We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Alexander and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wanted to start my own business to be able to share my creations with the community and help people through plants and wellness. It’s a great feeling to be doing something that I truly love and have a passion for, while connecting with people and learning more about their lives as well. I learn something new each day, whether its by my own research or speaking to customers and amazing people along the way.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started ital wellness with the mindset and intention to help improve the lives of others around me and to share my wellness creations with all who can benefit from them. ‘Ital’ in short is a Patois word from the Jamaican culture. It basically means organic; clean, from the earth, free from pesticides, growth regulators & contaminants. It’s about being mindful of what we put into our bodies to obtain a higher consciousness and overall better health. I felt that word best represented what we stand for, as well as what my business is centered around, organic loose leaf herbal tea. Herbal tea is special. Unlike your average tea which all comes from the same Camellia Sinensis plant (green, black, oolong, white tea etc.), herbal tea is made by mixing a variety of plants: herbs, flowers, roots, berries & fruit. My tea blends are specific and offer infinite holistic properties and divine flavor. Drinking my herbal tea is a great way to naturally improve your health while enjoying a refreshing and delicious beverage. I also offer hand wrapped, sacred plant smudge bundles, crystals, gemstones, jewelry, bath/vegan skincare products and more. All of my tea ingredients are organic and most all of them are fair trade certified as well. Many of my sacred plants are grown and or harvested myself. My sacred plants that only grow in places like Peru or Ecuador like palo santo for instance, are sustainably and ethically sourced, which is why I don’t mind paying more for them. I feel this is extremely important, especially now, when the market is flooded with illegally harvested or imitation products. It’s important to keep in mind that you need to always respect the plant, the region it grows in, the people harvesting it, and the spiritual and medicinal properties it holds. I’ve faced many challenges throughout my business ventures, but I’ve always overcame them by staying true to myself, doing my own thing and focusing on my initial mission and what I’m passionate about and here for.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Cali is fun no matter where you’re at. Where we live we’re about 45 minutes from the beach, the desert, the snow or the mountains, which is why I love southern California! For the best week ever I’d recommend an early morning hike; there’s tons of national forests around, especially in LA. You can hike up to the historic Hollywood sign, or goto one of the scenic parks or forests nearby. Lunch? No problem! Stroll down the hill and check out some great vegan spots like Nic’s on Beverly, Mowhawk Grill, or for a little more fancy atmosphere Crossroads kitchen. The beach isn’t far away and makes a perfect eating spot or walk. Next up in the week let’s head to the desert for some ridin! We love our dirtbikes and the best places to ride are in the beautiful desert hills; Joshua Tree for example. There we can explore hidden coves, visit the nature center and end the night at a campground, say Jumbo Rock or perhaps just Airbnb it! Looking for some water and gemstones? Forest Falls is your spot! Seriously breathtaking views, with cool clear waterfalls and streams lines with a multitude of crystals, minerals and gemstones to admire. This spot lies pretty much at the base of Big Bear, so you don’t have to travel up a ton of crazy elevated roads to get there. After all that adventuring we’ll end the week at some local farmers markets and vegan events. Long Beach for example has a ton of hidden gems and buying food and crafts from small businesses is the best feeling! After the market a great place to wind down is Crystal Cove. It’s a beautiful beach with the best shells and walks. There’s even a nature center to hike in the hills across the street. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I feel like I owe my success to so many people; friends, family, customers, and more. I’d say my sister was my biggest inspiration for beginning my business. She’s been a small business boutique owner in the bay area for over 20 years, and has always had such a joy for what she does. Her perseverance and attitude is beautiful and motivating. So much infinite love and gratitude to my man; my best friend and partner for almost 13 years, Robert. He’s kept me going when I thought I couldn’t make it, believed in me when I doubted myself and most importantly he’s inspired me, loved and supported me through it all. He’s beyond talented, intelligent and selfless, and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without him by my side. I’d also like to shout out my parents. My whole family is filled with small business owners and my parents have been some of my biggest supporters and motivators. They’ve taught me the importance of hard work, staying consistent and doing what you love. They’ve always accepted and supported my dreams and visions, and I owe so much of my success to them.

Website: italwellness.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ital_wellness

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