations and is perfect for a multitude of ailments.

4. Return to Love
Author Marianne Williamson shares her insights on the application of love in the search for inner peace.

5. Moleskin Notebook
A notebook is perfect for writings, thoughts and passing notes and is possibly the perfect travel companion.

6. Coconut Oil
With antibacterial properties, naturally occurring antioxidants and stellar moisturizing ability, this expeller pressed, trans fat free oil helps keep you healthy both inside and out.

7. LuluLemon Yoga Pants
These stretchy, breathable, and moisture-wicking pants will not only become a staple for your yoga practice but will take you to the studio and beyond.

8. Tea Tree Oil
Feel exhilarated and revived with this fresh, herbaceous, top-to-middle note with menthol undertones.

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