Alexa's infectious, positive energy invited us to want to interview her for our journal. She tells us about how she takes a break from overwhelming content and how she's caring for herself this year. An artist and a vintage curator, Alexa lives in Sacramento, CA, where the golden sun constantly shines.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What you’re working on currently, your greatest passions...
I’m Alexa! I’m 26 years old and currently living in Sacramento, CA as a freelance artist and a small business owner with my boyfriend Korey! We have an online vintage shop, White Oak Vintage!
White Oak has been such an incredible creative outlet for me to do everything I’m passionate about; art, photography, fashion. Currently I’ve been working on showcasing our winter collection and curating for next Spring! Owning a small business is a full time job, I’m either sourcing vintage or photographing it. I have so much fun connecting with other artists and models to bring my vision to life!
Styling recently has become one of my favorite passions. I’ve always enjoyed playing dress up, but now styling for our models or customers has brought a whole new element to being a stylist. My favorite part of styling others is seeing the confidence radiate from them when they love what they’re wearing. It makes my photoshoots so much more fun when the models are feeling good about what they’re wearing and are hyped up.
We love that you sustainably source pieces for White Oak Vintage – what does the process look like when you’re picking out these pieces?
Honestly, I feel like a treasure hunter on a mission to save the planet. White Oak has taught us so much about the fast fashion industry and the effects of mass production that we’ve become extremely passionate about being as sustainable as possible in every aspect of our business and in everyday life.
Fun fact for ya, did you know that three out of four garments will end up in landfills or be incinerated? That’s why we shop for vintage! Reusing clothing that has already been made is such a special thing to be a part of. Each item is a relic of fashion when it first was produced. Which means, craftsmanship meant to last, sustainability, and prevention of human and animal exploitation.
We mainly shop at second hand ma and pa shops, estate sales, and occasionally dumpster diving. What’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Supporting the reuse of clothing not only will force fast fashion brands to cut back on their production but will also help the environment in the long run. Being mindful of our shopping habits is incredibly crucial for the health of our planet right now. I think we can all do this while looking extremely good in vintage or shopping from small brands that are ethically and sustainably made.
In addition to your vintage shop, you also share your art through Instagram. Have you always been drawn to creating art? Who/what inspires your gorgeous illustrations?
I’ve created art since I can remember. An artistic gene runs in my family, so my mom actually taught me how to draw! I’d always have her draw me the front cover of movies or books and I’d get so jealous that she was better than me.
I didn’t take my first art class until my freshman year of high school. From there I trained traditionally for studio art in college! The human form is one of my biggest inspirations. I took a nude figure drawing class in college and the respect and love I learned to have for my own body and others no matter the color of skin, size, form is truly empowering. I would highly recommend taking a class in general. It’s an incredible experience to take away from.
I also think growing up in a tropical location has a huge impact on how I see the world. Anything that’s organic or bright really inspires me. I try to capture a feeling in my artwork and I usually let the viewer interpret that. Recently I’ve been letting music inspire me which has been so therapeutic.
In a world where we are consistently overwhelmed with content, inspiration, and images, what is your version of taking a break from it all?
Oh god, traveling was such a huge inspiration for me so quarantine really put a cloud over my head. That’s when I started going on long walks without my phone! It’s amazing. I really try to be as present as possible. I just walk and admire the trees changing throughout the seasons and pray one of the neighborhood cats is outside and wants a lil scratch. I also enjoy sitting outside in the open field near my home and just feeling the air, stretching, singing to myself and pretending I’m good.
What is it like living in Sacramento, California? What is your favourite thing about living there?
This is a classic story of “I met a guy and he took me back to his hometown.”
I was actually a flight attendant for a major airline previously to White Oak and freelance! I didn’t care where in California I was, I just wanted to be in California. So I was stationed out here in San Francisco and as the story goes, I met Korey, fell in love and ended up here! It’s some serious stomping grounds for the ‘California Gold Rush’ that happened in 1848. So much history, perfect for vintage.
We live right on the American river which is incredible. During summer months we take a cooler, tubes, and float down to hidden spots with rope swings. It’s the perfect location honestly. Two hours from Lake Tahoe, hour from Napa/Sonoma Wine Country, and an hour from San Francisco! I’m lucky, I have some options but Sacramento has been wonderful to us. The seasons are beautiful and no snow in the winter so I’m all for it.
This year has been an unexpected turn for all of us. As you reflect on this past year, what has been something new you’ve learned?
I’ve learned to be okay in the silence. I’m sometimes such an extrovert that the calm makes me restless. Quarantine forced me to learn how to slow down and focus on important things such as my health and relationships. I’m learning how to create a safe place in my mind by establishing boundaries for myself. It just feels like things are finally coming together and I’m feeling really good. Ready to take on life!
How are you caring for yourself during these uncertain times?
A self care routine is EVERYTHING. It truly was the first thing I was able to do for myself when everything started to become uncertain. It was a little chunk of the day devoted to my well being and is a time to set my intentions for the day. I listen to music, take a hot shower, do my skincare routine and have fun picking out my outfit for the day. Even if I’m not getting off the couch, glancing at the mirror and seeing myself with some sort of effort makes me feel good each day.
In a constant search for a more intentional lifestyle, we love hearing what practices others appoint to their lives. What are some of your daily practices that you’ve incorporated?
I’ve been journaling! Another way to set my intentions for the day. I have a chance to sit, sip coffee, and express whatever is on my mind on some blank pages. This really allows me to just get my mind ready for the day.
What do you hope the next year will bring?
I hope the next year brings more human and spiritual connection for me. My family lives in Florida so it’s been tough during quarantine being on the opposite coast. I actually just recently became a first time auntie! My brother and his wife just had a baby girl and I’m beyond excited to spend time with my new niece and spoil her. Adding a new addition to the family has been one of the most beautiful experiences. I wish for more bonding with my family and creating unforgettable memories this next year.