Meet Alyssa from the Anais Anette Flagship :
A native Calgarian, lover of her two pups (one significantly larger than the other), wedding enthusiast (and planning her own rescheduled wedding for 2021), the best friend anyone could ask for, and an all around positive and inspiring woman with a heart of gold.
Let me be the first to tell you that there aren't enough good things to say about Alyssa Conrad. Whether you are just meeting her for the first time or you've known her for years, it's Alyssa's genuine smile and sparkle in her eyes that draws you in, and her authentic warmth makes you want to stay and hang out for awhile.
In September of 2015 Alyssa launched Pearl + Dot, a Calgary bridal boutique that quickly rose to (what I call) bridal stardom and was the place to find your dress. Five years later, Alyssa continues to grow and evolve both her business and her passion & enthusiasm for all things weddings. This past fall, Alyssa transformed Pearl + Dot into the Anais Anette Flagship store and opened the doors to a whole new bridal concept in Calgary.
Anais Anette is a "Canadian made bridal collection for the modern woman looking for that effortless, simple and classic wedding dress" [taken from the Anais Anette website]. With a focus on minimizing the carbon footprint in the industry and giving back to the community, this is a company that believes in quality, experience and people- the partnership with Anais Anette and Alyssa is a match made in heaven.
"I have learnt to not be afraid of change but to instead embrace it.
I have learnt that I will never settle or do the expected and I will always reach for what's next, because life is too damn short not to reach for the stars. Here's to the next 5 years of taking risks, crushing goals and making waves."
From the way she runs, build and grows her business, to the way she treats those around her, to her easy laughter that could warm even the Grinch's stone-cold heart, Alyssa Conrad is a woman that I have admired and looked up to for years and there was no question that I wanted to tell a bit of her story.
How would you describe your style?
I find my style really depends on my mood that day! I love a good pair of jeans and a T-shirt, but nothing makes me feel more confident than a killer high-waisted dress pant. The words that come to my mind when I think about my style are feminine, classic + laid-back.
What is one piece of Jewelry you don’t leave the house without?
I never leave the house without my engagement ring [obvi!], but lately I have really been into layering necklaces. I am also obsessed with my new ‘Be The Light’ ring from Apostle ;)!
What do you do to reset or get ready for something big?
Taking my dogs for a walk at Edworthy always seems to reset my mood and help my mind relax. Since moving into our home, I have also become a bath girl! I find it the perfect space to relax, and reset for what’s next.
How do you give back to your community?
We recently set up a campaign at The Anais Anette Flagship where all proceeds from our Anais Anette T-shirts will be donated to BIPOC charities throughout Canada.
Our first charity that we are donating proceeds to is a wonderful charity out of Toronto called Black Women in Motion. They are a youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of black womxn and survivors of sexual violence. They work within an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centered framework to create culturally-relevant content, educational tools, healing spaces and economic opportunities for black womxn. You can learn more here: www.anaisanette.com/givingback
What advice would you give someone that’s an idea/dream but is holding back?
Someone else is eventually going to bring your idea to life, so why not let it be you? If this year has taught us anything, it is that life is unpredictable and you never know what is going to happen … so why not reach for the stars?!
What advice would you give someone that’s just starting out on the entrepreneur path?
I think it needs to be said more often that the life of an entrepreneur is not all fun and games. It is hard work, and you will be challenged in more ways than you can ever imagine. The rewards can be amazing, but you better be willing to work your a** off to get there!
As we all know, social media has a way of showcasing only the highlight reel of things and I think a lot of people think entrepreneurs are ‘living the dream’ … but this path is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to grind and make your dreams a reality, because at the end of the day, it is up to you how your story unfolds!
I love how Alyssa is so honest about the challenges and hardships that come with the entrepreneurship journey, yet she does it in a way that is encouraging and inspiring. Alyssa has been a mentor to women where she shared her experiences, given guidance and pushed people towards their goals.
While Alyssa Conrad is kind, upbeat and exudes a brightness that seems to be so rare, she is a force to be reckoned with. She knows and means business, she is strong-willed, and doesn't let anyone get in her way to making things happen.
I am grateful to know Alyssa and to be able to share a bit of her story with you- thank you friend, for your generosity of time, spirit and laughter.
I also need to thank and acknowledge those that helped make this shoot happen and help create & capture the beauty of this small business community here in Calgary. Yes, there are women in these photos, but there is also a group of women in the background that also encompass all that I talked about- these women are killing it and I am so honored to know them and to have worked with them.
Shoot Organizer & co-Planner : Chelsea from Coco & Ash Weddings and Events
Photographer : Chelsie from Chelsie Graham Photography
Hair & Make-Up : Priya from Beautymark Makeovers
Wardrobe : Whitney & Sheri from Crabapple Clothing