I was born into a low-income, single mother household, and I faced a lot of adversity growing up. At the age of nine, I was given an amazing opportunity to attend a boarding school called the Milton Hershey School, which was started by the founder of The Hershey Company (Hershey’s chocolate). The school helps children from low-income families escape poverty through education, offering everything from school clothing to extracurricular activities to funds for college. I was lucky enough to attend the school for nine years, and it changed my life.
At eighteen, I moved to New York to study business at Pace University, and I graduated with my degree in 2011. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I was really not drawn to the corporate world, so I tried out many different side hustles – plus sized modeling, Reality TV, working as a nanny. At the age of twenty-three, I started my business Glam Seamless as another side hustle with only $1,500 in my pocket.
Eight years later, my company has grown to a $20million/year company without any investors or cofounders. I am the mother of a beautiful four-year-old girl, Ava, and I work hard every day to give her a future full of opportunity. I am forever grateful for the people—and specifically the strong women— who gave me opportunities in my youth, and I want to multiply that impact by giving back from my successes to girls and women who face economic adversity the way I did.
Why I am starting this platform
When you’re living in poverty, it can be so hard to find inspiration, and without inspiration, none of us move forward. We have all found ourselves in situations that we know we would not be in without the generosity of others. I definitely have, and I have always felt compelled to make something of those opportunities—not only professionally, but also by giving back to my community. There is a lot of change we want to see in the world, and one thing I have learned over the years is that change starts young. I want to invest back into the lives of young girls because you are our future.
I want to invest equally in the lives of adult females because it is never too late to pursue your education and dreams. Opportunities for continuing education only continue to grow as more non-degree classes open to adults across careers, skills and trades each year. I want to support women of any age in this pursuit, especially in light of the financial turmoil so many experience as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alexandra Cristin Foundation exists to help and inspire females in need toward a brighter future