Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Stinchcomb.
Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
I am a strong woman who continuously chooses to live a creative life full of passion, travel, and development. I was introduced to life’s fragility at a young age when my father passed away from melanoma. I was only 13 at the time and was forced to grow up and face life’s difficulties head-on. I was raised in a supportive, loving environment that always pushed me to put in the work necessary to become the best version of myself; because of this, I was taught that my options were endless and encouraged to follow my dreams, whether small or large. It also showed me that hard work gets you results, and you must put in the effort.
I’ve always loved literature and writing, so I studied English at the University of Delaware. It was here that I made the most influential decision of my life: to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. I had never been out of the country (other than a cruise) and knew nothing about Denmark. I chose it because the European Humanities course of study best aligned with my interests, and I’d never heard of anyone going there; I was in Denmark for 6 glorious months in 2017 as a 20-year-old junior in college with the world (or at least Europe) at my fingertips. I fell in love with the Danish culture and immersed myself in any way possible, such as a host family or a babysitting job.
Although I did a ton of your typical study abroad travel at that time, I came home feeling like my nomadic phase wasn’t nearly complete. I loved the thrill of travel and the personal growth that accompanies stepping out of your comfort zone. During my senior year at UD, I committed to a TEFL course in Florence, Italy, to become an ESL Teacher abroad. I figured, ‘if I loved Scandinavia so much, I wonder how I’d feel about a Mediterranean country.’
I had multiple jobs, but only one that forced me to live with my coworkers. They are very different, as I’m sure you’re aware, and I spent 9 lovely months creating a home for myself in Florence. With Smart Trip Europe, it was here that I realized I wasn’t meant to live a typical life. I was told to move about this world, meet people different from me, share myself, and collect parts of others as I go. Even thousands of miles apart, I developed amazing friendships that continue to show me unconditional love, support, and authenticity. I moved back to Baltimore, Maryland, the USA, in August 2019 to save up my money and move to Australia in March 2020.
COVID had different plans for me, and I was forced to reconsider my path when the pandemic hit. I was working at a local tavern at the time that was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It was a home, a family, a community, and a pillar for so many. Not to mention the food was incredible, and it didn’t hurt that the Chef and I started to enjoy working together 🙂 Billy, the Chef & owner, and I started hanging out a few months before the world got shut down. We thought I was moving across the globe, so nothing was serious, but I wasn’t. Right before COVID, I started to care more about the business and take on more leadership roles. It was here that I developed a love for marketing, plus I was pretty good at it! We used social media marketing to survive the pandemic with crazy videos of Billy cooking whatever specials we had (to go) that day. It was a blast and brought us together in a time that was very sad and defeating for all. We kept each other sane and hit the ground running when we were able to open up for business (officially again). Billy and I even fell in love amidst the madness.
We were rolling with an all-star staff when July 4, 2021. Billy & I were walking in the restaurant with watermelons from the farm for Watermelon Crushes when everyone started running towards us screaming “fire.” A leaf blower had overcharged upstairs and caused a massive electrical fire. Although we were blessed that no one was injured, our building suffered intense damage.
This past year has taught me a lot and forced me to grow in ways I never knew. When something I had given my all to since day 1 suddenly disappeared, I had to figure out how else to use my talents in a meaningful way. Billy & I used this past year to explore our world and minds more in-depth than ever. We made a 3-week road trip through the Pacific North West, where we were reminded how small our problems truly are. We were invited on a yacht to Croatia, where we indulged in one of the most magnificent, proud, and welcoming cultures I’ve ever experienced. We spent our weekends in the mountains, nights in the neighborhood, and days doing something to become a better version of ourselves. I used this time especially to focus on my writing. After applying for different jobs and not finding any that fit my schedule, I created my platform to share my experiences in hopes that someone may relate to (or even laugh at) my stories. Growing and Going is about living to your fullest extent and celebrating every moment. It is a platform that encourages a mental shift towards more gratitude, confidence, and growth.
At the same time, I am still working with Billy on reopening Barracudas–we are expected to open in July 2022. I am our Brand Manager, a position that is someone new to the society. Creating this position allowed me to tailor my duties and responsibilities to my strengths and allow my passions to flourish in a way that benefits both me and Billy’s dreams. I can use my marketing skills and understanding of analytics to grow Barracudas’ following, thus increasing business. I am also responsible for staffing and handling any front-of-house concerns, such as scheduling, hiring, onboarding, and training.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
It has not been a smooth road, but I have handled it to the best of my ability at the time! Losing my father at only 13 years old flipped my world upside down at such a young age. It was challenging to go through as a child, but I did it. With the help of my mom, brother, and so many loved ones, we grew up carrying love and celebration for my dad’s life with us. It’s like he’s always there in spirit. I can feel it. The fire at Barracudas and the year following have probably been the 2nd most traumatic thing I’ve experienced. But honestly, I wouldn’t change it for the world. There was no one to blame. It was just terrible, terrible luck. Truly an unfortunate event, but luckily everyone was okay. It took away our home, our physical one, and forced us to adapt. It caused us to remember that our home is the people, not the place. We shifted because we had to. And we worked on ourselves; we worked on our relationship. We worked on our professions and careers. It forced us to take a step back, take a deep breath, and feel it all.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a Brand Manager, so I am responsible for everything about the brands I work with, such as the content and marketing as well as staffing and services. My main role as Brand Manager is for my brand, Growing and Going. This brand specializes in personal development, growth, travel, and everything. It is a platform for me to share my stories helpfully, too, not only for myself but for others that might be going through similar situations and experiences. I’ve always been told I have a writing talent and that my words flow well. By using these talents to share my stories and experiences, I’m providing a platform for others to turn to when they find themselves in a unique situation. I plan to use Growing and Going to document my travels, share some atypical stories, and connect with others along the journey.
I am also Brand Manager for Barracudas Locust Point Tavern in Baltimore City. This brand is originally my boyfriend, Billy’s, but we have created something beautiful together from his strong foundation. Barracudas is an eclectic mix of both of us and everyone else. We provide something for people they can’t find anywhere else fine dining in a comfortable neighborhood, with a lot of love and care sprinkled about. While we are in the process of rebuilding after our July 4, 2021, electrical fire, I am still in charge of our marketing, customer engagement, and hiring process. It has been a difficult, unique situation that we’ve found ourselves in, and it’s a story I know many would love to hear. We anticipate our reopening within the next few weeks, and I’m excited to take on more responsibility as Brand Manager.
My authenticity and transparency in my life separate me from your average travel and lifestyle blogger. I don’t rely much on high-quality photos, videos, Reels, or TikToks. Instead, I use my words to share my experiences. I don’t follow trends; I don’t really understand them. I try sometimes, but nothing ever comes of it. When I look online, I don’t look at plastic lifestyles made of more money than I can imagine. I look at the strong humans living normal, badass lives and making a difference in the world. There are incredible people everywhere, with stories waiting to be shared and memories waiting to be made. What makes me different from everyone else is my insatiable desire to experience it all. I am most proud of my tenacity and my ability to adapt. I am relentless and will never give up on a dream or goal. If plans change, I have no problem changing with them and letting the story unfold how it’s meant to.
If we knew you were growing up, how would we have described you?
I was always an adventurous kid that wanted to be the center of attention. I had to be in front of the roller coaster, try snowboarding, and score the game-winning shot. I wanted to make people laugh, but I didn’t care much about it. I loved sports, mainly because I loved camaraderie and competition. I was talkative (ask anyone ever) and blabbed about nothing most of the time. I made music videos with my friends, played kick the can with my neighborhood, and cried at my 8th-grade graduation. I was on the student council, captain of the basketball team, and part of the recycling club.
I was annoyed when life got a little more real in high school. I didn’t yet have the tools I have now to process what was happening to me in life. Everything felt like the end of the world, yet nothing truly mattered. I just wanted to drink shitty vodka from a water bottle in someone’s basement with my friends, which is what I did. This led to a few funny stories, mostly gross blackouts. Luckily I also grew out of that!
- Website: https://www.growing-and-going.com/
- Instagram: @sstinchcomb
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samantha.stinchcomb
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/s_hammmy?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor