We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Mari and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit – even as a 10 year old, I was out at the end of our drive way selling lemonade and handmade jewelry. I ran little business ventures all throughout high school, so it was a really natural progression for me. I love the flexibility owning your own business provides – the option to take on work that fuels me creatively, the control over my own time, and the ability to let my life shape my work and not the other way around.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One thing my mentorship students will often ask is if I’ve had any major game changers that set me up for success, and my honest answer is not really. More than anything – in work, in art, or in business, the most important thing you can do is be dedicated to the work you’re doing, even when it’s challenging. I built up my business and portfolio while I was earning my bachelors degree, and doing both simultaneously was the hardest hurdle I’ve had to get over in this journey. Of course, one important thing to remember, is that we’re not meant to grind our lives away or fall into a never ending hustle culture – it’s ultimately unsustainable and takes away from our ability to fully immerse ourselves into the human experience. It’s all about making a plan for what you want to achieve, balancing that plan with all aspects of your life, and being willing to work really hard for a time to get where you want to go. And at the same time, not getting so caught up in the grind that you never come back out the other side to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to create.
I spent many years cultivating the space to do the work that I do today, which has ultimately set me up to have the free time that I crave for other creative projects, to be able to shoot imagery that inspires me and to be able to just enjoy being a 24 year old, and everything that comes with it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Topanga! I absolutely love getting away from the city for a day and driving the winding road up into the canyon. Grab a bite at Cafe on 27 or Inn of the Seventh Ray, hit up Moona Star for some cool vintage finds or delicious incense, and then make your way down to the beach for a lounge or a swim. Also I’d definitely say, don’t sleep on all of the amazing antique malls in and around Los Angeles (especially the areas that you wouldn’t immediately think of like Pasadena or Burbank). There are some incredible gems to be discovered and you’ll meet the coolest shop owners!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve never had the opportunity to really highlight this meaningful event in my life publicly before, so I’d love to recognize two dear family friends, Tom & Jody Evans who lent me the money to purchase my first dslr camera. They believed in my work even as a young girl and helped pave the way for me to begin really practicing the art of photography.