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AN ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFE

Stephanie Pietsch Gambetta

Honolulu entrepreneur Stephanie Pietsch Gambetta wears many hats on any given day: A certified health coach, self-made businesswoman, mother and wife just to name a few. Coming from a long line of successful entrepreneurs, it's no wonder where Gambetta gets her business savvy. But one could argue that the true keys to her success are her strong sense of ohana, healthy lifestyle and sheer determination.

Gambetta got her start as a business owner in 2006, when she and her siblings, Mike and Noel, opened Wahoo's Fish Taco in Ward Village (formerly Ward complex). As the mastermind behind the venture, Stephanie left a career in sports marketing with the Anaheim Angels baseball team to open Hawaii's first Wahoo's Fish Taco franchise—it was the right move. The business was wildly successful, becoming a top sales leader among the chain within just five months of opening.

Gambetta's success continued when she invested in her newest business venture: A fitness studio called The Bar Method. Currently located in Honolulu and Kailua, the studio teaches a workout program based on a combination of Pilates, yoga, and dance. Investing in the fitness business was the perfect fit for Gambetta given that she's a certified health coach by the Institute of Integrated Nutrition.

It's really about being able to help my clients integrate and balance all the vital aspects of their lives,” she explains. In addition to working out and getting in shape at The Bar Method, Gambetta coaches her clients on getting enough sleep and having work-life balance, which includes time for family, relationships and hobbies.

The reward on a personal level has been momentous. Clients have been moved to tears sharing how much their lives have improved since they joined the studio.

“There aren't words for how it makes you feel inside when you've changed somebody's life,” she says. “You realize you've given them a gift they didn't have before.”

Strong Work Ethic
Sitting tall and confident with a warm smile, you can see how comfortable Gambetta is in her own skin. She has always been a go-getter, but the road has never been easy. Balancing the important duties of being a mother with the heavy responsibility of owning multiple businesses is a feat unto itself. Luckily, Gambetta had great role models growing up.

Both her parents held successful careers. They taught Gambetta what it means to work hard, take care of your health and always make time for family. They taught her all about the balancing act she has come to master.

Her mother, Judy, raised three children while earning a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University. She later landed a job as Director of College Counseling at Punahou School. From her mother, Gambetta learned one could be an independent woman and a great wife and mom, all at the same time.

“My mother was amazing. She was truly passionate about everything she did,” says Gambetta.

Her father, Michael A. Pietsch, was president of Title Guaranty and Escrow Services, a local escrow company Gambetta's grandfather founded. “My dad worked Monday through Saturday, but he was always at my soccer games,” she remembers. It's something she keeps in mind now that she has her own daughters, ages 7 and 9.

Ohana Support
Needless to say, Gambetta's most important asset is her growing family, and in her role as wife and mother, she doesn't disappoint. She attributes much of her success to her husband, Matt, whose supportive spirit and attentiveness as a father has made all the difference. He himself is busy with his work in commercial real estate, but together, they're able to make it work.

Some days they're wearing their business hats and other days they're getting best parent kudos for making it to the girls' activities. They work together to trade off which hat they'll wear that day, but are always working on addressing those two important elements in life.

Offering additional support is the fact that Gambetta's parents, sister and brother all have homes in the same neighborhood. Theirs is the true local-style family network, one where all live just a few houses down from each other and can pop in anytime for a heart-to-heart or a cup of sugar.

Gambetta also includes Bank of Hawaii among her systems of support. She credits The Private Bank for helping her personal and business life run smoothly. There's a peace of mind in knowing that if she has any concerns regarding her finances, help is just a text message or phone call away—even when she's traveling—day or night, weekday or weekend.

Gambetta adds that in this era of the Internet and digital technology, life moves faster than ever before, but that The Private Bank helps her feel secure:

“Bank of Hawaii is a perfect partner for me because they're moving fast too, sometimes faster than me. They catch things I may not have seen. I feel both my business and my family are in the best hands.”

Gambetta admits that juggling all the things she has going on can be challenging, but says it's always fulfilling. She loves getting up every morning and working for herself. You can do what you want to do, she says, “You can drive your own ship.”

Where does her ship sail to next? She has another exciting new venture launching soon, although she's not quite ready to talk about it. And there will be others as well, she says. The successful businesswoman is not one to sit idly:

“The sky's the limit.”

Is business in your DNA:

Yes, my grandfathers on both sides were entrepreneurs.

Describe yourself in a word:

Driven.

Best advice to your children:

Dream big and go after it. Do not be afraid to fail, as that is how we learn.

Favorite possession:

My dining table… it’s where we gather as a family.

Biggest inspiration:

My mom.

Favorite movie:

I am a sucker for 80s movies and love Top Gun and Goonies.

Favorite cocktail:

Tequila, muddled limes, soda water on the rocks with a salted rim.

Best health tip:

You can’t work off an unhealthy diet.

Why The Private Bank:

Time is important and having my private banker a call or text away makes my life not only easier, but provides me peace of mind.


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