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In Focus | Alexis Toren

Meet Alexis! Alexis is originally from Maple Ridge and has been living here in the beautiful Okanagan for two years. She enjoys boating out on the lake with her friends & family and visiting the many local wineries here in Kelowna.

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I'm from Maple Ridge, BC (just outside of Vancouver) and moved to Kelowna for university and has lived here for 2 years!

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
It's impossible to just choose one person, but my favourite people to spend time with are my mom, dad and brother. They keep me grounded and are my biggest team of supporters through everything I do. Since both my parents have worked from home my entire life, I’ve been super fortunate to be very close to both of them, and they always have the best advice!

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
The "Grace" store in Orchard Park Mall is my absolute favourite! They always have the cutest stuff for every occasion! Plus, the ladies who work there are so helpful and friendly!

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
The Maldives! I could really get out of this weather and into some warm, tropical weather! Plus, I’ve never been to the Maldives, and I want to find out if it’s as amazing as everyone says it is!

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Where do I begin?! Boating, hiking, wineries, Kelowna seriously has it all. But boating in the summertime with friends and family has got to be one of my favourites!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
The most embarrassing thing that has happened to me is while I was doing a photoshoot last summer at a winery, I went on this little ledge to take a photo and a big gust of wind came, and I was wearing a flowy dress… I’m sure you can piece together what happened! Oops!!

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me was not too long ago! My friend from work came up to me and said, “OMG is this your account?!” And she was so inspired by my blog and my social media community, that she started her own blog! She told me that she has always wanted to start one, but never really truly knew how or how much work it would be and seeing me be a full-time university student, have a part-time job, and run my own blog and business inspired her to create her blog. Now she writes about topics she’s passionate about and is enjoying every second of it. She thinks I inspired her, but she truly inspired me.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
One of my favourite childhood memories is when my parents took my brother and I on a trip to see our cousins in Arizona and at the airport when we were getting on the plane to come back home after our Arizona trip, the flight attendant announced the plane was on its way to Santa Monica, and my brother and I looked at my parents and they just smiled because they surprised us and instead of going home, we were going to Santa Monica! Knowing me, I was stoked to see a place I’ve never been!

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I give back to the community by supporting local Kelowna businesses on my social media channels with over 25k followers with a large portion from Kelowna and help drive traffic to those small businesses!

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
If I could change one thing in the world, it would be to help young girls understand how beautiful they truly are and to educate them about social media and how to view it properly to ensure that their self-esteem is never compromised.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Sprout Bread Shop! If I ever need some time to work on my blog distraction-free, I will sneak away around 8 am to Sprout, grab a coffee and go upstairs and I'm usually alone at that time in the morning! And it's adorable!!

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I actually live in West Kelowna, and I would love to see it become more developed like Kelowna and have more businesses! People from Kelowna think West Kelowna is “so far” and I find that hilarious since I’m from the lower mainland where everything is actually far! I would love to see that misconception corrected about West Kelowna because it is beautiful here too!

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
Anyone who’s been to Kelowna knows what makes it amazing! Panoramic views, the lake, the beautiful wineries, the beaches, the restaurants; Kelowna is the place to be!

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
What are 3 things on your bucket list?

Go skydiving
Go to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
Go on an African Safari

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I love musical theatre and I actually did it for 10 years of my life!

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
People connect with me through my Instagram @TheBabeAbroad or my blog

What is the name of your business/organization?
My business is The Babe Abroad and I also recently started a clothing label called Infatuation the label @InfatuationTheLabel

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
Why did you get into/start this business?

I got into starting my own blog because of my mom actually who started her own lifestyle blog! She inspired me to start writing about what I was passionate about and now I couldn’t be happier with what I do! My clothing line Infatuation was started because female empowerment is so important to me, and since I was bullied by a lot of girls in high school, I was passionate about creating a brand that supports women supporting women.

What is the goal of your business?
The goal of The Babe Abroad is to provide a place where fellow travellers can share their stories as well get inspiration for places to travel and fashion styles for destinations! The goal of Infatuation the Label is to remind women how important it is to be infatuated with yourself; self-love!

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
The biggest struggle for me in my life is balance. I’m a second-year psychology major at UBCO as well as have my own business as well as having another part-time job at a restaurant to help pay for my tuition! I’m also in a long distance relationship as well as have a closely knit family; so balancing all of those aspects of life is difficult but I work hard to keep a healthy balance of everything while still getting everything done at the same time.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
If I could do things over again, I would have wanted my younger self to not care as much about what other people thought of me. Since I started getting into social media and blogging while I was in high school, a lot of kids were very mean and would make me feel like I was self-absorbed because I would post pictures of myself. And since those kids made me feel that way, I stopped blogging and posting for a year and a half until I realized that it truly doesn’t matter what those people think and I continued my passion of blogging.

What do you always find yourself saying?
“It was meant to be.”

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
My best piece of life advice is to do what you truly love and don’t let anyone influence you otherwise! Ignoring those haters are so important and always remember, if you have haters, you’re probably doing something right and they are jealous. You just have to keep going.

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
I would spend my day with Ellen. I think we would have a blast together (I'd probably be laughing at her jokes the whole time), but it would be awesome to be around somebody who started her career the way she did and her story behind how she became Ellen!

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
It is so important to shop local because you are supporting local businesses and you are supporting someone who started that business themselves and as a small business owner, that is so important.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment is definitely growing my blog and social media from 0 viewers, 0 followers, 0 posts, to a community of over 25,000 people who love reading and following along on all my stories and adventurous throughout my life. There is no better feeling than building something up from nothing.

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My amazing mother/biggest supporter/photographer/#1 fan, Pavlina Toren! She was the person who inspired me to get into blogging since she has her own blog and social media called @Cupcakes_and_life. She doesn’t just inspire me, she inspires over 50,000 people every day with her fashion, travel and lifestyle content! She is seriously the most amazing human being and she pushed me to do what I do today.

<who> Photo Credit: Alexis Toren
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Pavlina Toren

Some general comments I would like to share are:
I am so grateful to be able to do what I love for my amazing community on social media! I want every young person to know and understand that if you love doing something, DO IT and don’t be ashamed of it! I wish I could tell my younger self that! Focus on you, focus on your future, focus on your passion!

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE.

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!

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