We had the good fortune of connecting with Sabrina Summers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sabrina, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My blog was inspired by my journey with an autoimmune disease. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease in the spring of 2017 after months of trying to figure out why I was sick all the time. Unfortunately the doctor I was seeing in the beginning to treat my autoimmune disease told me there was no hope to live a “normal life” and that diet and exercise wouldn’t be beneficial. After a bad medication reaction and a visit to the ER on my birthday because of the medication I was originally prescribed, I made the decision to change my diet and lifestyle to work towards a goal of living life to the fullest. I changed my diet to a gluten, dairy and soy free diet and started exercising more and it almost felt like I was gaining my life back! I wanted to share with others the hope of living life “normally” even with an autoimmune disease which is why I started my blog, Summers Side Up! On my blog I talk about traveling with food restrictions, tips that have helped me combat Hashimoto’s Disease and inspirational posts to help anyone look at life “Summers Side Up!”
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My blog, Summers Side Up is about looking at “The Sunny Side” of things regardless of what challenges come our way. My blog was originally started as a way to help others who are battling an autoimmune disease and looking for some ways to help combat it. My blog has morphed into a beautiful community and on it I share my travel adventures, places I eat on the road that can accommodate my gluten, dairy and soy free lifestyle, fun activities to do in Arizona, and ways to add more positivity into your life. I think to be successful in blogging and truthfully in any aspect of life, you have to stay true to yourself. I pour my heart and soul into each blog post because I want to help others; that’s just who I am. There is only one you, so shine and show off that cool unique person you are, because you bring something special to the table. We may have underlying similarities, but at the end of the day you and I have different stories and both stories are worth sharing! I think that’s what sets me apart, that I try to have the real me shine through the words on my blog. Never in my wildest dreams did I think the doors that opened from this blog would happen, such as traveling to conventions and working with companies all over the country. I feel truly blessed! I am a big dreamer and as I mentioned before I put my heart and soul into everything. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would become what it has today. Of course I had big plans for it, I just never imagined it would turn into what it is today! Working with some of my favorite brands and being able to travel has all been amazing! Truthfully though it’s the little moments when someone tells me that I found a restaurant near where they live and they had no idea it could accommodate their allergies or someone reaching out and telling me how my story gave them hope. Those are the moments that keep me going and writing. My biggest hope for my blog is that people would see a girl who wants to inspire others that there is hope in every situation. That even when it feels like the world is falling apart, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I try to implement and practice on my blog looking at the “Sunny Side of Things” and keep things light and fun. I have learned along the way that you won’t be an overnight success. In the beginning it’s a little awkward trying to find your groove; however, every day I get better at my blog, and it’s fun to look back and see how much I have grown as a writer. Whatever task or job you do, the more you commit to getting better, the more it’ll reflect in your work. No one is an all-star overnight, it takes being consistent and disciplined to get you to where you want to go.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Phoenix is truly one of a kind! I love being in a city that has “desert vibes” with hiking trails and scenic views, but has all the amenities you would want in a big city! I am originally from North Phoenix, which has grown a lot, it’s crazy to see how much it’s grown. I love the Scottsdale area, but truthfully for a night out I prefer Downtown Phoenix. Restaurants you will most likely catch me and my pals at are Picazzo’s Healthy Kitchen, The Place, The Vig, Barrio Queen, or one of Fox Restaurant Concepts or Upward Projects restaurants. My favorite bars: Windsor, Postinos and Valley Bar! For the best happy hour, you have to check out Picazzo’s Healthy Hour. All the places I mentioned are accommodating to my gluten, dairy and soy free restrictions. If you really want to treat yourself with some baked goods that are allergy friendly, I highly recommend Jewel’s Bakery and Nami. Of course you can never go wrong with some shopping with so many great malls in the Phoenix metro area, during the winter and spring time of year I would visit one of the outdoor malls such as the Scottsdale Quarters or Biltmore Fashion Park. A perfect Phoenix Day would consist of hiking Piestewa Peak and afterwards getting brunch at The Vig! During the baseball season I would add going to an Arizona Diamondbacks game. After catching an afternoon game I would go home and get cleaned up and head to Healthy Hour at Picazzo’s Healthy Kitchen. If we didn’t go back to get cleaned up after the game, I would head to Joyride Tacos for dinner and finish the night at Valley Bar. There is something for everyone in Phoenix! I think that’s what I love the most about this city, you can go from a hike to a brunch or go shopping all within driving distance. Phoenix has it all!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people that have given me encouragement and pushed me to work towards going into remission with my autoimmune disease: First things first I have to give credit to the big guy upstairs, Jesus. My faith has played a huge role in my journey! To all my friends who ensured that when I visited their homes or went out to eat with them, who went out of their way to find safe places for me to eat (that can accommodate my food restrictions); There are not enough words to express my gratitude and your kindness helped me keep pushing forward. I am so thankful to have the best support system who I know are always there for me through thick and thin. You all know who you are and just know how much I love and appreciate you. To my family who has always supported me in all my endeavors, thank you! I love you all and appreciate you always encouraging me to go after my dreams. Lastly, my boyfriend Nate, who from the beginning of my journey always encouraged me to always keep moving forward when it felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel. You are the reason I am who I am today. Thank you for all you do for me. You are my sunshine and I love you!