Cheers to another edition of Chaotic Visions. In this series, I showcase amazing female entrepreneurs, their brands, and their roads to success.
This edition features Alexis Giostra, owner and creator of Strange and Charmed. I came across Alexis a few years back on Instagram, discovered her YouTube channel, and her entire Strange and Charmed brand. I gravitated towards her informational videos that were sleek, trendy, and full of resources. With a series like this, I had to include one of the people that challenged me to take my content to the next level by embracing the fact that I too am a resource to others.
What Is Strange & Charmed?
Alexis, better known to the Instagram world as Miss Trenchcoat creates digital productivity content to help individuals work smarter, not harder. She covers various platforms from her weekly blogs on Strange and Charmed to videos on her YouTube channel, plus productivity tools on The Charmed Shop. These tools really set her a part from the pack with on demand planners, inserts and organization tools, ebook courses, and video master classes centered around productivity, business, and success.
The woman behind Strange & Charmed?
Alexis Giostra began blogging back in 2008, created a YouTube channel in 2009, and although she knew she wanted to start her own business, she dabbled in other interests first. Aside from being a resource to others, she prefers movies over TV, opera on repeat, and is obsessed with perfecting a matte nude lip.
I am my brand in many ways, so as I evolve, my brand evolves.
What is Alexis’ mission?
My mission is to help women live their best lives and do more of what they love, les of what they don’t.
Her solution to this is exactly what Strange & Charmed exemplifies. Her productivity and planning research along with learning essential strategies for daily planning help women say no with grace and execute what really matters.
Crazy idea to create Strange and Charmed?
Unlike previous interviewees, Alexis did not have an “aha moment” when creating her brand. It was more of a “slow and steady wins the race” progression. She came into her own as an entrepreneur as she began to understand her own values and how she wanted to serve others.
How does Alexis stay organized?
Organization is key regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, a student, in the corporate world, a busy mom, etc. The list goes on and on. It’s one of the main topics that I am advocate of here on Chaotic Critic.
As for Alexis she uses a combination of her planner, laptop, and iPhone. She uses one of her print on demand planners, The Charmed Planner, offered through her shop. She prints it in an A5/half letter size, pairs it with her project planning bundle, and a few other organizational inserts she offers through her shop. All of this is then assembled into her planner that keeps her focused on her goals, projects, and other obligations.
What’s great about the organization that she uses is that it’s one that she provides to others. So many times we come across products and the people “selling” them do not even use them. When using Strange & Charmed products, any modifications made and questions you may have as a consumer are thorough due tot he fact that Alexis uses her product.
I love planning on paper and physically seeing my ideas and tasks, but nothing beats digital when you’re on the go.
Best part of being an entrepreneur?
A lot of people may be blindsided by the word entrepreneur and think that it’s all about working for yourself, not having to answer to anyone, making your own money, etc. It’s way more than that, but one thing for sure is that you are managing your time on your time.
Alexis noted that, for her, the best part of being an entrepreneur is having the power to choose how she wants to spend her time, most of the time. As a “solopreneur” she does a lot of behind the scenes, but with streamlining her systems she’s able to make quick work of those administrative tasks and spend more time on projects that matter.
Top 3 Tips for a budding entrepreneur?
- Understand why you want to be an entrepreneur.
- Start with what you have right now.
- Be flexible!
Alexis sees being an entrepreneur as the “thing” so many people want to do. To be successful at this, it’s important to know and understand your motivations so that you don’t waste your time, energy, and money pursuing something your heart isn’t in to.
On the flip side, while entrepreneurs can come a dime a dozen and the thought of being your own boss is enticing, not many act on it. Alexis recommends starting with what you have instead of trying to completely map out “x, y, and z.”
I believe their is no one path or blueprint to success and you can make anything work.
As for flexibility? What you start with may not work, but you have to be flexible enough to adapt and make the necessary changes in order for your business to thrive.
Sacrifices made as an entrepreneur?
I definitely didn’t spend my 20s the way most people would, but because of my hard work, I can spend the rest of my life the way I please!
While Alexis values time and spending it the way she chooses, it’s one thing she’s had to sacrifice along the way. There’s so many times that we balance a full-time job then leave there to work on our passions, better known as, the #sidehustle. When you completely dedicate your time to something new, it is very time consuming. As for Alexis, it all worked out in the end.
Definition of success?
I define success as being in the position to spend your time on what matters to you.
Best advice received?
If you want to make a million dollars, find a way to help a million people.
Finding a way as one person touring value to was many people as possible is something that Alexis takes pride in. She executes this by providing free products and content.
Goals for 2017?
I know so many women struggle with balance, time management and end up putting others first at their own expense. I’ve seen first hand how productivity and planning can help transform the confidence and lives of women, so I need to find a big way to get my message out to those who need to hear it!
As for Strange & Charmed 10 years from now? Alexis doesn’t believe in long term planning so we’ll have to wait and see.