National Women’s Small Business Month Interview
Monique Alvarez of The Abundant Life
A serial entrepreneur, Monique is an unconventional visionary whose life and business was inspired by a decade of travel and volunteer work around the world. She birthed and grew AMA Publishing and is a USA Today bestselling author and an 18 time international bestselling author. Recently, she relocated back home, and has transformed and breathed new life into The Abundant Life – a local health and wellness store started by her mother 42 years ago.
Please tell us more about The Abundant Life:
My mom Diana Toms has served the Four Corners area for 42 years and now I am continuing what she started. At The Abundant Life you will find high caliber supplements, homeopathic remedies, unique foods, over 100 bulk herbs, teas, and non-toxic cosmetics.
We also have a juice bar, smoothies, Acai and Dragon Fruit bowls, organic coffee and espresso, organic teas and specialty tea lattes.
I was raised with real food, herbs as medicine, and deep connection to nature. I believe each of us is meant to be our own doctor and the healer of our children. When we know how to listen to our bodies, live harmoniously and eat real food, we prevent disease and achieve our potential.
What are the secrets to your success?
Being happily married is a big one. Taking time for myself. I call it my Light Practice. I include things like tea and yoga in my day so that I have what I need in order to be of the most service to others. Having fun with my kids. Taking time off and spending time in nature.
How have you persevered through tough times?
One day at a time. I had a full term stillbirth six years ago and I learned that tough times want us to be present with them. It feels much easier to distract or ignore pain or challenges, but sitting right across from them, looking deep into their eyes and seeing what is reflected back reminds me that I have what it takes to get through any tough time.
What are your tips for growing a company?
People. I do not do anything alone. I believe in cultivating a great staff, referral partners and advocates for my business. This makes it much easier and way more fun.
What does success mean to you?
Being at peace with myself and how I approach my life.
What do you want to achieve next?
I want to franchise the business.
As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
Myself. I had to become aware of how I limit and sabotage myself. Notice where I played it safe and why I long for the approval and validation of others. Once I became my biggest cheerleader and remembered I am powerful, I had the courage to follow my heart everywhere it leads me.
What are some things outside of work that you are irrationally passionate about?
Roses, food, tea, and photography. I have lived in every major food city in the world. I eat a great meal and go home and practice re-creating it until it’s exactly right. I research tea endlessly. I learn the perfect temperature for different kinds of tea. I can’t get enough of it and of course making the right dessert to go with it. I take about 10,000 photos a month of my kids, flowers, food, sunsets. I am obsessed with roses and making cosmetics and food with them.
What mistakes have you made along the way and what did you learn from them?
So many! Most of my ideas do not pan out. Being hard on myself is the biggest mistake of all. I have learned that when I have fun, I am much more magnetic for all good things and people so I let things go much faster.
What’s been your biggest win so far for the business?
Biggest win has been working side by side with my husband for 14 years and still being madly in love.
Have any women inspired you, and why?
I have had many mentors including my mom! I have super successful women around me who remind me that each and every day we get to create the life we want. Frida Kahlo’s life has inspired me greatly. I visited her house in Mexico City and find her to be a woman who endured great pain and created much beauty. I want to be like that.
How Can We Contact You?
Social: Facebook Page
Thank you, Monique, for sharing your stories, inspirations, and dreams with us.
Southwest Colorado is lucky to have you and your business!