Photos by Felicia Lasala.
RED Valentino dress (old, similar here and here; last seen here) // Mesh overlay dress (old, similar here) // Tory Burch shoes // Nannacay bag (last seen here; available in black and orange ombré) // J. Crew sunglasses // Chloé perfume
We are still deep in our DIY renovations downstairs, hence the lack of posts this past week. But we are almost finished, so that’s exciting! Until then, I am getting personal again today by sharing my blogging story. A lot of you have asked me how did I get my start in blogging, so today I am sharing that story.
My family would agree when I say I have loved playing dress up since I was 2. I’ve also been a dress lover since before I was born, and I would collect travel books to places around the world (and yes, even Disney World) every single time my mom would take me to the bookstore as a little girl. While I never expected it at the time, I was destined to have a career in style and travel as well as journalism, which all my English teachers used to suggest for me (and I ignored them like a true stubborn teenager).
I began modeling at age 16, and since I grew up in New Jersey, I used to commute often to the city for photo shoots and castings. This was my official introduction to the fashion world. Despite loving to dress up as a child, I had absolutely zero knowledge of the fashion industry. For the next 7 years, I modeled professionally in NYC and Los Angeles. While I loved what I did at the time, I never expected to model for the rest of my life. I always knew I would branch out into something else, however I had yet to discover what that “something else” was.
What’s funny is I personally feel my blogging story’s start isn’t incredibly interesting at all compared to so many others. My blogging story truly begins in 2013, when my husband ended up landing a lead role in the CW show Reign. This meant we would have to relocate to Toronto for 6-9 months out of the year for however long the show would last. My modeling career and agency were based in Los Angeles, but I wanted to travel to Toronto with Tor (and our cats) to support him and experience life in Canada (although I ended up traveling back to LA often especially when Toronto winters rolled in). My LA agency connected me with another modeling agency in Montreal so I could continue to model while abroad, but in my gut I felt that this wasn’t what I truly wanted to do anymore. I wanted to do something more than just modeling, so I took this as a sign to explore another venue.
At the encouragement of Tor, he suggested I should maybe look into blogging while I was in Canada. Initially, I didn’t look at it as a career or a way to make money. It was honestly something that could keep me busy and give me something to do. It also kept me in the fashion industry by exploring my own style. I was a former Miss USA and fashion model at this point, so I had experience within the fashion industry and had a “name” for myself. I also loved the challenge of styling myself now and discover what my own style was (as opposed to stylists on set choosing for me), and Tor always wanted to study photography but never had a real reason to and this was his chance to do so.
Finally in 2014, my first blogging site “Jumpers & Jasmine” launched. At first, my site only featured photos taken on my iPhone. We were testing the “blogging waters” to get an idea of what it involved, and Tor was still studying photography (as well as filming his television show). Then in 2015, I rebranded and relaunched as “The A List.” When I look back to where we first began and how this site came to be what it is now, I feel immense gratitude as well as pride. Now we work with designers and brands I have idolized for years as well as get to travel to places I used to daydream about in school (sorry, teachers – I swear I was paying attention, too!). While blogging is certainly a lot like modeling, as a blogger I feel I get to be more than just “a face” or even “a body” for a brand. I get to represent and talk about styles, brands, and items I genuinely love, and I like being able to connect with my readers and followers on a more personal level that I personally felt I couldn’t do while I was a model. This isn’t a slight against models at all, as each model has a different experience from the other. I’m just sharing how I felt and why blogging felt more appealing. We honestly didn’t expect blogging to become our way of life but at the same time, I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else.
Blogging isn’t easy. In fact, I personally find being a model easier than a blogger. There are plenty of challenging moments, and just like in modeling, there’s a bit of rejection. I am my own boss which sounds awesome but at the same time it can also be a little bit terrifying especially when you run your own business. However, no matter how many times I have felt defeated or challenged in a way that makes me feel out of my league, I am still the happiest doing what I do now for The A List. It incorporates all of my passions, and it also gives me the chance to work alongside my husband (he’s the best partner in life I could’ve asked for). I look forward to seeing where my blogging story takes us many years from now!
Photos by Felicia Lasala.
Alyssa, you’re so gorgeous!!!! You’re my fav model & fav style.
Aww thank you!
Thanks for sharing this story, it was really interesting to read. I really like the style of your blog and the photos are just amazing! You can be really proud of this work.
Thank you, Kristina!
Thank you for being an inspiration and amazing role model! I just recently discovered your blog and it is so inspiring and uplifting! Tell your husband he is a great actor and we love the show Reign! I started my sister on it when it first aired and have my friends watching it now! 😊 You bring a personal touch, love and happiness to your blog and it shines through every time! ❤
I’m so glad to hear your sister and your friends love Reign! I know Tor will be flattered. Thank you so much for the sweet compliments 🙂
I read your Blog since the first day.
You and Tor are a good Team.
I like the stories and the Pictures. 😘
Kicking butt and taking names since day 1 of blogging. Proud of you.
Great story! It’s so nice that you can make a living doing what makes you happy.
Thank you, Cathy. I definitely consider myself lucky and I am very grateful for it.
I don’t usually comment, but I’ve been here since the days of J&J and I wanted to let you know how happy I am that you found something you love so much. Keep that chin up and that beautiful smile glowing! You’re a true artist and I wish only good things for you.
Oh wow! I am excited to hear you’ve been a fan since J&J! What a journey since then! Thank you so much 🙂
Thank you for inspiring me to dress beyond my comfort zone! I am trying to be more daring and bold based upon your blog. Everyone notices the transformation! Thank you for taking time from your busy schedules to inspire your readers.
Aww that’s so great to hear, Jen! I cannot wait to see your style!
Hi there! It’s me, also known as @bobamprev on twitter! I find your experience quite interesting, thanks for sharing it! For the past two years, I started reading blogposts about beauty, fashion and obviously travels and I must say that I really enjoy it! I’d like to be part of something like this, you know, having a place where you can share your views on things and discuss about those, but I don’t know how to do that. I’d really like to have a blog but what could I share? I’m seeing different kinds of blog and I saw women sharing their dresses (like you) but I’m thinking that I can’t afford myself to spend that much, or I can’t travel that far. It’s maybe too early for me because I’m only 19 but I don’t know. I could need some advice to start somewhere in a simple way.
Anyway! Enjoy your trip in Mexico with your chips eater husband!
Oh and I forgot, I love these 2 dresses together! How did you do that??? It’s GENIUS !