(S)hero = A woman that is making our community a better place through the incredible work that she has done.  

You know immediately who this person is in your life.  It is the woman who inspires you, who brings a smile to your face and heart, and who is making a positive impact for others.

Today, we are honoring the first (S)hero nominee; Tiffany Piotrowicz! She was suggested by several people in Rochester, MN because of her creative ways she is giving back to the community.

You might know our (S)hero from the $5 5k’s at TerraLoco, where the run is set up to help a local non-profit in the area, or her latest support with “Donate to Drink”.  Women's Night, self-defense classes for runners...those are just a few more ways she is helping and encouraging women with her business.

Tiffany was kind enough to chat with me and share a bit about herself and some encouraging words for you.

Tiffany Piotrowicz Credit: Kynn Schulz Photography

(S)hero:   Tiffany Piotrowicz

Occupation:   Store Owner - TerraLoco

Where did you grow up?  Rochester!

How long has Southeast Minnesota been your home? My dad is an IMB'er & we moved here when I was about 7. I was part of the first graduating class at Century High School (class of 2000). I love this area and didn't go far for college - attending Winona State University for both my undergrad and graduate degrees.

What is the one thing that you want people to know about you? I don't really know how to answer this question! Maybe that I'm a business person without a business background? :) I have an undergrad & graduate degree in English Language & Literature! I have two dogs and would have several more if I had the time and space!

What is your favorite thing to do in Southeast Minnesota?  Enjoying the great outdoors! We have so many beautiful parks & trails to enjoy! Whitewater State Park, Chester Woods, Gamehaven, the Rochester trail system, Quarry Hill... those are a few of my favorites. :)

Favorite quote or saying?  My signature has included this quote since I first started at TerraLoco: "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great." I love this quote because it speaks to me as a person who would never have considered herself a runner until about 7 years ago. It also speaks to me as someone who struggles with anxiety - if you're always waiting to do something until the perfect time, you'll always be waiting. Is it easy? No. But you have to start somewhere!

What musician do you like to listen to the most?  I am a musician (piano & voice) and lately, I've discovered that I need music in my life, just like I need exercising/running. Like running, I think listening to music gives you a natural high that helps with mood & motivation. My favorite artists are powerful female vocalists. Recently I've been listening to Grace Potter & Elle King.

Favorite hobby? In the little free time I have, I like to be creative. That usually means drawing or coloring, playing the piano, or cooking! My hubby & I will play board games or engage in a little friendly competition while playing MarioKart in our free time!

If you had a day off - a day to do whatever you wanted to do and you didn't need to worry about paying, what would be your dream? Fun question! If I were staying in Rochester for this fun day, I think I would want to check out as many local restaurants & food trucks as I could! There are so many great local places that I haven't had a chance to try yet.

Who is your (S)hero and why?  Wow, another HARD question and I'm afraid I couldn't pick just one woman! Two people immediately come to mind: Sue (Reinke) Walch and Joy Larson. Both of these ladies I have known for more than 25 years. Sue Walch is an incredibly brilliant businesswoman and provided support & advice for me as I transitioned into being a business owner. I also witnessed first-hand her bravery & strength when her first husband Troy Reinke passed away from ALS almost 10 years ago. Joy Larson has such a positive attitude about everything. She was the one who inspired me to start running initially and has supported me at TerraLoco from day one. She overcame cancer, gives of herself daily, and lights up any room. She is funny, brilliant, and beautiful to boot! One thing I love about Joy is she is always willing to try something new.

What is the best piece of advice that you would give women today? Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to be you. Don't be afraid to speak up. Don't be afraid to embrace your shortcomings. Don't be afraid to be proud of your accomplishments. Don't let the fear of the unknown keep you from doing what makes you HAPPY.

Thank you, Tiffany, for being such a positive (S)hero in our community!

Who will be the next (S)hero? Click here to nominate someone today!

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