Stephanie Castillo, 46, was born in Edmonds. Her formative years were spent there and throughout the Seattle area. While attending Edmonds High School, she had no college plans, but the insistence of a guidance counselor that she figure something out cut a path for a future she hadn’t known to consider — the possibility of making a living doing something she really loved.
After graduation, she spent 11 months at Gene Juarez Academy — receiving a scholarship to cover a substantial portion of the cost. Her perfect attendance led to a subsequent scholarship — this one for advanced training to specialize as a hair designer. After four months of training, she went to work for a salon in downtown Edmonds — taking nine months to decide it wasn’t for her, though she credits the difficult experience with teaching her a great deal. She went back to Gene Juarez, where on and off she would spend the next two decades. There were European travels and a brief move to London before she opened an Astoria, Ore., clothing store for up-and-coming designers from Seattle and Portland.
Eleven months later, she was back at Gene Juarez. In 2007, she had her first child — a girl she named Catalina, who just turned 11. Nine-year-old Constantine came about two years later while she and husband Jerzain were living in Ellensburg. Commuting to her job back at Gene Juarez, Stephanie decided to start living and working in the same place. She now runs 300 North Pearl Street’s Mangos Salon — a role she says will never be boring.
“You get a new challenge with every single person,” she said. “You get to meet a lot of interesting people. You basically get to hang out with cool people and get creative and have a good time.”
It was while redecorating that very spot that she found part of the inspiration for enrolling in New York Institute of Art classes online, which led her to establish a business: Rumble Interiors.
“I do what I call ‘restyles,’ ” she explained. It’s a unique concept for interior design taking what clients already have to redecorate living space. Though far from a lifelong dream like doing hair, she’d always been interested in decorating.
“I’m still gonna do hair,” she said. “For as long as I can, I’ll do both.”
These are a few of her favorite things.
1. Red lipstick
“I always have red lipstick — always,” she admitted. “It just makes me feel powerful.”
The shade she reaches for more often than others bears a striking resemblance to fire engine red, but she confessed she doesn’t necessarily seek out any one particular brand.
“I could probably do my five favorite things on different brands of lipstick,” she said, following the statement up with a laugh. Rather than picking a favorite particular brand, she mentioned the spot she frequents most is MAC Cosmetics in the Macy’s at 2525 Main St. in Union Gap. Go to www.maccosmetics.com for more information on their full line of products.
2. “I am”
“It’s always with me — it’s my tatoo on my left arm. It says ‘I am.’,” she said.
She got it on a girls’ weekend last year at Good Karma Tattoo in Lynnewood.
On her forearm just above her wrist — it’s where she can see it all the time. She selected the font after telling them the phrase she said she picked “because whatever follows that is pretty powerful.”
Though out of town when she got it, Stephanie said if she’d been back in Ellensburg, she’d have gone to The Roost Tattoo Studio at 315 N. Main St.
3. Sugar skulls
“I have sugar skull cups and sugar skull pillows,” she said. There’s also a lamp and several piece of artwork.
Authentic versions of the spiritual totems are molded with sugar — hence, the name — they’re colorful and adorned with beads, feathers and other items. For Dio de los Muertos, the decorated skulls are placed on altars alongside marigolds — flowers of the dead — to encourage deceased loved ones’ return. In recent years, they’ve become an increasingly popular motif on clothing and art.
Stephanie also has one in the Rumble Interiors logo on the business cards she always carries.
“I love Mexican decor and, typically, sugar skulls are brightly colored and really detailed — they’re really busy.”
When it comes to personal taste, she describes a design style most often referred to as “Maximalist.”
“When you decorate, some don’t want any color. Or just one picture — just really clean and neat,” she said. “But my style has lots of art and lots of color. There’s a lot of stuff going on, but in a very controlled manner. Controlled chaos, I guess you’d call it. And it speaks to me.”
Several of the skulls were gifts, but she has fond memories of those she found — along with other Mexican decor — while in Santa Fe, N.M. last year.
4. Hoop earrings
“I always wear hoop earrings,” she said. “Either gold or silver, depending on the day. They’re another things that just makes me feel powerful and I can’t really explain why. I think it’s because I grew up in the ’80s.”
Claim Clothing at 315 N. Pearl St. in Ellensburg is one local spot where she likes to shop for items that would go well with her earrings.
You can follow them on Facebook to read the great reviews, and go to www.claimclothing.com for more.
5. Black Adidas high-tops
At one point in her life, they might have been Converse. She still has pairs of Vans and other comparable brands.
“But my black high tops are my staple,” she said. “And it kind of takes me back to the ’80s, actually. As a hairdresser, I spent a lot of time wearing stilettos and stupid shoes.”
But that was while living and working in Seattle. It was a time when black leather miniskirts and fishnets were the rage. And women wore high black heels because everybody else did.
She’s glad to have moved to the more comfortable and versatile black tennis shoes now. They go with pretty much anything she has on, and take her anywhere she needs to be.
The pair she planned to wear for her photo were a Christmas gift from her mother, Judy, last year.