About Vanessa Alvarado + Services + Our Local Shop + Randomness

Hello there! I'm Vanessa Alvarado, I write here and own the local and online shop Body&Soul. I used to sell mid century modern and retro housewares, now I make herbal, aromatherapeutic, chemically compounded organic body care products.When I'm not swamped with that I help small businesses with marketing, design, organization and photography. I'm curious, eclectic, & put too much on my plate to ever be bored! (Scanner Personality Type + INFP )

I occupy the spacious, sunny second floor of a historic brownstone on the outskirts of Jacksonville, Florida's downtown with my best friend (Marianne), boyfriend (AJ), and my cat, Yuko.

Yuko was my model when I sold vintage, she's great for demonstrating size!

I teach classes on whole living (herbal tea blending, making herbal pills, smoothie making, gourmet raw vegan cuisine, culinary cooking with herbs, etc.) at our brand new local store! (And soon for the Jacksonville Public Library's new Maker's Space)

The herb wall at our local store in Jacksonville, Florida : 2726 College St. Jax, FL

My Mission: To Help You Live a Happy, Healthy Life Outside the Status Quo

On VanessaAlvarado.com I write about indie business, creativity, and whole living.

I post every other weekday (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.) 

My love affair with the web started when the year the yearbook photo below was taken, 1997:

1997, Science Club. Soon after I'd start making ALL THE WEBSITES.

I was instantly hooked and I've made dozens of websites over the years! Later, when I started working as a copywriter and web marketer, I was ghost writing on business blogs and wanted a blog of my own where I could use my own voice. When I started this blog (As "Thrift Core") the Autumn of 2009, I didn't expect it to be much more than a creative outlet. Now VanessaAlvarado.com has thousands of followers around the world.

Eventually, running this blog and my indie business became my full-time job and I absolutely love it! I make my own schedule and spend my work days doing creative services for businesses, teaching whole living classes, and making organic body care products to sell with my boyfriend. It also keeps my mom employed because I buy some of her holistic formulations wholesale :)

If I'm not doing any of the above, I'm exploring somewhere fun, camera-in-hand, or watching horror/kitsch flicks! E-mail me if you have any questions or want to chat! You can also drop me a line on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Random Facts:

  • I'm a Certified Aromatherapist, HerbalistNutritionist via Florida Holistic School of Health
  • I'm a Trained Gourmet Raw Vegan Chef via Shakti Life Kitchen
  • Currently vegan, but I once ate a hamburger a day- 30 lbs ago! Read my Health Journey Post
  • I've lived in Naples Italy, Charleston South Carolina, and Norfolk Virginia
  • I've lived the last twenty years in Jacksonville, North Florida.
  • I have two older brothers (twins) that are five years older than me and 6 nieces/nephews! 
  • My mom is Mexican and my dad is Puerto Rican.

My parents when they met in San Francisco, 1970s. They were literally disco dancing local legends.

  • I'm a HUGE Michael Jackson and Prince fan. My MJ+Prince record collection is formidable. (God rest their souls, Prince Tribute here + recap of Prince tribute concerts
  • Basically all I listen to is video game soundtracks, the two legends above, Motown, classic R&B, funk and disco...
  • Anime fan and general Japanophile. Unabashed lover of all-things-kawaii.
  • Comic book  + horror video game fan. Favs: Batman, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Parasite Eve
  • Robot + dinosaur toy and miniature object collector- I'm picky about the ones I induct!
  • My love of DINOSAURS, CEPHALOPODS and ROBOTS knows no bounds
  • Random, but it appears my most-viewed post on all time is a tour of my old office cubicle!
  • I once lived in a camper on a mini-farm with a boyfriend--- and no internet! Loved it. 
  • It's weird for a young tech-person who works on the web but ...I hate smart phones and struggle to use them.

Blog Must-Reads:

Home and Organization

- My KonMari Method Journey: How to Organize Your Home Once- And Never Again!
- 15 Feng-Shui Tips for Wealth and Productivity
- Guides for Organizing Your EVERYTHING: Home, Schedule, Money, Cleaning, Life!
- Short Cuts for Living a Healthy, Minimalist Life

Personal / Creative Inspiration

- My Favorite Posts from 2014
- Odd Jobs: My Journey to Self-Employment
- Philosophy Lesson: The Mexican Fisherman and the American Fisherman
- You're Exactly Where You Need to Be
Blogging From Inside the Confessional: 6 Reasons Why I'm Crazy Honest on My Blog
My Herbalism School Experience
Adventures in Soap Making: The Best Damn Dinosaur Fossil Soap You've Ever Seen
My Childhood Bedroom

Blog and Business Tips

- My Top 22 Digital Tools for Running An Online Business
Try This: An Exercise to Find Out Exactly What You Want to Do For a Living. For Really
How to Earn EXACTLY The Amount of Money You Want to Earn
- 6 Offbeat Tips on Full Time Blogging and Getting Advertisers You Haven't Read
- A Round-Up of My Blogging Tips Posts

Vintage Selling Success Stories

Kimberly, Published Writer, Mom, Turns eBay into a $3K/Month Gig
Scavenger Life Vintage Selling Chat: On Earning $13,000 Per Month and Living The Dream

Gorgeous House Tours

- Ranch Dressing with Eartha Kitsch's Perfect Mid Century Modern Ranch
- Becke's Expertly Staged Cozy and Industrial Vintage Home
- Sherry's Gorgeous Mid Century Modern Home + Her Epic X-mas Collection
- Bianca's Artsy Tasmanian Bungalow
- A Literal Secret Hippie Hideaway
- Bianca's Cozy California Casa
- My Fresh, New, Light-Filled Office

My Favorite Round-Ups

- A Round-Up of My Favorite DIY and Craft Posts
- A Round-up Of My Interviews with Thrifters Around the World
- A Round-Up of All of My Body Care DIY Posts (deodorant, toothpaste and more)
- A Round-Up of My Healthy Recipes / Weight Loss Posts + My Raw Vegan Series

Travel Favorites 

- My Grandparent's House in Puerto Rico
- Come One Come All to Groovy Land: Toast and Jam in a Colorful Folk Art Garden
- The Amazing- And Scary- Wolf's Museum
- A Tranquil Mid Century Modern Church
- My Favorite Place in the World. The Hostel in the Forrest Part 1 and Part 2
- Japan: History | Kawaii | Mountaintop Vintage Shop | Signs | Highlights | ALL The Food | Cats
- The Art of Sampuru: Contemplating Hyper-Realistic Fake Food in Japan

Need Help With Your Indie Business or Blog?

If you'd like to collaborate with me as a creative copywriter, photographer, or designer let me know. I'd love to write articles for your publication or website! Details available here.

  • I've helped run indie businesses non-stop since I was five (It started with a pinata business)
  • 1997, I started creating websites at age 11, going on to win multiple awards for them
  • From 9/2008 to 10/2011 I was a professional web marketer for a multi-million dollar company
  • I ran my blog all the while, eventually I would become a full-time blogger
  • As a pro-blogger / vintage seller I sold thousands of wares online & in local shops/markets
  • Now I'm living the dream helping indie businesses with product photography, web marketing, organization, business plans, and more, full-time!
Before / After

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Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. You can chat with me on Twitter and Facebook. I also have an FAQ with information you may find useful.
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