Hello! I am Alexis! I am a mother, wife and the owner for the creative enterprise, Curio Press. All my designs are a reflection of my personal style...classic floral with a preppy twist...oh and I absolutely love PINK!
I have lived in seven states, but a majority of my years were in California. We currently live in Saint Louis, Missouri and love it. I went to undergrad for Architecture, then decided I had a passion for print and earned a Master’s degree in Print Media from RIT in New York.
Where does Curio Press come into this? Well, like SO many women, I was diagnosed with endometriosis at the age of 24 (little did I know this would be just the start of my health journey). After living in New York for 6 months and attending graduate school, I went from being a functional young adult to complete agony 24/7. Over that year I muddled through many doctor appointments, research and my studies. Things eventually were bad enough, that I had to take a semester off and focus on my health.
I worked for the school as part of my graduate program. Now with my sudden medical crisis, I did not have a job or the extra income we needed. I wasn’t well enough to leave the house or be on my feet for any length of time. What I did have were the skills from working in a print shop, all my years in design school, a pretty good collection of designs I had made for fun, and some serious determination. Within a few weeks of planning, creating more designs and setting up my Etsy shop, I was ready to take the plunge. OMG within 6 hours I had my first sale!
My business did NOT grow fast. It was a slow process, but one that I embraced and maintained patience for. In today's society we are so anxious to have it ALL immediately -- a sense of instant gratification and growth which is not realistic. We have to be patient, as hard as that is, and keep putting one foot forward each day -- essentially taking one day at a time. My medical issues at such a young age forced me to take things in stride and focus on what is working, what is not and then develop a plan to make things even better!
My health did improve slightly after that initial diagnosis and two surgeries. I was able to return and finish graduate school and decided then to pursue the business I created, full time. Our life has taken some twists and turns - we moved 3 more times (CT, MA, & MO), and had our sweet daughter Emma!
Above: This photo was taken in winter of 2016 when my living room was still the studio
Now, 5 years later we are still small (happily so) - just myself, a full time production manager and part time staff working out of my home studio. We have kept all our printing and production in house - same as the old days - with more efficient equipment. The most unique component to my business is that everything is created, printed and shipped from my home studio...not outsourced. We now sell on Etsy, Amazon and on our website.
My health journey is still ongoing and will be for the rest of my life. My abdominal issues got a lot better after an additional (3rd) surgery and hysterectomy to hopefully fix my endometriosis for good. But since then, I have been struggling with several autoimmune issues including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, thyroid cancer and then removal, primary immunodeficiency, and migraines. Through it all, I refuse to let my health stop me from getting things done...it may just take me a little longer to get there!
I hope my story can help inspire other women to pursue their creative dreams even when things seem most bleak. That dream or idea could and can pull you out of your dark place and allows you to create a life that you love to live. My best advice is this... you will never feel ready - do it anyway. The conditions don’t have to be perfect, just put yourself out there and do it! Your future self will thank you for it.
I am grateful everyday that there are so many people who want to shop small and local - my life would not be possible without you!