In case you missed last week’s interview with Megan Joy Yancy, I’m sharing some interviews of some of my favorite women in business! They’ll be sharing some general background on their families and how their business got started as well as some wisdom on collaborations!
Today’s guest is Lex Daddio of Restoring Radiance! Lex and I have been “internet friends” for years now (you may remember her from this post and her amazing dark chocolate peanut butter cup recipe)! Her blog and Instagram is full of amazing recipes and food tips and lots of encouragement to love yourself just as God made you. I just adore this girl!
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself (family, work, etc).
Hi! I’m Lex and I live in Richmond, VA with my husband Thomas and our 7 week old baby, T (AKA Thomas III after his daddy). I’m a full-time mama, and run the Instagram @restoring_radiance, which is all about real food, intuitive eating, and eating disorder recovery. I recently started @restoring_mama to share more about motherhood, pregnancy, and all things baby T! Some of my favorite things include: cooking with my husband, snuggling/ being present with my boys, Italian or Greek food (okay, Mexican too), reading a good book in the bathtub, enjoying good wine or craft beer mixed with good conversations, baking, and watching the Food Network (mostly just Giada and Barefoot Contessa).
2. How did your business get started?
Actually, my story is a bit different. I started my Instagram almost 6 years ago now as a personal food and exercise journal. It was a private account and no one new I had it. I was struggling with a severe binge eating disorder and I used it like personal accountability. One day, I accidentally made it public (my worst nightmare), but it ended up being the best thing that ever happened. I continued sharing my journey, food, exercise, etc. and as Instagram grew and the hype of Influencers grew, so did I. I had a few jobs through college and after as I pursued making this my full time job, until I finally got to the point where I could make that happen. It took A LOT of time, effort, consistency, but I honestly loved it and had so much fun sharing! I know that is sort of vague haha, but that’s the basis of how it started! I also sell candles and tanks on my website that I created as an encouragement for those going through an eating disorder or just wanted to be encouraged!
3. What is your favorite part about having your own business?
I have two things for this, because I usually would say the people I’ve met through Instagram and this space. Which is still one of my absolute favorite things. I’ve met amazing people that have become friends and so many that inspire me and I look up to so much (for example, Jen!!!!) Now since having a baby, I’d have to say that my other favorite thing is being able to work from home. Although I actually work my best from a coffee shop or somewhere else, because I get way too distracted at home haha. But I am SO thankful that I don’t have to go back into an office to work and get to stay home with my little boy!
4. What does community over competition mean to you?
Everything. Honestly, I think that’s what it’s all about. I never got into this to be competitive. I honestly got into it when I was in such a dark and vulnerable time of my life. It still feels like fun and that I’m just sharing my life over a real job and business. Back to before, the community and people I’ve met through Instagram have made such an impact on me and especially on my recovery (thankful I’m totally free and don’t struggle with an eating disorder anymore!) I’ve learned so much from others, and think it’s way more important (& fun) to stick together and support each other. I have no interest in trying to compete with others. We all have different stories, lives, opportunities,etc. and I always think about the quote “comparison is the thief of joy”. I couldn’t agree with that more. If you’re constantly trying to compare, beat someone else, or waste your time being jealous, then you’ll miss out on your own life and the blessings right in front of you!
5. What have been some of your most favorite brand collaborations to date?
Oh man, I’ve had so many amazing opportunities and collaborations and I’m so grateful! I’m currently working with Alden’s Organic and Julie’s Organic Ice Cream! It might be my favorite, because I’m always trying delicious ice creams and making fun recipes with them. Also, the people at the company are so kind!
6. How do you feel brand collaborations have helped your business?
Immensely! It’s actually my main source of income. I truly only work with companies that I believe it, trust, agree with, and actually like. I really don’t post anything I don’t like or don’t use and In try everything before I decide to collaborate with a company!
7. What are ways someone could get started with collaborations?
This is a great question! I feel like when it comes to Instagram it’s SUPER important to be authentic & real. Also, be yourself, because there is only one of you so no else has what you do! I think the more you grow and share and connect, the better! That being said, I think it’s wonderful to support the companies you’d like to collaborate with. Follow them, comment on their posts, engage, and then there’s nothing wrong with shooting them an email telling them about yourself and that you’d love to collaborate. Some companies will jump right on it, and others will decline you, and that’s okay! It’s always worth a shot, and you never know what opportunities could come about if you don’t at least try!
8. Who are people you feel are killing it in the brand collaboration side of business?
Oh SO many people, but a some that popped in my head: Ambitious Kitchen, Broma Bakery, What Robin Eats, Nourish Move Love, & Fit Foodie Finds.
9. What’s something we need to know about you (anything random, fun, etc)?
I have a deep love for European culture! I’ve traveled over there a bunch before getting married and actually lived in Barcelona, Spain for 6 weeks! Thomas & I’s goal/ dream would be to move over there for a year or so at some point! Also, I’m a HUGE fan of baking, and want to master the art of baking things like: croissants, sourdough, pies, and well basically everything.
10. How can we find you? (website, social handles, etc)
Thanks so much, Lex!
Be sure to come back next week to hear from one of my real life besties, Morgan from construction2style!