We had the good fortune of connecting with Alessandra “Alley” Leto and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alessandra “Alley”, how has your work-life balance changed over time?

HI! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. Excited to be able to share  my work/life experiences. I guess I will go back to 5 years ago when I started exploring the influencer space. I actually had no clue what a blogger was and had no idea that brands were willing to work with “normal” moms to share products in an organic way. When I started getting serious about working in the influencer space, I literally worked all day trying to learn everything I could as quickly as I could to understand the industry better. Everything from pitching, to contract negotiations, storytelling, SEO, website design, basically everything I needed to know to get me up and running and considered a “serious and professional” influencer.  I learned very quickly that even though dedication is super important when starting something new or working on a goal, it’s also incredibly vital to unwind, relax and unplug. I feel now in my career I have a much better understanding of that balance and do create healthy boundaries to have success professionally and also personally.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

Sure! I am actually pretty proud of how my story all started. My digital life started after an awful chapter in my life. I know, you are probably thinking “that doesn’t sound all that great”. Well it was. It was what I needed to push me to find some sort of creative outlet. That’s when I stumbled upon Instagram. It was this online space that instantly felt like home to me. Being able to connect with other women, online, while I shared my struggles gave me strength. It made me happy to hop online every day. I don’t think my online community will ever know how much they helped me during that challenging chapter in my life.

Also, working with local and national brands has been incredible. I never imagined I would get into this industry, it feels surreal in many ways. When I started, it was not easy and in some ways, it still isn’t. My industry has seen tremendous growth in the last 2-3 years. Getting work isn’t as easy as it once was. I have to really hustle to get brands to notice me and want to work with me. I feel what sets me apart is that I had a professional career for many years prior to my digital life. My interactions with brands are handled with great professionalism because of that past experience. When you haven’t had that corporate experience, you can’t relate to PR agencies and brands in a way that will be fruitful for both parties. I do believe that is why brands come back and want to work with me again.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Gosh, I feel like Houston has so much to offer it’s almost impossible to narrow a list down. There are so many things to do here. If I had a friend visiting me in Houston, there are so many places I would love to take them to. Some of my favorite spots are going to Minute Maid Park to watch the Astros play, The Museum of Fine Arts, River Oaks Shopping Center, Tasting Room in City Centre, Top Golf, Memorial Park, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Lawless Spirits & Kitchen (love their rooftop bar), Eat Bellagreen, The Rustic and so many other great places. Honestly, there are too many to list. I guess it would come down to what we were in the mood for.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people that I would like to give credit to. My parents, my sister, my husband, and my 3 kids. Not to mention the countless women I have met in the last few years that have supported and encouraged me to keep going. Without all of these people in my life, I wouldn’t be doing what I do now. I feel very grateful, for sure.

Website: www.lifeofalley.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lifeofalley

Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifeofalley

Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifeofalley1

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7G6sUEpKcTHsVEiWGZj7MA

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.