Alex Elle, Founder, Balm & Co
Alex Elle has a way with words. A scroll through her Instagram feed can often feel like she is speaking directly to you. Her poetry resonated with her community in such a deep way that they urged her to pen her first book, Words from a Wanderer. Love in My Language soon followed, along with a meditation journal, and a third book is on the way. A similar outcome happened when her daughter asked to make lip balms. Alex trusted her instinct, didn’t let fear get in the way, and the project quickly emerged into a successful natural beauty line—Balm & Co. This driven momma, author, entrepreneur, and soon-to-be wife was generous enough to chat with Lisa Says Gah a mere six days before her nuptials! We spoke about finding balance, going out on your own, and knowing when to just take a nap! Enjoy!
Hi Alex! Where are you from?
Hola! I am from a little suburb in Montgomery County, Maryland. Born and raised on the east coast, despite feeling like I belong in Southern California.
Describe your typical workday.
I rise around 7am to get my kiddo ready for school. After mama-morning-duty, I come home and start packaging orders for our skin care line, Balm & Co., get any meetings out of the way, and lately, I have been trying to dive into my writing more so that I can finish my third book. My day is pretty all over the place until about 3 pm before after school-mama-duty. The life of an entrepreneur!
You are one busy lady! Between being an author, mom, traveling for self-care workshops, collaborating with the coolest brands, and running your independent skin care line with your daughter how do you maintain your work/life balance?
Self-care, naps, and more self-care. Work/life balance for me is comfortable (now) because not only am I doing what I love for a living, I know when to create boundaries. However, that wasn't always the case. It took a lot of trial and error to figure out what WLB looked like for myself and family.
You are getting married in a matter of weeks . In everything I've read by you, including Love in my Language, you encourage girls not to settle. What's the single most important piece of advice or lesson you could give to young girls today about finding their love or growing their passion?
I will be a wife in approximately six days. We tie the knot on May 28th, whoop whoop! I am not huge on giving personal advice, but in my line of work, I do often share what contributed to love finding me and embracing my passion. And personally, timing, understanding my worth, and being honest with myself played a huge role in me feeling like I was not only fulfilled, but, succeeding.
Tell me about Balm & Co. How did it come about and what are the ethics behind the brand?
Balm & Co. came to fruition with the help of my 8-year-old daughter and I. In a nutshell, she wanted to create lip balms, and I wanted to share my passion for clean, non-toxic, and all natural skin care. We merged the two interests, and Balm Co. came to life.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
You are enough.
Any advice for someone who wants to self-publish?
Do it! I am huge on my being an indie artist. It's wonderful and has worked exceptionally well for me, and other artists that I know. I tried the publishing route and it wasn't for me. I definitely recommend looking into self-publishing to anyone who asks.
What habits or act of self-love could someone pick up right now, today on their journey to self-care?
Honor where you are and enjoy the journey. Those two things are imperative for cultivating the love of self. They also both require patience and dedication, which are the best teachers, in my opinion.
You quit a 9-5 to focus on being a creative entrepreneur full-time? Tell me what that was like? Any advice for young girls that want to start a company, grow on social media, or redirect their path and not let fear hold them back? (More simply, how does one conquer fear?)
Yes, yes! I quit my day job over three years ago. It was exhilarating and took a lot of preparation. I wrote about that experience on my blog, Another Sunday, if anyone wants to read it about how entrepreneurship chose me. While I was working for someone else, I always had my creative career going on on the side. I never let it fall to the wayside; I needed my creativity to feed and fuel me, there was no way that I could've taken on my day job without it. Leaving took a lot of courage, passive aggressiveness in the workplace from my boss and some colleagues, and the courage to leap out on faith without fear of judgment from my family. It wasn't easy, and it took me three jobs and over five years to decide to fly or fail. I've been flying ever since, and enjoying every bit of the ride, even the turbulence. Conquering fear looks different for everyone. So, to that, I would say, life's too short not to do what fills you. Prepare accordingly and be smart about your transition. The worst that can happen is failure, but the lesson in failing is, success can't bloom without it.
Do you have a favorite book or quote that resonates with you?
Tuesday's with Morrie by Mitch Albom and The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. Must reads!
Has your personal style changed since working for yourself?
Yes! If I had to describe my style now, it would be this: comfort, neutrals, and minimalism. LOL, in that order.