Interview with Alexa Cucchiara
by Gina Martuscello
Born and raised in New York City, Alexa Cucchiara is a commissioned artist, author, designer, entrepreneur, health and wellness advocate, speaker, and storyteller. Early in her career, she found her unique upbringing to propel her to study at The Art Students League of New York and Fashion Institute of Technology during her childhood, fostering her passion for art and design. In high school, she had her illustrations published on covers and inside Creative Outlook, and used her creativity to drive her entrepreneurial spirit and launched a jewelry business, One Twist Co.
Today, Alexa is a graduate of at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, Magna Cum Laude, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and yoga teacher in-training. She recently published her first book, Power to Persevere: Inspiring Stories to Help You Get Through Challenging Moments which debuted as a Best Seller and #1 in Teen & Young Adult Diseases, Illnesses, and Injuries, Teen & Young Adult Physical Impairment, and Teen & Young Adult Body, Mind & Spirit on Amazon.
When Alexa was diagnosed with cancer half-way through her college career, she felt alone and felt she knew no one who could understand what she was going through at such a young age. After she was in remission, Alexa made it her goal to make others experiencing challenges feel they were not alone and to help them through their difficult situations.
What was the process of writing your book like?
It was a very tedious process. I had weekly meetings with the Head of Publishing of the publishers I worked with, and spent every single free moment I had aside from school work dedicated to research. I used social media at my disposal and connected with medical professionals, other influential people in their field of practice, other inspiring people whether they had been through a cancer diagnosis like me, or limb loss, depression, substance abuse, and homelessness to name a few. I also used a lot of resources from my personal journals I wrote in while going through treatment. To any aspiring authors, do not be afraid of writer's block or the behind the scenes of the work. You can do anything!
Go where your energy flows. Whichever project gives you a spark, lean into that energy and explore that path and direction.
Along with being an author, Alexa is also a blogger, podcaster, artist, and has even run her own business. A true entrepreneur at heart, she is motivated by her drive to inspire others. Living her life "out of love and purpose," Alexa aims to help others find purpose in their lives and make them feel their lives are worth living. For womxn looking to enter the entrepreneurial world, Alexa advises, "Go where your energy flows. Whichever project gives you a spark, lean into that energy and explore that path and direction. I am constantly creating, connecting with others, and testing my boundaries."
How has "Power to Preserve" changed your life?
It has ultimately allowed me to connect with the most beautiful souls. I never anticipated it to catapult me into so many other directions. I have collaborated with a few organizations and nonprofits, was casted for a commercial for a magazine with Next Gen HQ, and have recently been in a photoshoot Care+Wear with the launch of their new hoodie with Oscar de la Renta. These were all a result of listening to my heart’s desires, beating fear around vulnerability, and trusting the process.
After surviving cancer at a young age, Alexa has found a deep passion in influencing others to live their best life despite their own misfortunes. She believes in the beauty of balance and the magic of taking control of your health. She uses her platform to encourage and motivate others to live their life to the fullest despite their unforeseen circumstances and helps others work through their own obstacles.
With life now cancer-free, Alexa focuses on cherishing the small things and living in the moment. She now views challenges as a way to experience growth and embraces any opportunity. Alexa focuses on living in her physical reality and instead of worrying about what others think, she stays on her own path for her purpose. Alexa speaks more about this in her novel. During challenging times, Alexa remains motivated through yoga and pilates. She finds them healing and helpful in syncing her body, mind, and soul. Alexa has recently started a yoga training certification program and also finds balance through deep breathing and prayer.
How do you practice wellness?
From the moment I wake up to the second I tuck myself into my sheets at night, I focus on my wellbeing. Wellness is not a quick fix; it’s a lifestyle. Each day is different. Sometimes I feel called to journal, and other days I feel called to do a yin yoga practice and meditate. I know that there are so many avenues available. I might be drawn to one thing one day, and another tool another day. I intuitively go where I am called to be. Every single day I make sure to eat a healthy balanced diet and get some mindful movement in.
Alexa knows she survived to help others and shine her positive light throughout the world. That’s what she aims to do every day. She uses her life experiences to show others who may feel alone in their struggles that they aren’t defined by their current predicaments.
Who/what has been the biggest inspiration in your journey?
James Conner and a dear friend of mine, Danielle Melillo. Overall, I have been drawn to others who have learned how to overcome adversities.
How has quarantine changed your lifestyle and your work?
It has given me the time and space to find homeostasis within my life. I have become very in tune with my body and now know how to take care of it. I am more balanced within the way I practice movement and fuel myself. This translates into productivity in work.
What is the best book you've read lately?
I am currently reading The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, and am LOVING it. It may be triggering to some readers, but has been nothing but positively transformation for me. It has allowed me to truly understand the essence of trauma from a chemical standpoint within the body and has given me hope for a beautiful future.
What's something you've never done before that you want to?
I would love to go on a road trip to Arizona and camp in the Grand Canyon.
What's the most interesting thing you've read or seen this week?
Mix turmeric with not only black pepper but a healthy fat and a source of heat to fully activate its absorption properties into the body.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
Right now, my nonna and nonno! It has been really tough with COVID. I have not given them a proper hug in about a year and truly miss them so much.
What is one piece of advice you have for womxn going through challenging times?
Trust the process, stay patient, and know that you have the power to persevere. It is also all about mindset. Your thoughts dictate your reality.
There might be moments where you feel like you are so deep in a hole and cannot climb out, but there is always a solution. Speak to others in your community, work with a therapist, try to find moments of peace and stillness, and honor the small things that you do have control over.