If you looked over Stephanie Russo’s resume, you’d probably be simultaneously confused and inspired. At only thirty-years-old, Russo is a successful fitness director in east Long Island and a freelance makeup artist for M.A.C. She’s also worked at a university, nannied, and recently started her own baking business.
“I kind of fell into baking in the middle of all this because I was trying to keep the kids I was nannying occupied and help the mom out. My mom always said I was a jack of all trades,” Russo says, laughing.
Her enthusiasm for life is contagious, but Russo admits she hasn’t always been this way. “I used to let everything bother me,” she admits. “Like one little hiccup would ruin my whole day, everyday.”
One night, while scrolling through Instagram, Stephanie stumbled upon Racioppi. “I remember the exact moment I discovered Moon School. I was having a really hard time with things. Sitting in bed exhausted, emotionally and physically, reflecting on the past few weeks. For whatever reason, I decided to open Instagram and Moon School was the first post that popped up. I saw that you had to apply to be accepted and I specifically remember thinking, “I never win anything – there’s no way I’ll get chosen. But why not.”
The next day, Racioppi called her for an interview. “She made me feel like the most intriguing, important person in the world,”
Russo says. “You could feel her warmth and love through the phone.”
Throughout her time in Moon School, Russo’s confidence started to grow. “Moon School was life-changing,” she says. “Jenn truly has an innate ability to connect with people. Her love and support made us feel like we were all on the same sacred team, and that our only job as women is to love ourselves and love each other into our highest selves.”
Russo’s confidence started to grow as Racioppi encouraged her to own all of her enthusiasm and interests. She also helped Russo shape her newfound passion for baking into a solid business idea. “I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am. I fell back in love with myself and [now] I just want people to feel good, too. If I hadn’t have gotten to this place where I love myself, I would never be able to help my clients as much as I have. Like a pay it forward kind of thing.”