Steph Elmitt (AKA Adventure Barbie) started working for us at our Ambleside Location back in 2012. She’s pushed herself to the limits, breaking points and has overcome some crazy obstacles along the way. Not only can she pour a mean latte, she’s ran/climbed 60km in one go and is the face of some of the most up-and-coming fashion brands in Vancouver. A self proclaimed obsessive type, Steph’s ability to focus in on one thing and conquer is really quite inspiring.
This year, we are excited to have sponsored Steph for her first ever Golden Ultra Marathon (60km). The 23-year-old was the youngest person in the whole race and came 14th overall for women finishing at 8:22hr.
I met her at our Roastery for an interview where I pried her for what makes Adventure Barbie tick.
Here’s the interview:
Q: What’s your connection to Bean?
A: I worked for Bean for four years and it was my first job ever. It really became home for me. [My boss] became a father figure and still is. Like a lot of us that worked there, I was Bean raised and I basically grew up there. That place and all the friends I made there will always hold a special place for me.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your athletic history and how it’s gotten you to where you are today?
A: I’ve always loved sports and the outdoors as a kid. I went to The University of Berkeley in California on a field hockey scholarship and I felt so lost. I was struggling with an eating disorder which is totally fine now, but back then it was really hard living with that and being far away from home. I came back [to Vancouver] and didn’t do much in the four years that it took me to get back on my feet. I had identified with being an athlete my whole life and suddenly that was gone.
Eventually I started running every day, ski touring and hiking. I found myself obsessing over my progress and just kept pushing myself to be better every day. It really helped me recover and I felt like myself again. I met my running partner who is an ex-Olympian Gold Medalist. At the start, he would push me to train for ultra marathons like The Golden Ultra and I used to fight it, but now I find myself being more into it than he is at times.
Q: What kinds of lifestyle changes have you made and how does it impact your day to day?
A: I’m now a vegan and I’m really passionate about it for a number of reasons. I really encourage people to give it a shot because I’ve felt so much better since going plant based.
I don’t drink alcohol anymore. It’s been hard because of the social pressure to party at my age. Even the social norm of having a glass of wine can sometimes get awkward, but I’ve just decided that my fitness and health is more important. I’ve been able to think so much clearer and focus on things that matter most.
Q: Tell me a bit about what you do for work and where it all began.
A: I am a model, which I still hate saying. I’m on a contract with Oak and Fort and have worked with Herschel, Native and some other local Vancouver brands.
It’s kind of funny because it all started in a Whole Foods Market where a lady just approached me and gave me her card. Now she’s my agent and it’s been really amazing.