Ametti Muse: Alison Engstrom
Welcome to our Monthly Ametti Muse Feature, an exciting series where we will interview female bosses in the creative, tech, science, and finance industries. These women are breaking barriers and sharing with us the good, the bad and the in-between! Meet Alison, founder of Rose & Ivy Journal, a beautifully curated magazine the explores fashion, travel, design in food. Before starting Rose and Ivy, Alison was diagnosed with MS in 2014 and that diagnosis changed her life and pushed her to go after her dreams. We hope you are inspired by her journey as much as we were.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have an unhealthy obsession (!) with all things Larry David and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
What's your biggest pet-peeve?
Negative energy and people that stand to close to you on the subway platform.
What is the last hobby you picked up?
Watercolor painting. I am trying to parlay my love of light and color into this new medium.
Why did you start Rose and Ivy?
I have always loved magazines but I didn’t see one on the market that spoke to my love of fashion, beauty products, travel, food and design in the way that I wanted to see it. The magazine has grown and changed since I started it—it began as a major side hustle—and it really has been a dream come true. I get to meet inspiring women, travel to beautiful places and capture beauty for the world to see.
How do you define creativity?
Anyone who is doing something different and being truly authentic. We live in a world where everyone likes to imitate other people, but I think true creativity lays in being unique.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Meditate, truly believe and know that you will be fully taken care of.
The people who inspire me are...
Anyone who is a free-spirited risk taker and lives their life without fear.
What impact did your MS diagnosis have on the life you now lead?
I used to be a very active person—I ran, swim, did yoga, biked—but after I was diagnosed I wasn’t able to do any of those activities like I did before without getting an insane dose of fatigue. It was very upsetting and I lost part of who I was. I had to go through a long grieving process, but I heard a moving quote from Jim Carey who said “My soul is not contained within the limits of my body; my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.” Even though I have had to change my lifestyle, this diagnosis didn’t have to define me. I am very grateful for what I can do.
What life lessons have you learned through the process of creating Rose and Ivy?
Persistence, patience and trusting your gut. I adopted a motto early on that was ‘live the process’ meaning, no matter what I was doing, big or small, everything adds up. On days where I was lugging pillows or fashion samples that weighed like 50 pounds I would utter those three words. Being persistent is one of the most important things, tuning out negativity and trusting your gut, when you don’t, you will usually be let down.
What are three essentials you ALWAYS travel with?
My camera (always), iPhone and a ton of vitamins.
Do you have a pet? And if so, how do you manage traveling with them? Any tips?
I do! We adopted a pit mix named Mickey about 8 years ago. She is the light of our lives. She has come on some long road trips with us, she loves getting in the car, because it usually means we are going somewhere fun. If its hot outside, I put a bunch of ice cubes in a large reusable container, that way, her water will always be cold.