WCW: Katie Rotolo

Ojai yoga

Katie is wearing the Stratus Reversible Crop Top

Katie Rotolo is the founder and yoga teacher of Set Intentions, a first-of-its-kind, mobile wellness business focused on sustainability and mindfulness. Simply put, it's a different kind of food truck...one that feeds the soul. She also has 10+ years in the entertainment industry managing productions for films, commercials, television, and new media content, both in studio and in the field. She is the co-founder of the boutique production company, Paper Ball Pictures, whose mission is putting the environment first while telling impactful stories.

In her free time, she volunteers with organizations such as Children's Hospital Los Angeles, The Center for Transyouth Health and Development, and Autism Speaks. A favorite quote of hers is,

"Film is incredibly democratic and accessible, it’s probably the best option if you actually want to change the world, not just re-decorate it." - Banksy

Yoga in Ojai
Stretching it out in the Triangulate Matching Set

Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where did you grow up, what did you study, how long have you been doing yoga, whats your favorite stone, whats your sign, etc :) 
I was born in Miami, FL and grew up in town called Davie between horses and the Everglades, but inside the big city of Fort Lauderdale. I went to FAU, majoring in Theatre and Dance, and then to Broward's College online program (to be able to travel and work from anywhere).
I've been "doing yoga" on and off from a young age, but I didn't truly know what yoga meant until last year. Yoga means union. And that comes from deep within--connection to mind, body and spirit. Yoga has also taught me the meaning of ahimsa, or non-harming, thus being in union with the earth, animals, the elements.
Stones all have their own magic, but right now I've been loving amethyst. My amazing friend gave me a wrap gift of a necklace she handmade with amethyst and clear quartz. They have healing properties that especially help with my anxiety and clearing my head. My sign is Capricorn, but I don't know a lot about Astrology, to be honest--although I do find it really interesting.

What projects are you working on right now?
Right now, I'm one half of a brand new start up called Set Intentions, which is an ever-evolving project (as you guys as small business owners know). 

Set Intentions is a different kind of food truck--one that feeds the soul.

In short, we are a small business spreading mindfulness and striving for sustainability. We offer yoga and meditation practices, as well as beverages and light snacks served on our truck. We supply all the ECO-FRIENDLY mats and props to participate and everything we serve is vegan and made responsibly. We cater to all, large or small groups, film set or not, all around the LA and OC areas (for now). We're currently crowdfunding to raise more money for supplies so we can serve even more people!
I'm also producing a really powerful project that will be out later this Spring, executive produced by and starring Anna Akana. The subject matter is hard, but so important to have a conversation about--and as always--we worked really hard to make our set as green as possible. And I have an ethical fashion film in development. I can't say much yet, but I'm super passionate about this project and even more excited that we will be donating to offset our carbon footprint along our journey.
My new business podcast called Give'm the Business with John Tabis and Bill Harvanek will be launching on Podcast One in early May too! We're aiming to help new business owners with their business goals and problems, while not taking ourselves too seriously. You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @GiveMthebiz. There isn't much online just yet but I'm really looking forward to sharing my experiences as a business owner to help others, and learning from expert guests we'll have on the air.

Purple Yoga Pants
The Stratus Crop Leggings and Reversible Top are paired perfectly for girls on the go.
What's set life really like? 
Ahh set life! Often times people think it's really glamorous and fun all the time! And sure it can be...but truthfully it's really hard, sweaty 12, 14, 18 hour days. The amount of stress, physically and emotionally, is a lot. It's very go go go and then hurry up and wait! A big part of producing is putting out the fires so it's all a delicate dance to not lose your mind pretending everything is fine. And that goes for a lot of jobs in the industry. It's often very high pressure, little sleep, little time for yourself. With that said, we try to bring light to our sets, book a few more days if it means not working 14 hours, feed everyone really well, start our days with yoga. Set is supposed to be about telling impactful stories and ideally working with people you love. We really strive to find a balance and make sure everyone is heard. 

What was your inspiration to start Set Intentions?
Just that--the bit about how hard set can be. But before that, I'd wanted to find a way to heal my body, my physical body at first, from injuries and pain and once I'd figured out how I could do that I knew I wanted to help people. Then I realized just how amazing yoga is for mental health! With all this, and my background in working in tv and film, I wanted to merge my worlds. Lots of times there are yummy food and coffee trucks, so we want to provide our take on that--some time for people to come flow, nap, whatever they need, and enjoy a delicious beverage. Down the road we'll offer massage too. We just want people to have some time for themselves and take part in something that serves their mental and physical health. Lots of sets are incredibly wasteful too so our hope is to inspire people to do better, just by making them aware of mindful alternatives to plastic water bottles, trash bags, packaging, etc. and of course making them more mindful of their own needs and creating space for them to set their intentions and go inward.

How do you practice sustainability on set?
We use compostable trash bags, compostable flatwear, cups, plates, etc. We buy snacks in bulk and use reusable containers and bags. We bring in 5-gallon water jugs and remind everyone to bring their reusable water bottles. We shop second hand, upcycle, and we never throw anything away. We try not to over order anything and when we do we make sure it finds a good home and can be eaten or reused. We separate the trash and recycling and always dispose of batteries responsibly.  We also encourage people to carpool. Whenever possible we consolidate and limit our number of equipment trucks and it's even better when we can hire solar powered ones. And we work digitally and print on recycled paper when necessary. With Set Intentions set events, as well as all Set Intentions events, we donate to offset our carbon footprint. 

Sustainable Reversible Tops
The Stratus Crop Top is reversible for double the sustainability.
If you could tell a first timer one thing about the benefits of mediation and yoga, what would it be?
Oh man. That's a hard one! Kailee, from I'm With the Bands, once said something like, "meditating is like taking out the trash." It's not about totally zoning out and being free of worry. It's about coming back to your breath and the present moment without judgment. So while you are distracted and going through the catalog in your brain, you are aware of it and your make the conscious effort to come back. I often say to myself in my mind, "No, no. Come back!" and I do and it's really therapeutic. Yoga is also great for letting shit go--one of the hardest muscles we have to work is this ability and it is always a practice. Yoga teaches you to be kind to yourself, to feel, to respond to your mind and body's feelings and then to let it all go, both physical and mental tension. And I always start my practice and classes with setting an intention, breathing in and filling up the intention with light, with breath, with power, with everyone's energy empowering it, and then letting go of anything stopping us, relationships in our way, and just breathing it out and removing the cloudiness. Setting those intentions is a practice that will help you manifest. There's something very real about it, whether you believe in the Universe, God, or not. When you believe so strongly in something and you set your mind and your heart on it, how could it not come true? 
What's your favorite way to feed your soul?
Taking my cats to the park with my fiancé is my favorite. There is nothing in the world that gives me more joy; like giddy, childish joy!

What's your favorite way to feed your belly? 
TACOS!!!! Forget Taco Tuesday. My fiancé and I eat tacos nearly everyday. We love them so much our cats are named Taco and Truck.

Sustainable yoga clothing
The Triangulate Matching Set is as green as you are. 
Can you share a daily intention with us?
Everyday I light my "I can" candle and most commonly the intention I set is to be grounded. I have a lot of stressors and anxiety so this is something I consciously practice daily. I highly recommend doing this. You can light any candle. Close your eyes and breathe. Set your intention, whether it's for your yoga practice, your day, your month--you can choose things like being forgiving, see the divine in everyone, to be a leader for your students or peers, creating time for self care, etc. The most important part is checking in with yourself and gratitude for your ability to set an intention. 

What's your strongest trait?
My ability to speak my mind. It used to get me in trouble. I once received the "Most Outspoken" award and it was looked at like a bad thing. And perhaps I didn't always use my voice in the best way. Now, I breathe and collect my thoughts and then voice my opinions, concerns and questions and use them in ways to positively affect the earth and underserved communities. 

Who is your WCW?
My woman crush Wednesday is Benita Robledo. She's an amazing eco-fashion blogger who speaks from her heart. We started working together last year and she has become a dear friend. I admire her commitment to sustainability and her openness in talking about mental health and how fashion has helped her. Her instagram is @benita_robledo.
Set Intentions in the Triangulate Matching Set
Set Intentions in the Triangulate Matching Set

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