Today’s Fearless Femme is an ambitious entrepreneur, author, and activist based out of New York City. If you’ve ever looked up travel or packing guides online, you’ve most likely come across Hitha Palepu and her empire. Tenacious and fearless, Hitha “truly embodies the mentality of ‘be the change you wish to see in the world'” according to her nomination. Not only has Hitha authored a successful book to teach people how to pack for any trip perfectly, but she’s also the co-founder of Bridge2Act, a technology startup enabling charitable giving in a more informed and easy manner. Get ready to learn more about this boss lady below!
Name: Hitha Palepu
Where do you call home? New York, NY
What do you do for a living? I’m the author of How To Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip and the founder of Hitha On The Go. I’m also an angel investor and advisor for startups, and am currently leading the seed round on behalf of Rho Pharmaceuticals.
Name 3 people who inspire you: Nancy Pelosi, Tiffany Dufu, and Oprah.
What motivates you? My family motivates me. They came to the United States with nothing, and have given us the best opportunities to succeed. Growing our legacy is something that motivates me. My son also motivates me – when I’m not working, I’m with him. I try to get as much done during the day so I can put my phone down and be fully engaged with him every day.
Who is your favorite person on social media right now? Sarah Lerner on Twitter. She’s a co-host on the Hellbent podcast and is as funny as she is smart and engaged in the news.
What is your greatest extravagance or splurge? My weekly blowouts at The Drybar and monthly facial at Heyday.
Where is your favorite travel destination? Anywhere I haven’t been yet! I’m eager to explore more of Africa, visit Antarctica, and travel through New Zealand.
How do you take your coffee? With frothy almond milk and two Stevia packets
Describe yourself in three words: Savvy, efficient, warm
What advice would you give your younger self? Train yourself to be an early riser and establish a solid morning routine.
Train yourself to be an early riser and establish a solid morning routine.
Where can we find you on a Sunday afternoon? On a little adventure with my family! We try to explore something new in the city (for our son) and then enjoy brunch (for us).
What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever gotten? You’ll be a wife before you have kids, while you have kids, and after you have kids. After having Rho, our twice-monthly date night became a downright necessity. We typically just head to a local favorite and leave our phones at home, and use the time to really connect. We also take a trip every year – just the two of us – to unplug and find ourselves again.
If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why? Wonder Woman. Strength and kindness aren’t mutually exclusive, and we all need more compassion and empathy.
Where’s your favorite place to eat? I could eat at Hillstone every day. I also love Gelso & Grand for incredible Italian, Sushi of Gari for Japanese, Jajaja for Mexican, and Junoon for a fancy Indian meal.
How do you stay sane balancing your life and career? I do a few things to maintain my sanity. I limit my to-do list to three major tasks, which I write in a small notebook that I carry everywhere. I won’t check e-mail before noon – which requires me to enable Inbox Pause (a Gmail plugin) when I’m actively not on e-mails. I leave my phone in another room when I’m with my family.
Coffee also helps. So does wine.
What’s your favorite app right now? Blinkist! I’m trying to swap my social media addiction for reading, and this app summarizes books into quick 10-minute digests. It’s a great way to learn more, and it screens which books I actually purchase.
Stay tuned for more Fearless Femmes throughout the month of September here on Femme & Fortune! And make sure to get your dose of inspiration and motivation IRL at our yearly conference for women who get sh*t done, FearlessCon, happening this October 13-14th in Philadelphia!