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Take The Lead Live: Start Fresh with Stefanie Sanchez

Stefanie Sanchez of @polished_yogi is an up and coming nail designer, and huge advocate for health and wellness. She believes self-care can take many forms, including giving yourself a manicure. As part of our Take the Lead campaign, we went live on Instagram and learned all about how to Start Fresh with Stefanie.

In case you missed it, watch our Instagram live with Stefanie on IGTV.

MiniLuxe: Tell us a little bit about your journey. How did you get your start?

Stefanie: So I started on Instagram almost 6 years ago! I grew up painting & drawing, and eventually loved to paint my nails. Cutepolish on Youtube was a huge reason I got into nail art.

MiniLuxe: What does “Take the Lead” mean to you? Why?

Stefanie: Take the Lead means I’m the one in control with how I move forward. There of course might be things out of my control, but it’s up to me to decide how to navigate those things, rather than letting my thoughts or feelings get the best of me. 

MiniLuxe: What does “Start Fresh” mean to you? Why?

Stefanie: Start Fresh is a liberating reminder that you can always start over. Where you are right now is not where you always will be, whether that’s in relationships, careers, daily mindset, etc. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in that, but to Start Fresh means you give yourself the opportunity to go into something with a new perspective.

MiniLuxe: Are there moments during your week, month, year, when you focus on starting fresh? Why? What are some of the things you do to “Start Fresh”? I know meditation and yoga are big in your life…

Stefanie: New Year’s is always a popular time, but I also love to reflect on my birthday as well as the beginning of each season. Meditation has been an invaluable tool for me to Start Fresh, those moments spent breathing & being present can be the reset I need, even if it’s on a daily basis.

MiniLuxe: Where do you look to for inspiration with your nail designs?

Stefanie: I’ve done a few manicures inspired by clothing, ranging from underwear to dresses! Lately I have been loving the idea of being inspired by music, specifically album covers.

MiniLuxe: What was the most challenging thing in the last year you’ve overcome? What did you learn?

Stefanie:  Well, this past year is when my page grew the most, so the imposter syndrome has been the most challenging to deal with. It means a lot that so many people follow and appreciate my art, but I feel like there are so many others who deserve that attention too. But what I’ve learned is that we all have something to bring to the table, and there’s more than enough room. My art may not be groundbreaking, but it’s mine, and what matters is that I do and share work I’m proud of.

MiniLuxe: What advice do you have for others who may be going through something similar?

Stefanie:  For those dealing with imposter syndrome, the advice ranges from seeking support from friends/loved ones who can offer an outside perspective, to doing daily affirmations reminding yourself that you and what you do is enough. The feelings we have can absolutely be valid, but it doesn’t make them true or factual.

MiniLuxe: What’s the best advice you’ve received?

Stefanie:  That I have to live for myself. I would always get caught up in what others think of me, but then it conflicts with expressing myself authentically.

MiniLuxe: What would you tell your younger (more naïve) self?

Stefanie:  So many things… but it’s going to be okay, work on loving yourself and don’t put the pressure on others to make you feel worthy.

MiniLuxe: Who do you most admire and why?

Stefanie:  This is gonna sound super cheesy, but my boyfriend Ryan. He is the most patient, compassionate person I’ve ever met. He’s always so calm and level headed and just wise beyond his years. I thought that I had things figured out because of my journey with meditation/mindfulness, but he truly inspires me to dig deeper and be a better person. I’m really so lucky to have him by my side.

MiniLuxe: What role have mentors played in your life?

Stefanie:  Luckily positive ones! I deeply value how they’ve helped guide and nurture me on my path.

MiniLuxe: Do you have a favorite mantra or quote? What does this “do” for you?

Stefanie:  One of my favorite quotes is by Mary Oliver, which was shared by a doctor I used to work with, that said “The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” It’s like a loving slap in the face that reminds me to not be one of those regretful people, to listen to that creative call because I know that’s what I’m meant to do.

MiniLuxe: How do you give back in your communities?

Stefanie: I used to donate clothes and of course nail polish! It’s been a shame COVID caused a halt on accepting donations. A way I would like to give back in the future is to offer meditation classes.

MiniLuxe: If you could have one wish for change, what would it be?

Stefanie:  I’d wish for a better distribution of wealth. I think it’s unacceptable for so many people to be struggling, without basic needs, while others have more money than they know what to do with.

MiniLuxe: What’s your superpower?

Stefanie: I’m an optimist; I will always find a silver lining in situations.

MiniLuxe: Favorite animal?

Stefanie: Turtles! I have so many ceramic/decorative turtles in my room.

MiniLuxe: Favorite color?

Stefanie: Probably pink, but I have a hard time choosing.

MiniLuxe: Favorite movie?

Stefanie:  I’m gonna say Interstellar. It’s captivating, and the soundtrack is amazing!!

MiniLuxe: Favorite book?

Stefanie:  Women Who Run With The Wolves. It’s a great book on tapping into our inherent wild and creative nature as women, I always recommend it to those who might be struggling spiritually connecting with themselves. 

MiniLuxe: Who’s the first person you call when you get good news?

Stefanie:  My boyfriend! He’s always so incredibly supportive.

MiniLuxe: What’s the last emoji you used and can you share why?

Stefanie:  The hugging one! I use it all the time when talking to friends and especially responding to comments.

MiniLuxe: If you were going to move into a TikTok house, who would you invite to join you?

Stefanie:  I would force my Aries best friend to join me, because otherwise I’d absolutely hate it lol.

MiniLuxe: What’s brought you the most joy during these last few months?

Stefanie:  The fact that I’ve been able to realign. While I’ve never stopped painting my nails, I just felt like I wasn’t nurturing the creative part of me. So it’s been really healing to actually paint on canvases and draw in my sketchbooks.

MiniLuxe: Most played song on your Spotify list/what would your theme song be?

Stefanie:  This might sound silly because it’s from a video game, but it’s called Va by Ryan Roth. It’s definitely the song I would have on repeat as my background music, it just gives me such calm and soothing vibes.