We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexis Dunnigan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexis, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
To me, as a parent, it is so essential to continue to grow as an individual first. It’s like the analogy of the your oxygen mask in an airplane. If you don’t put your mask on first and breathe oxygen, then you won’t be there to take care of your children. It’s very counterintuitive as a parent sometimes because we want to take care of our babies above all else. However I have come to realize by practicing self care everyday is essential for maintaining a healthy balance. By taking care of oneself first, I believe we are then able to give freely, love openly, and be a more fulfilled and generous person. Another important thing that I practice regularly is showing my children that I am not perfect. Telling them sorry when I make a mistake, and explaining to them that parents makes mistakes too. Giving us both permission to be ourselves, and learn from them.. Growth is the long term goal for our family, not perfection.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
XO Beauty Company’s mission is teach, support and empower women across multiple platforms, giving our clients tangible expertise, and an unforgettable experience. It is a company that can pivot and adapt to the needs in the market by creating personalized beauty scripts for each person, so therefore we are not limited, and can take advantage of the unique opportunities that may come our way Before XO Beauty, I owned a bridal hair salon where I specialized in bridal hair and makeup. Specializing in the bridal industry for a decade taught me so much. Was it easy to get where I am today? NO! It has been a Journey. However was it worth it…YES! Every step got me closer to where I wanted to be. I slowly chipped away at my career until I got to the place that I am now, and the MAGIC just happens. I am in my zone, and so happy…but it didn’t happen over night. In my early 20’s my career took a left turn after the recession hit in 2009. I was building my clientele at that time, and during the recession people started to space their hair appointments out further to save money ( which also by the way was where the “ombre” color style became popular since people needed a more natural style to last them longer in between appointments). During the time I was building, I also worked at M.A.C cosmetics. I started taking on bridal hair and makeup for weddings so that I could fill the gaps in my business. It is funny how life works sometimes. Getting into the wedding industry at first was not intentional, Little did I know I would fall in love with it, and build a career around it. Once I had my first baby, I realized that my priorities shifted. I wanted to go to work and come home without the daily pressures of being a salon owner. My business partner and I decided to go our separate ways, and I started XO Beauty.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would start at Sidecar donut shop where we would get the yummiest donuts and coffee. They we would head over to Del Mar Beach. Maybe we would visit the zoo & From there maybe Din Tai Fung or Sugar and Scribe or In & Out for lunch. Maybe stroll over to Balboa Park and then dinner in little Italy and Born & Raised before a little shopping in UTC
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
For me it’s a combination of a lot of different things. I participated in Landmark Education where I learned tools to develop myself in order to create a life that I loved that also inspired me. I have a therapist who has guided me through areas of my life I needed to complete in order for me to get out of my own way. My father who always believed in me, my husband who has given me a solid foundation to build my life on, and who inspires me to my best self, and a brother who has shown me a growth mindset is my biggest asset to success in life. I love the book “You Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins where it talks about mental toughness & I’m currently ready the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.
Cavin Elizabeth Photography