ONE-to-ONES WITH….. ALEXA!
I first met Alexa at the pop-up in Hossegor this summer and instantly fell for her understated style and quick wit! We sat down to chat about her new life in France, and what it takes to leave the city for a slower life overseas.
Tell us how you came to be living in Hossegor….
My boyfriend decided to move to Hossegor over a year ago to start his own Café in Hossegor. At the time I was living in London, working in Fashion PR and I knew at some point that I wanted to experience living n France with him. I have always wanted to learn another language and experience another lifestyle. For me, it felt like the right timing after a year of deciding whether I should move- I wanted to start my own creative projects and felt that by moving to Hossegor would give me that opportunity.
How have you found the transition from London life to French life?
I have grown up in London my whole life and I am so used to constantly being surrounded by people. There is always a fast paced madness to living in London, which I have to admit I really did enjoy at times. I loved living in London but I am a beach girl at heart, which is why I instantly felt a sense of belonging when I moved to France. I have my home comforts that I miss- like British food! Fish & Chips, Roast Dinners…going to my local coffee shop at the weekend. Just the little things. I am happy to be in France so far and I am grateful to live in such a chilled out place!
Do you feel more freedom in your role now to work with brands who you ethically align yourself with and if so how important is that to you?
Definitely. For me, working with brands that I feel a genuine connection with and brands that embody similar lifestyle aesthetics, just makes my job that much more enjoyable and easier. You have to receive some form of satisfaction working in this industry to be able to do your job effectively and working with brands I align with gives me that.
Have you found a better work/life balance being somewhere small like Hossegor surrounded by nature?
One of my biggest worries and challenges I knew I would face moving here is staying motivated to work when everyone is down the beach! The work/life balance seems to be mastered by most people I meet. Everyone who lives here seems to have the perfect balance of getting things done but giving themselves enough time to fully enjoy this lifestyle. It’s crazy to think how many hours I used work living back in London- it’s not necessary! I’m reading this book at the moment called ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ By Timothy Ferriss- it’s definitely helping me escape the idea of ‘normal’ working hours and adapting my hours to suit me. It is so important to have a healthy balance. Life is here to enjoy it.
From your work in PR how important is it for brands to be transparent and clear with where they sit ethically and sustainably?
Particularly in Fashion, ethical and sustainable brands are more relevant now then ever and it’s a topic that is continually being highlighted amongst the industry. It is important that brands can be as transparent and genuine as possible with their consumer in regards to where they sit from an ethical standpoint. Today’s consumer understands the importance of being ethical and sustainable and with the power of Social Media and the digital world- it can be detrimental to a brand that does not embrace ethical commitments.
As a woman starting her own business in a new environment do you have any advice for anyone thinking about a slower paced life outside of the city?
Plan and define as much as possible on what your business actually is. The beauty of living in a costal beach town is that you do have so much time to focus on your own business and personal projects. It can however mean that sometimes it’s easy to get lost and distracted in what you actually want to achieve. A Business Plan is such an important and helpful tool to refer to and keep you focused- if you can create one then you should! I would also say that it’s important to remember that everything won’t fall into place instantly and things take time. Be patience and be prepared to work your hardest- it will pay off eventually and you will be living that perfect lifestyle.
Do you have any artists, designers, music or good books on your radar you want to share?
My top picks!
Artists: I love simple silhouettes and line drawing- Frederic Forest is the best at it (@fredericforest)
Designers: It’s actually insane how many amazing new brands that seem to be appearing. My favorites…Orseund and Iris, The Line By K, Naninstudio, Realisation Par, Paloma Wool, Nanushka, Rejina Pyo, Magda Burtrym
Music: Horsebeach (All songs!), Cigarettes After Sex (Nothing’s Going to Hurt You Baby), Jorja Smith
Good Books: The Art Of Happiness (Dali Lama), The Alchemist, The 4-Hour Work Week