This week’s profile features an interview with Lacey Althouse. Lacey and I connected via LinkedIn last May when she was thinking about relocating from Brooklyn, NY to Raleigh, NC. We met a few weeks later when she and her partner came to NC to make some connections. We had lunch downtown and I thought they were both cool people so I was happy to introduce them to other great organizations and people as they got to know the marketing and tech communities. When they transitioned down South last summer, it was great to see them get to know the area and discover what a community hub the Triangle is for startups, tech, cultural experiences, and parks.
Now I’d like to share more about the interesting work she has pursued.
Lacey, I’m curious. We’ve talked a lot about marketing since meeting, but what did you want to be when you “grew up” and how has that evolved?
Funny that I never could answer that question growing up, and today I’m much of a generalist. For a long time wanted to be an artist, but not so much that I wanted that as a career, but because I really loved creating things and I had a knack for it.
- So, what do you “do” now?
I work as a marketer at a startup, Local Eye Site. I left other career paths to focus on skills that would help me to launch my own blog. A few years ago, I wanted to figure out how increase my energy, but I wanted to use authentic and healthy sources. I started making these amazing green smoothies everyday and became vegan. Then I watched a documentary called Forks Over Knives and learned there was a name and a movement around all I was experiencing. The whole foods, plant-based diet is a science-based approach to vitality and illness prevention. I studied the evidence behind the diet with Dr. T. Colin Campbell through a program offered by Cornell and started my own plant-based blog, Forkful of Love. I knew it was what I wanted to do as a career one day, along with promoting another project, Dolist, a game-changing productivity app, created by my partner, Scott.
- That’s fascinating. How happy have you been with your choices?
I loved that I chose to live in New York City in my twenties. I was able to pursue every path I thought to take since it was all right there, and I spend a lot of time cultivating friendships and growing as a person. I worked in the arts, finance and really innovative startups, all companies that I’m really proud of for their growth during my time there and beyond.
- I really appreciate your being so strategic and focused on growth. What are your best sources for learning?
For podcasts I like Reply All, Recode Decode, Call Your Girlfriend, The Pitch, Another Round, Beauty Inside Out, and the Plant Yourself. For news, ProPublica and theSkimm. One of my favorite books is Whole, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobson, which discusses the complicated relationship between business, politics and food, which sadly keeps the public away from the best information about health. I also have to give a nod to All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister.
- One thing I liked to explore in this series is the experiences women, specifically have had. What advantages, barriers, and motivators for women have you observed?
I think that women have a lot of barriers around violence and safety, as well as reproductive health. On the topic of violence, fear can cause you to really live a different life. I’ve made all sorts of choices around where I would live, work, and travel and who I would date or spend time, and how I would get home, that might have been “smart” decisions, but were totally exhausting. On reproduction, women, and certainly the most disenfranchised women, have ironically received LESS care for their bodies, which are the most complicated and critical of the two genders. Women are also mistrusted to care for themselves, when only a women knows what she needs, so there are huge bottlenecks when other people want to dictate decision making for women.
- What do you devote most of your time to “outside of work?”
My work takes up a lot of my time. Beyond my day job I have a second job promoting, IssueLab, a repository of research projects published by nonprofits. It’s the best place to get accurate information on social issues, and there is no time like now, to back your work up or be inspired by this free, public knowledge.
- I’ve heard you speak, many times, about how busy you are. How do you feel most inspired?
Probably planning and scheming about the future with my friends, what business we can create and where we’ll live or travel.
- What causes or organizations are you most passionate about?
I love the work of IssueLab, of course, and also support the Center for Reproductive Rights and St. Jude’s Hospital. I used to work with ChickTech, which is a great nonprofit supporting female innovation in tech. I get very excited about plant-based, food system and compassion for animals groups as well as public parks.
- Who do you look up to?
I’d say my friend, Lisa. She pioneered the life I was able to have myself. My friend built her own company 30 years ago and defined independance for female New Yorkers living and working downtown. She’s a pro at overcoming challenges, getting things done and solving problems holistically. She never gets weary and always has time for others. She always shows up with her backpack and wearing her Toms.
- Worst advice you ever received?
Don’t go to bed angry. I’d say just go to bed, or eat something. Things are always better after a beat.
Thanks for reading Lacey’s story. Share in the comments how it impacted you or share it on social media. Check out next week’s weekly post on Women & the Ways We Work. Missed the others? Take a look at my blog to read the others. Know someone you think should be featured? Can I help you or your organization with a storytelling project? Contact me and let’s chat.