CADETTE WOMEN | Alexis Quintero

My name is: Alexis 
I grew up in: El Sereno, East Los Angeles 
I currently reside in: Studio City, LA Valley 
I make a living by: I work Freelance for Farfetch, while modeling, designing, consulting and owning my small business Fruta de Dulcé
I'm passionate about: Creating 
My astrological sign is: Gemini 


Can you briefly describe a current day in the life of Alexis?

Since Covid and work being on hold at the moment my days have been up and down. But once I wake up I make my bed, clean up my room/home, put my humidifier or candles on, wash dishes, get ready, make tea or coffee, listen to music, browse things on my laptop, write ideas down, make creative decks, work on projects, make food, watch tv/ movies etc. 

Some days I’ll run errands like grocery store, wash clothes, drive around, go on a walk or bike ride, shoot for a project, paint, make an extravagant meal, sew with my aunt, work on my future clothing line, take an online class, learn a new skill etc. Just depends on the day and my mood.

(left – Alexis by Yavez Anthonio, right – Alexis's Odds Cuff, Petite Form Necklace, Theia Ring & Thalia Earrings

When did you first discover your creative spirit? 

I feel like I’ve always had a free creative spirit since I was young. I used to dress up in different outfits for different songs that would play, used to cut/ make my clothes look different and be very picky with anything I’d want or get as gifts because I had a specific style I liked. I didn't like my hair to be touched, I liked to make up my own games and I was never content with doing the normal things and always wanted to do my own thing whether that be in school at home etc. I don't think I fully realized the potential of it until I got older and realized I could make a career out of it. I can still struggle with it and can doubt myself but I think that’s a part of the journey.

(vintage photos of Alexis and her family)

What has your support system been like throughout your journey? The path of a creator or artist can be a challenging one, did you always have the right people around you that supported your vision and goals?

It is most definitely a challenging journey being a creator or an artist because it’s a lot of battle with yourself. You can create things and be over the idea once it’s out etc. Luckily, there’s a lot of creative people in this generation that share the same battles and understand which makes it more reassuring. My support system has been my family who love me and are always there for me. I don't think I've always had the right people around me. But, I’ve learned how to filter that and have friends who inspire me and motivate me - wish the best for me and vise versa. It’s very important to have that because I feel the company you keep helps you realize the power you have within you when you can't always see it yourself. 

You truly are a multi-talented force – from styling, to consulting, to modeling and entrepreneurship. What is your view on pursuing multiple passions? Any advice for others trying to balance this, as well?

Aw I truly appreciate that! I feel the hardest part about it is staying motivated and pushing yourself esp in entrepreneurship because no one will care if your business is successful or not - only you will. So I think the hardest part is pushing to create the content, making your ideas happen, putting things out etc. I think pursuing multiple passions is the best part because when you're tired of one or uninspired you can create in another and at the end of the day they all flow into one. My modeling helped me know what I want to do, how I wanted to style myself or think of  a shoot concept, then sourcing clothes, starting a business, making my own things then consulting, styling and designing for other people. The skills you do for yourself can lead you to other opportunities. So it’s important to push yourself to make things happen which is the hardest part. But, times are different right now and it’s ok to take a break and just be easy on yourself so your mind is right to do what you wish to do in life. 

What is your favourite, or the most gratifying aspect of the work you do – the underlying *why* that drives you?

Hmm, this is a hard question. There’s been a lot of things that have held me back or can be discouraging esp with Instagram, the pressure, feeling not good enough or what's the point in all this now etc. I think for me I have to ask and remind myself who I am doing this for and what my ultimate goals in my life are. I want to make something different, I want to make lasting change. I want to make more and help others. Ultimately, I want to make my ideas happen and give back to the community where I grew up and create more there. I feel I'm grateful and blessed to live the life I live when others don't have this opportunity in other communities, areas of the world etc. What drives me is knowing that and not settling or giving up because I have something to fulfill with the opportunities I’ve been given and a duty to give back.

Do you have a mentor or an individual in your life that has helped guide you along the way?

I don’t really believe in one mentor, I believe people come into your life for reasons and you learn something from everyone around you. I think sometimes when you ask for an answer or guidance it'll come to you so to just be more aware of those things in your life. I have been really blessed to meet and come across beautiful people who have helped me in my life even though they may not know it. 

I admire your vision behind the Fruta De Dulcé shop featuring used & vintage women’s wear. What was the impetus to starting it?

I wanted to start Fruta de Dulcé because at the time there weren't many online stores that resold vintage Japanese designers amongst others. At the time there was only Grailed for men and I wanted to bring that take for women but make it bright, edgy and fun. Fruta de Dulcé means sweet fruit in Spanish. I chose the name because it reminds me of brightness, boldness, and sweetness, which is everything a woman represents to me. I try and pick bold statement pieces that you can add to your every day wardrobe.

(Photos from Fruta De Dulcé

Who or what are some of your main sources of inspiration, today?

Listening to music, watching movies, my clothes, furniture etc. I also like to always have a note pad with me and sketch an idea or write an idea when it comes to me. I prefer that over iPhone notes. I also get bored of things easily and see something I own and think of ways to remake it or make use of it elsewhere. 

(Alexis in her Odds Cuff, Nami Ring & Theia Ring

Are there any books, podcasts, or resources that you are currently enjoying?

Any Bell Hooks books are great. I just reread ‘Talking Back’ by her. I also recently purchased some books/ magazines for inspiration - like ‘Ettore Sotsass and the Poetry of Things’ & Cassi Namoda's cover issue for Vogue Italia.

On the topic of self-care – do you have any daily rituals that bring you joy, relaxation or peace of mind in today’s overwhelming environment?

I can get extremely overwhelmed being reminded how much bad and negativity is in the world. I can get worn down, stressed, sad at the thought of everything and feel stuck in ways I can help. But I’ve tried to learn that nothing can happen with me unless I'm well mentally and emotionally. Creating helps me so much with seeing the world in a better light and better future. I try and do one creative thing a day while listening to music. Like painting, sewing, sketching, taking photos of things at home etc. Driving to the beach with a book and watching the sunset has also been very peaceful for me. Dancing at home is also so fun for me. 

(Wearing Thalia Earrings, Petite Form Necklace, Odds Cuff

Final question: what is your favourite go-to meal or recipe at the moment?

My guilty pleasure meal is Chile Rellenos and beans. They’re stuffed poblano peppers that are fried - so delicious! I also love to make beef stew it smells amazing when cooking and gives me a great warm feeling. 

Connect with Alexis