Women Who Inspire - Stephanie Tommasello of Two Stroke Coffee
Nothing inspires us more than hearing stories about women who identified a need and boldly created their own company. We recently got to know Stephanie Tommasello, the dynamic can-do woman behind a coffee-and-motorcycles café called Two Stroke Coffee.
After traveling and working as a cement sculptor, Stephanie moved to Portland. She was introduced to motorcycling on the back, but it she knew she wouldn't be satisfied until she was riding her own. So she got her own bike and signed up for a class with Team Oregon. Passion grabbed her, and before long, she'd opened Two Stroke Coffee in North Portland. The shop runs alongside Second Gear, a garage and motorcycle dealership that's run by her friends. A coffee and motorcycles café has been a rewarding way to bring the community together, and she's glad to help add to Portland's unique culture. “It’s a concept that has been popping up in Europe since the early 1900s,” she says. “Instead of bar-hopping, riders jump from one coffee shop to the next.”
Stephanie cofounded the café in the same building as Second Gear, a motorcycle shop run by friends. “We’ve created a community space where guests can come in, enjoy a great cup of coffee and get their work done while watching people work on motorcycles through the glass wall,” she says.
Running a business has helped her become more available for those around her. She’s able to show up for the important people in her life in ways she couldn’t before. This freedom means everything to Stephanie. Another force that drives her is her freedom of expression, “Creatively, I want to do what I want when I want to do it” she says.
We found Stephanie's approach to navigating her life refreshing and encouraging. She's a woman with no time for gender bias or social boundaries. "I am a strong, capable, talented, creative and passionate HUMAN, who just so happens to be female. I enjoy motorcycles, working with metal and cement, and making coffee, and I also love taking care of my family. My femininity doesn't make me any less proficient or powerful, and my kindness doesn't mean that I'm weak. I believe that greatness isn't defined by a moment in time, a body type, a gender, or a job title. Greatness is embodied in who we are and how we behave."
Her advice for others considering starting a business? “The only person you have to wake up with every day—even if you have a partner lying beside you—is YOU. Ultimately, you have to be happy with the choices that you make every single day.”