Story last updated at 6/6/2012 - 2:11 pm
Petite, with a pixie hair cut and colorful tattoos visible over her arms and chest, Stephanie De Roo just looks fun, like you might want to put her in your pocket and carry her around for a day. And she is sweet enough that you just might feel obligated to return her, to The Rookery Café, where she has been a barista for a year, or to Landscape Alaska, where she also works.
At 24 years and 11 months, De Roo described herself as "Happy. I have everything. I have to be happy," though she admitted that some day she wants to build a cabin and own a Labrador retriever.
De Roo grew up in Anaheim, Calif. She has a twin brother. Her father is an engineer for Boeing and her mother is a chemistry professor, but De Roo said she has little interest in science.
"I was quiet," she said, when asked what she was like as a child. "And well behaved. I played outside a lot. I was always making something. Paper houses, with characters."
Her artistic capabilities landed her a job at Disneyland, where she drew caricatures of tourists. Occasionally, she said, moms would get upset at the drawings of their children, and say, "That's not my kid!" Her coworker at Disneyland once made a child cry. But caricatures are supposed to be silly, she said, "They're not going to be attractive."
Disneyland aside, perhaps De Roo's claim to fame is her close relationship with Amanda Babin. Babin was one of the first sets of twins to compete in a season of "America's Next Top Model." De Roo has been a friend with Babin since she was 14 years old, and the two made the drive up to Alaska together after De Roo earned an associate's degree in art from Fullerton College.
De Roo's first job in Juneau was at the downtown Heritage coffee shop. Then she moved to The Rookery Cafe, where she uses her artistic abilities making latte art.
She said she makes a concerted effort to put herself in other people's shoes, which she doesn't think people do enough.
De Roo has an interest in psychology, and has been working on a bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska Southeast.
"I don't care about careers," she said. "I probably should. That's how you get a house."
De Roo also doesn't have much interest in partying.
"My friends and I craft together, I don't like to go out," she said. "We do tie-dyeing, jewelry making. My friend showed me how to knit."
For now, that's plenty to content De Roo.
"All I need is dogs and friends. And coffee. And mountains," she said.