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#IAMABLE: Beca Alexander

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Beca Alexander is the President at Socialyte, a major social media influencer agency and content production studio. An early player at the crossroads of influencers and brands, Beca's drive and 'matchmaking' skills have placed her at the right intersection to achieve whatever she sets her mind to. 
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When I was really young, the possibilities of what I could become seemed endless. I could have become a ballerina, an olympic ice skater or tennis player, an artist, an engineer like my father. In my naive mind, anything was achievable.
And then, when I was 8, my parents woke me up in the middle of the night and said that we were moving to America. When I asked why we’re leaving the only home I had known, they said because all the possibilities are overseas.
Little did I know that the now former Soviet Union was not a place where dreams were made. People worked hard to have very little. And while my parents survived this harsh reality, they refused to accept the reality that their kids would have limited choice.
Learning English was hard. Assimilating into American culture was even harder. It took years for me to feel like I belonged. Years for me to feel like I was like the other kids, with the same chances and possibilities. Yet my dreams of becoming a ballerina were long behind me.
The American dream seemed simple. Get good grades in school, go to a good college. Get a good job. Eventually get promoted to a better job. Marry, buy a house, have some kids, consider upgrading your car to a minivan, and adopt a dog. None of this appealed to me. Except the dog part.
While getting good grades was again easy, deciding what I wanted the future to look like was proving more and more difficult. I was 8th in my class in terms of academic achievement, I spent my days drawing and painting, and obsessing over fashion. I wanted nothing more than to work for Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, or Miuccia Prada. I didn’t care about the job itself, just the idea of working for people I idolize, people who inspired me, people who gave me something to dream about.
I moved to New York as quickly as I could post graduation. With no plan but to eventually find my way to one of the big fashion houses. I interned and networked in hopes of meeting someone who could move me forward. And then one night, out of nowhere, I met the man who would forever change my path in life.
He was a little bit of everything and knew everyone. He worked as a digital consultant on Wall Street. He understood marketing and content and social platforms. He hosted weekly events for the fashion elite. We instantly connected and within months, I learned what he knew and began writing for his recently launched blog. A year after, the blog reached millions while a staff of 23 writers who reported to me created between 50-150 daily features. We flew around the world, attended the industry’s most coveted events, and my apt was starting to overflow from the amount of gifted product I had from designer friends. I was living the dream. Yet my bank account was empty.
The blog made no money. The writers were paid in school credit and an endless supply of snacks bought with my food stamps.  One day, I received an email from Richemont offering me a highly covetable corporate job for one of the world’s biggest luxury jewelers which came with a salary I couldn’t refuse. Within days, another email offered cash to sell the blog. I decided that a paycheck and health insurance was necessary for an adult human. Plus, I told myself that I could totally climb the corporate ladder and end up running shit in the near future.
About a year in, my blogger friends started seeing an increase in emails from brands interested in finding ways to work with them in a paid capacity. These friends consistently came to me for advice on best ways to try working with these brands. I quickly realized that my knowledge of the space and innate negotiating skills could be helpful. In fact, it could be a business opportunity.
For months, I spent my nights and weekends negotiating opportunities for my friends, earning 10% for myself.  One fine day, a brand reached out to me saying that they heard that I have very specific understanding of this new space and said they have 100K for me to run their strategy for an entire year. The next day, I put in my two weeks' notice.
It has been 8 years since I decided that I was able to start a business. I never imagined or pictured myself as an ‘entrepreneur.’ And there are still days where I don’t accept that term as a descriptor. Socialyte would not be the success it is today without the team that works nights and weekends to ensure that our talents and clients are happy. They’re the entrepreneurs. They’re the ones who are able to make this machine run. 
My name is Beca & I am ABLE to create my own American Dream. 

 

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