We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Glass and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
From a young age I knew that nothing would be handed to me. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Orlando, Florida by my single mom—a proud Colombian who spoke very little English, working eighteen-hour days to keep us afloat. For both my brother and I, we knew our fates were in our own hands. I lived my life by one mantra: Failure is not an option. I didn’t have the luxury of not making it work. I earned a full-(ish) ride scholarship, worked full-time throughout college, grinded through the summers. Things were tough, but it made me stronger. I applied to a study-abroad program in Spain, asking my mom to cosign for the loan. When I received the letter denying approval, it was the first time I realized that my determination wasn’t enough to get what I wanted. It was the first time I felt my socioeconomic status limited my future. I wanted more. After college, I miraculously landed a job at a boutique investment bank in Manhattan, clinging to my mantra like my life depended on it. New York changed everything. Two years later, I met Jesse. Office banter turned into emailing which morphed into a full-fledged long-distance relationship. I thought I was Carrie Bradshaw; he thought he was David Guetta. I knew it was the real thing when he moved across the country for me and proposed a few years after. Our wedding in Cabo San Lucas was magic. The food. The mezcal. The vibrancy of it all. Mexico stole our hearts. In 2017, my expat dreams had come true. Jesse got accepted to an MBA program and we boarded a plane to Barcelona, Spain. We traveled. A lot. I learned a ton about the culture and, well, wine. It was the best two years of my life. We left Spain with an appetite to settle down and start a family. Before I knew it, I got pregnant after our first try. Frankly, I was more nervous than excited. It happened so quickly. After eight weeks, I miscarried. That was one of the most isolating and painful experiences I have ever gone through. I was in a hazy fog for months. My hormones were a wreck. My body was out of whack. I felt like a failure. I decided that I needed to do something for myself. So I booked a trip to Cabo and invited a girlfriend to join. I needed Mexico to lift me up, to reinvigorate my spirit again. My soul needed that vacation. Little did I know that something incredible—an idea—would come out of that trip. Months later, I left for Oaxaca, Mexico to do some soul searching. I fell in love with the city, spending my days sifting through local markets and learning about the intricacies of the Otomi coasters and more handmade treasures that I lugged back. Oaxaca was the turning point. I wanted to figure out how I could share every discovery I made with the world. Pass the Salt was no longer just an idea, it was an opportunity. It was the thing I needed to pull myself out of that gloomy haze. This entire entrepreneurial journey has reminded me of what I’m capable of. That I am enough. It reminded me to never let the lioness inside me go to sleep. That failure is still not an option. I hope our hosting boxes bring you joy, like curating them does for me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After undergrad, I moved to NYC to work at a boutique investment bank for three years in a marketing and salesforce.com capacity. I then worked for American Express as a Marketing Analyst where I managed the Salesforce.com across three regions. I was then recruited to work for Deloitte Digital given my 5 years of experience working with Salesforce.com. Deloitte gave me the “I finally made it” moment in my career where I finally felt like I fit in and belonged. My peers were transparent about their ambition and cut-throat which suited me well. I loved working in a high-pressure environment serving clients to produce the best product possible. I can confidently say that my time at Deloitte equipped me for entrepreneurship. The “figure it out” mentality has served me well when launching a business in the midst of a pandemic. As far as my biggest challenge, I’d say it was working in NYC amongst the best. It felt like a big leap to go from living in Orlando to working in NYC but it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I still consider myself fairly new to Los Angeles but below are my must-sees: Driving along PCH. Walking the Pacific Palisades beach for a sunset stroll OR watching the sunset from the Pacific Palisades Bluff. Take a scenic bike ride through Abbott Kinney. Arrange an ocean view hike in Malibu then grab a bite to eat at Duke’s or Malibu Farm on the Pier.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As predictable as it may be, I’d have to extend the shoutout to my husband, Jesse Glass. From the beginning, he’s always had faith in the concept and my ability to launch a business in the midst of a pandemic by myself. His background in finance, product, and operations have been a huge help. We met in the workplace so it’s not surprise that we would work well together. I’m grateful to have him as my partner in life and in business.
My personal image. Image with the jam + cheese. And the product flatlay image with the green napkins. @estanaphoto https://www.instagram.com/estanaphoto/ Work images: the second, third, and sixth: https://www.instagram.com/juliastotz/