Meet Alexa Carlin, founder of self-esteem centered organization and movement Hello Perfect, as well as the author of an upcoming easy vegan recipes cookbook! I had the pleasure of meeting Alexa three years ago when we were both in New York City for Teen Vogue's Fashion University. Since 2011, Alexa has continued to grow her brand and inspired young women across the globe with her empowering message. Read on to learn more about Alexa and how you can get involved in funding her cookbook!
Q: You founded Hello Perfect in 2011, a site and movement that aims to inspire, empower and educate those struggling with self-esteem. How has your brand grown and evolved over the years, and how much work goes into running such a dynamic website?
A: I started Hello Perfect in 2011 as just a personal blog and since then it has evolved into the worldwide movement it is today. The mission has always been the same, to redefine perfection, but now we are focused on implementing programs in schools to educate kids and teens first-hand on the topics of self-esteem, bullying, media literacy, goal setting and body image. It’s crazy to think that my personal blog turned into this movement that changes peoples lives all over the world!
Q: You’ve also overcome sepsis - a miracle in and of itself. How did this life experience change you, and where do you find the strength to continually share your story?
A: My near-death experience with sepsis changed my life completely. I was headed down one path and this experience turned me on a completely different path! After sepsis I struggled with a compromised immune system, digestive issues and post-traumatic stress. This affected my well-being and made me move back home to south Florida from my dream city, NYC because I wasn’t able to stay healthy there. Although I did struggle with depression, I knew that this experience happened for a reason and I wasn’t about to let it ruin my entire future. So, I decided to make the most out of the situation and began learning about how nutrition can help heal my body. Every doctor I saw the year after I was discharged from the hospital prescribed me more medicine and I was sick of putting my health in other people’s hands. I enrolled into the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified holistic health practitioner so I can teach others how to heal their bodies through nutrition as well.
The strength to share my story comes from my own mission in life, to make a difference in as many people’s lives as possible. I know my story can inspire others to push through the hard times and that is why I continually share my journey. I am here to show others that it is the darkest moments in out lives that create the miracles in our future.
Q: Since your battle with sepsis, you’ve been healing your body through proper nutrition, and you’re writing the Simple Gluten-Free Cookbook! What has your writing proceed been like, and when do you plan to publish the book?
A: It’s been so much fun! Instead of looking at the situation from a negative perspective, I decided to have fun with my lifestyle change. I began learning how to cook gluten-free vegan meals that are just as delicious as the meals I was eating before. I knew that my recipes could help others become healthier or help them with the transition to a gluten-free vegan diet, so I decided to write a cookbook! Also, every cookbook that i’ve read that is gluten-free or vegan contains recipes that have over 30 ingredients and takes hours to make! My recipes are simple, easy and are for people that want to be healthy but have busy lifestyles.
I am self-publishing my book and knew I needed some start-up money to help fund the printing process so I put my project on Kickstarter with the goal of raising $200. I was overwhelmed by the positive response and ended up raising $1,088 with 38 books ordered for pre-sale. My book is scheduled to publish this December!
Q: What advice would you have for young women who are looking to make waves and stand out in their industry – whether through starting up a blog or website, or writing a book?
A: Be yourself! With the crowded blogosphere, and book stores for that matter, it is crucial to be yourself when starting anything so you don’t get lost in the crowd. When you remain authentic and honor your truth, your story will shine through and inspire others.
Also – just start! There will never be a better day than today to start chasing after your dreams.
Q: Where do you hope to see Hello Perfect and your career in the next few years?
A: I would like to see Hello Perfect’s educational programs in 50 elementary schools and in over 100 middle and high schools in the next 3 years! I hope to also be a motivational speaker on tour sharing my story with others.
Hello Perfect is currently looking for passionate individuals to volunteer with to help reach the organization's goals and make a difference in the world! There are tons of ways to work with Hello Perfect, from becoming a contributing writer on our website to bringing Hello Perfect to your school to creating a fundraiser. 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities like cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking, or disordered eating. All of the proceeds from online donations or fundraisers go directly toward funding Hello Perfect's school programs to help decrease this alarming statistic.