Outta COVID-19: Lockdown leads to Alisa's passion for waist beads
Owner of Made with Soul, Alisa Ince.
From modelling to dancing to creating her own business, Alisa Ince has not let COVID-19 prevent her from living her unforetold dream.
"I've always loved anything creative from drawing, painting, arts and craft, dancing, acting. So I've always been a creative."
Even though this is the case, she never imagined that a pandemic would be the stepping stone she needed to start her own business.
Alisa grew up in a culturally rich background. She was born in Germany and lived in Barbados with her British mother from the age of two.
She followed in her sister's footsteps at six years old to join gymnastics and later join the Barbados National Gymnastics team. For nearly a decade, she enjoyed gymnastics but at age 16 left the island to further her education at a school of the arts in New York where she received her high school diploma.
After completing her diploma, Alisa returned to Barbados to begin a life in modelling. Her modelling career took off, and she later signed with the London-based Bame Modelling Agency in 2019.
"From a very young age, I don't know what sparked it, but I did a photoshoot when I was three months old in Germany . . . I knew I always wanted to be a model.
When I was eight years old, I would do my own little photoshoots at home. I would put on makeup, put on some clothes, some heels. So, I knew that was always a passion of mine."
While enjoying her time being a model, Alisa quickly had to change plans due to COVID-19.
She packed her bags, caught the London red-eye flight, and made her way back to Barbados - this is when was when Made with Soul was created.
When asked about what was the inspiration behind starting her own business, Alisa told Loop Lifestyle that it was a lightbulb moment when she first started Made with Soul.
"As COVID broke out my mom and my stepdad said that they had to get me back home because things are getting a little crazy. So, I quickly packed up all my stuff and they got me to one of the last flights to Barbados before the borders closed".
She explained that on returning to Barbados she forgot her waist-beads, which she loves wearing, in London. Alisa searched for similar ones on the island but during her search, she convinced herself that she should start making her own.
"I did some research, I bought some material and I made my first waist beads. From there, a passion grew that I didn't really know I had for it and that's basically how it started…Even though it was something that I've never done before it was still in a field where I could express my creativity."
Before COVID, Alisa had an active social life unfortunately now she doesn't but she puts all her time and efforts into making her business a success.
"Most of the time now I'm building my brand and I love it so much that it doesn't even feel like work because I have such a passion for it. I wake up at five in the morning and start creating something. So, for right now I'm not going out that much, but my business has a huge priority," she said.
Even though Made with Soul is only an online store for waist-beads, Alisa wants to expand her products soon. She wants to begin making all forms of jewellery.
"I've already started creating earrings, necklaces. They're gonna come out very very soon".
COVID is not dampening Alisa's plans for her future. She wants to travel the world modelling, become a professional dancer and a legitimate business owner. She admitted to always wanting her own business and sees herself creating more business beyond Made with Soul.
"I'm a certified makeup artist so I'm looking to probably do something in that field as well. I like designing so maybe designing clothes and shoes. So, definitely, anything that allows me to be creative."
Alisa's journey to being a business owner truly defines the saying "When one door closes, another one opens".