Alexis Andra is the founder of The Shift Creative, a custom installation, event design, and styling business. She creates innovative art pieces and is drawn to textiles and unique design. She loves molten chocolate cake, is expecting baby number two, and her church community in Southern California.
Growing up I really wanted to be
A singer. But anyone who knows me knows that I don’t sing well, and am often off beat. I used to sing karaoke in my room as a little girl and my parents finally told me I could only sing at certain times. Can’t blame a girl for trying!
My most-used emojis are
Heart eyes, wink face with the tongue out, smirk, and doughnut.
My go-to order at a coffee shop is
An iced chai (the sweet kind), but lately I have been loving iced Moroccan mint tea with honey in it.
I don’t know how I ever lived without
A GPS. I am so not good at directions!
One thing people don’t know about me is
I am addicted to Chapstick. I go crazy if I can’t find mine.
My real life hero is
A college professor who challenged my perspective on life. He taught me to get past myself and put others before myself. He stressed the value of wisdom, and the danger of folly. He modeled cautious words, and spoke with clarity in fitting ways (something that I so struggle with).
What I love about my work is
The ability to be as creative as I can be! I love challenging myself, and designing pieces that are really unique! And it doesn’t hurt that I work for myself and make my own schedule!
The hardest thing about my work is
Not having a shut off button. I am constantly thinking about the project I am currently designing or ways to improve my brand. Also, in this industry people think its okay to text at all hours of the night. It’s not. I don’t often write back, but it’s still distracting from family time.
How I got started with my current career
My friend encouraged me to start a blog after I had my daughter because I needed a creative outlet. I started doing styled shoots here and there, and my very first one got accepted to Green Wedding Shoes and I’ve never looked back.
The dumbest thing I did when I was starting out was
To say yes to things I didn’t really want to do or that didn’t align with my brand. Wait — I still do that! It’s hard to say no — especially when it pays! I’ve heard it said that nothing defines your brand more than what you say no too. That’s so true!
I used to think success meant
Dolla dolla bills y’all!
My current definition of success is
Wisdom and humility. The material fades away. If all you do is strive towards what is perishable you’ll never be satisfied. There will always be someone who is richer or more talented than you. I would rather someone know me to be wise than rich. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t have both, but it means taking a humble stance on your journey.
An example of when I had to push through my fear was
When I started my business I was scared that no one would be interested in seeing what I create, or that I wouldn’t be able to break into this industry. I still battle with whether people like what I create. Every time I post something for the world to see there is a sense of vulnerability, but with vulnerability comes freedom from fear.
I know my work/life balance is out of sync when
Family time is very limited. I always want to put my family first so if I have been working late I re-evaluate my priorities and set boundaries on my work life. For the most part, we stick to a no work after 5 rule. Of course there are exceptions, but I adjust where and when needed.
The last time I created something I was proud of was
My art installation for The Cream Event. It was constructed of hundreds of sheets of transparent paper and hand-ironed wax paper that we painted rose gold, all suspended from numerous dowels. It starts as a chandelier over the table and goes back, curves around, and ends back at the front. It’s basically a 3D high to low chandelier that was a pain to make and install but so worth it!
I wish I could tell my younger self
Don’t fill the void in your heart with fruitless things. No matter how cliche it sounds — God is what you need. You feel alone? He will never leave you. You don’t feel pretty enough? He says you are the apple of His eye. You are confused as to why bad things happen to you? He comforts you and reminds you that from trials come growth, refinement, and maturity.
The legacy I hope to leave is
That I did the right thing even when it was hard or uncomfortable. That I took a stance even when it wasn’t the most favorable. That I modeled God in the way I honor and respect my husband, through the way I relate to others, and with boldness about Jesus. I pray I model these things well and that my children and the following generations can look at my walk and be encouraged to press on.