Alyssa Couture is fashion author of her new book HEALTHY FASHION: THE DEEPER TRUTHS, and the founder of HEALTHY FASHION CAMPAIGN: her fresh-inspired business on fashion design + apparel made to support human health.
She is an all-things fashion professional. She has worked as a fashion author, fashion entrepreneur, and fashion industry expert– with over 15 years of fashion industry experience in a number of roles. Her range of expertise is vast: fashion author, fashion business entrepreneur, fashion retail management, fashion show producer, fashion designer, fashion journalist, fashion visual merchandising, fashion journalism, fashion styling, lookbook creative directing…and so on.
HEALTHY FASHION is a fresh, new approach to fashion: Fashion to reclaim the soul/spirit. Naturally being an optimistic person, she noticed an emptiness and lack of spirit and health in fashion in general. Fashion design and apparel that is healthy is what we need as a part of the new paradigm of living holistically. Alyssa broadcasts evolutionary fashion concepts that transcend unhealthy fashion. Healthy fashion design + apparel for your health is the solution to the toxic parts of the fashion industry
For a more in-depth list of her past and present fashion work: please check out her media kit: https://www.hfcampaign.com/media-kit
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I am 36 years old. I have been a writer since I was in my early 20s. In my early-to-late 20s, I loved reading and writing. I used to read a lot of poetry, and authors like Sylvia Plath, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. Their writing is so inspiring to me! I have a fine art background, and fashion background. I am a creative person in general. I began writing short stories, and lots of poetry. Unfortunately, a bad thing happened, and I had lost most of all of the poems and short stories I wrote (long story.) I do have a couple of short stories saved, and hopefully, my old laptops will have some document files that I can recover.
I did not become a professional writer until I was around 35 when I received my traditional book contract offer from John Hunt Publishing. I had received multiple contract offers for my first book, so it was an exciting time for me to realize that publishers enjoy my book!
My writing career began when I started an eco-fashion blog in 2013. In 2015 I started a fashion news/media website– writing about eco-fashion.
I began writing several articles about eco-fashion. Additionally, I started writing for several magazines and fashion blogs.
When I wrote about eco-fashion, I wrote a lot about the health effects of fashion. This prompted me to realize that there is not a lot of written work about fashion for health. So in 2018, I began writing Healthy Fashion: The Deeper Truths. I was living and working as a kitchen manager at a monastery at the time I began writing my first book. The lead monk, Bhante Gunuratana is a famed author of many meditation and spirituality books. He had written dozens of books and it really inspired me. That is when he had indirectly reminded me I wanted to write a book because a year earlier I told myself “I am going to write a book about fashion.” Well, I then started writing my fashion notes as I was living and working at the monastery. After I left the monastery, I took some time off writing, and then I started back up writing when I had moved to Mount Shasta. I had a series of spiritual awakenings in Mount Shasta City, and it helped guide me to write the book.
What I love the most about writing is the creativity and the new ideas that I find interesting to write about. What I dislike the most about writing is writer’s block.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
My book Healthy Fashion: The Deeper Truths is published by John Hunt Publishing, a large UK-based publishing house. The book is published under their mind/body/spirit imprint Anyi Books. Healthy Fashion releases Dec. 1, 2021. It is available to order at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Indie Bound, and many more bookstores worldwide!
As a fashion author, I wanted to write a book that would be attributed as modern, fresh, high-fashion for the New Age. I have been fashion-obsessed, and I consider myself fashion ‘psychic.’ I have spent a lot of time and energy creating new concepts for fashion both through artistic/philosophical channels and through a lot of research as well.
In Healthy Fashion, I offer methods and ways fashion can be used as an alternative health remedy and as a long-term modern wellness trend. Fashion is to be used to support the mind, body, and spirit.
My comprehensive manual, a big-picture book inherently interweaves all things fashion. To achieve a circular, new, healthy approach, a multi-faceted approach is addressed. A diverse culmination of topics- from fashion psychology to fashion technology is included.
I wrote this book during this time of spiritual awakening on Earth. The fashion industry is in a bit of transition right now. We are slowly catching on to producing and promoting fashion in pursuit of the mind/body/spirit.
I wrote the book because I wanted to help create and promote new fashion concepts that build a healthier fashion industry. I have problem-solved and I have created healthy apparel solutions. I wanted to create solutions for any fashion and apparel that lack spirit. I developed and researched ways that we can use fashion to support the mind, body, and spirit, and create more spirited fashion.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the book that you manage to create?
I started writing a large part of the book when I moved to Mount Shasta City, CA. The mountain there, Mount Shasta, is a large energy vortex. A lot of interesting things occurred while I was at Mount Shasta, and over time these experiences led me to write the book. Part of the ideas in the book were inspired by Mount Shasta. A lot of New Age activity occurs on the mountain/volcano Mount Shasta.
I have been involved in esoteric and New Age subjects since I was a teenager. A lot of the influence behind the ‘spirituality and fashion’ and the ‘energy and fashion’ sections of the book was from the connection that I have with this miraculous mountain, and the supernatural experiences that had occurred, and my natural gifts as a channeler and energy healer.
I also have found a lot of inspiration from the fashion industry. I did a lot of research about textiles, fashion production, and fashion manufacturing. I looked up and found so many things about the history of fashion, and even some ancient fashion history.
The book is non-fiction, but a lot of my life experiences supported the book and inspired the concepts in the book. For example, I love my ‘Fashion and The Earth Elements’ concept, and the ‘Fashion Archetypes vs. Fashion Stereotypes’ concept. I love psychology, and the Jungian concept– I was inspired by psychology. I love nature, and the elements, so writing about how fashion is concerning Earth, Fire, Air, and Water, and how we wear the Earth elements– this was inspired by my connection to the ocean, forest, desert, etc.
I also have drawn inspiration from the times of this Spiritual Awakening on Earth. Due to the planet evolving I was able to make Healthy Fashion offer new and advanced methods for human health. During this spiritual awakening on Earth, I have had a deeper foundation and connection to fashion. As we evolve the soul, we evolve the planet.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your books? How long does it generally take you to finish a book? What projects are you currently working on?
I do not have a specific schedule for when I write, however, when I was writing Healthy Fashion, I had a routine and ritual of visiting a cafe or coffee shop, or library. I would write lots of digital notes in Google docs and go from fashion topic to fashion topic, whatever topic I was in the mood to write about. These notes turned into pages, pages, and more pages. I wish I had begun an outline in the beginning, but after several months of notes, I had to go through each sentence and organize them in an outline.
I think it was kind of fun to organize all my notes and sentences. It took me a couple of weeks because I had so much information, either from my research, thoughts, ideas, or concepts. I will be creating an outline, however, for my second book, because it was frustrating to have to organize dozens of pages of notes. The book came together in the last two months of editing. It was nice because I could see it as a story, not just a non-fiction book.
This book took a few years because I couldn’t write it full-time. I would spend 5 hours one week or 20 hours the next week. Sometimes I went months without writing. I would feel guilty about it, and I would feel bad about it because I knew I had to finish the book.
I would often have writer’s block, and I couldn’t even force myself to write, even if I had wanted to. That’s why I feel it was a little bit of a miracle that I completed this book because I had writing blocks that prevented me from being able to write it. Also, it was my life situation that was preventing me from being able to finish the book fast.
The projects I am currently working on: a lot of book marketing, working on Healthy Fashion Campaign, social media, writing fashion articles for my blog, and starting fashion notes for my second book.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
The first book that I have ever read that moved me emotionally– was Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. It is about a man’s spiritual awakening journey. I remember as I was reading it I was feeling emotions from my higher self. I felt energy blocks releasing and I could see more clearly about my life while I was reading the book. Celestine Prophecy speaks a lot about the shift in consciousness that was/is occurring.
I do enjoy reading metaphysical books, memoirs, biographies, and famous female authors (usually deceased) like Sylvia Plath and Edna St. Vincent Millay. I also like to read books about people who had an addiction and recovered. I find those books to be incredible because they start with a person who is suffering from addiction, and then they talk about their healing and recovery. It’s so amazing to learn about people’s journeys in that way.
My favorite author to read is Hanna Kroeger. She was a master herbalist, healer, and reverend. She opened a health retreat in Colorado named Peaceful Meadow, and she was one of the first people in America to have opened a natural health food store. She is no longer alive, but her kids are still keeping the retreat and the health food store open! She was a metaphysical healer. She used the pendulum to help treat her clients that were sick. Hanna Kroeger published dozens of books, and they have all kinds of tips and wisdom.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I have received some great book reviews from beta readers. I believe that these people that took the time to read Healthy Fashion and comment on it are a significant achievement. I have also been interviewed on over 25 podcasts these past 6 months. It is an achievement to be able to express myself and talk about the book on platforms like this one. It really makes me appreciate that I am an author and that I can be an advocate for helping support planet Earth, and humans.
Over the next 5 years, I hope to still be an author writing more books. A psychic told me I will be writing two more books about fashion. He also said I am going to be developing a seaweed fabric– a fabric/textile made from seaweed fibers.
Well, I don’t think he was reading my mind. I do believe his predictions are correct, because I am obsessed with the idea of other people developing textiles from seaweed and algae, and have always wanted to be a part of producing a seaweed-based textile.
The thought of writing more books feels like a lot right now, because I am having writer’s block, but I already have several pages and an outline completed for my second book. It is not a part of the first book, but it relates to the subject of fashion for human health.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
I wanted to go the traditional publishing route because I felt I wanted to be a part of a publishing house. It was my dream to find a publisher that truly believes in Healthy Fashion. It took a couple of years to find one to partner with.
I sent the Healthy Fashion book proposal out to many publishers. I didn’t get much response initially. I started getting publishers interested from the third round of sending out emails to publishers. When I sent a revised proposal, I noticed publishers were getting interested in my book.
I want to mention that the first time I approached publishers, the manuscript wasn’t written, I had just sent the book proposal. I think it is much easier for publishing companies when they can read the manuscript. Even if it is not a final draft, they can tell more if the book will be successful, or if it is a book they want to support and are interested in supporting.
I did face a lot of rejection initially. I felt very vulnerable at the time sending out the book proposal and manuscript. Even when the book was rejected, I received great feedback and compliments, and I saved those compliments and testimonials. All books are very unique, and publishing houses are all very unique too, so, it is not always easy to find a publishing house to partner with.
I dealt with rejection by remembering that my book concept is really important. I made sure to remember that it is a new concept, and niche to some degree, and many publishers simply don’t publish fashion. I also would make sure that I realized I needed to have boundaries with myself and the book. I am not the book. I wrote the book, but they are not rejecting ‘me’, they are not interested in the book because they are not interested in the subject.
I feel this book is important. I felt guided to write it, and I feel the book needs to be heard. So, when I faced rejection, I didn’t take it to heart, because it is not about me, it is about the mission and the information in the book that is important for people to know and learn.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
Yes, I have had challenges, and continue to. I created a platform, a website, a fashion campaign, a social media campaign, I have participated in a lot of interviews, written a lot of articles, but I still find more exposure is very important for the book to succeed and it is hard when you are new on the internet.
I find I have a ‘marketing block,’ similar to writer’s block where I just feel paralyzed and cannot move forward with marketing the book. This has happened to me at times and continues. I have a lot of support, but I need a lot more. I have a lot of important information to share. I know it will take time, so I have to be patient.
It is hard to juggle the creative side and the business side. Now that the book is done, however, I have been able to focus more on the business side, but my concept is new. It is a new approach to fashion and I need to market to many different people because the book is a hybrid. I have looked at the bookstores that are selling the book, and they have categorized it into many different genres. Some of the genres are fashion, health, self-help, psychology, and more! So, it is interesting that the book caters to many different genres but it also makes it a little challenging to market.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
I am one of those writers that do not like re-reading my work. I did force myself to re-read the final copy after I received the sample copies in the mail. It was not that hard to read over, and I was impressed with the written material. Yet, it is very emotional to have to open the book and read what I wrote. I don’t know why, but it makes me very emotional!
I think I might read it again sometime within the next few months, simply because I learn new things every time I re-read it, even when I was the one that wrote the book! I find a lot of wisdom in the book, and I feel a lot of the concepts and thoughts were guided by my higher self in some way. So, I don’t take all the credit. Also, the editors of John Hunt Publishing polished the book. I could not have written this book without their help!
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No, I don’t think so. Most of the books I have read are from older people. I also find that with practice you become better at writing, so when I read books from people who have been writing for a while, it is simply better to read. Yet all people of all ages can be amazing at writing.
At 36, I may have gotten a late start. It takes a lot of marketing and getting a lot of exposure to become a best-seller, or sell a book in the thousands. I am working on it, but I am still a new author, and my concepts are very new, so I am going to be as patient as I can because there’s always a chance to become very successful if the book is important and will help people.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Yes, I also believe that writing has helped me emotionally and mentally. Writing is a very therapeutic tool. Being able to write Healthy Fashion has made me able to express myself, and express my authenticity. I have been able to share a part of who I am and what I believe, and it is very empowering.
A book is like a channel, a tool, and a magical modality– a light spell. When it is a good book, a positive one, it gives people positivity and even can help someone’s spiritual ascension journey. Writing this book has reaffirmed my journey to help people and help the fashion industry.
There is a new awakening happening on planet Earth initiating a need for conscious fashion. Conscious fashion is representative and effective to support the global evolution for a healthier planet. I have been able to express this information in my book, but I have also been able to realize that it is the purpose of the book, and a large purpose of my life, at least my current life.
The book is non-fiction, but there is a story in the book, and there are a lot of creative ideas, creative thoughts, and poetic thoughts. I believe it has made the book interesting and reveals my authentic self.