EBR Talks with Sofia Alexandra
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am an artist, and it’s important for me to lead with that because it has taken me so long to own it. I have been an artist my whole life and in the past I’ve felt that if I hadn’t shown my work in a gallery or had it featured in some type of art publication, I didn’t deserve to consider myself one. But the reality is- I’m an artist that has made a living by working gigs for the last 12 years in a handful of creative industries…I’m a creative hustler! Through these jobs I have been able to create a lane for myself and have developed an array of skills that empower me to continue setting bigger goals in all arenas of life, even when the odds are against me.
How has where you’re from shaped who you are at this moment?
Being a Miami native and having Cuban born parents is the core of my essence. I travel constantly for work and I’m meeting people from all walks of life….the first two things people will learn about me is exactly that, I am Cuban and from Miami. I am very proud of my roots and I am very protective over my community. I remember when I met my fiance, at The Corner Bar in Downtown Miami (where all true romances start), we argued about whether or not I was Cuban. He was born and raised in Cuba and couldn’t acknowledge that I was also Cuban since I was born on American soil. To make a long story short- he wouldn’t consider me to be anything else but Cuban now.
I have had similar conversations with other Cubans and my response is usually something like “I am Cuban by blood, not by land, and by no fault of mine because that land was taken from us.” I don’t always sound so poetic but I do get my point across!
Being Cuban-American can be a type of limbo- and that goes for anyone that has immigrant parents- you’re American by birth but your culture is of another country. Cuban people are very proud of who they are and where they come from and since I can remember, I have been listening to stories about Cuba’s past and the dream to return. Many of us carry the trauma and pain that our families endured when they saw no choice but to abandon their homes and country, and we in turn have our own suffering.
This last year has been a beautiful experience for me because I have been able to travel back to Cuba for love and family. Along the way I have gotten to know some of my contemporaries and experience the paradigm shift that was created by the revolution. I’ve been able to exchange knowledge and ideas with so many talented Cuban people of my generation and more than ever I want to see Cuba reach it’s higher potential. For my community, it has always been taboo to return to Cuba but I believe if we want to see change we need to change our approach on how we treat Cuba. I still dream the dream of my grandparents- I want to return to a free Cuba, but I am not going to stand around a ventanita with my cafecito getting mad over what was lost, instead I want to actively make the dream a reality.
How would you describe your personal style?
I am a wild card and so is my style. I have a background working in costume design so I take advantage of playing with my wardrobe as if I were a character in a movie, except the movie is my actual life. My personal style is very telling of how I am feeling that day or what is currently inspiring me.
What are some of your favorite/everyday/go-to/staple pieces?My everyday/go-to/ staple pieces are my hoops. When I don’t have time or energy to think about accessories or if I want to give a very casual look a boost- my hoops never fail me.
We know you travel often, so what are your “on the go” essentials?Because I try to be as environmentally conscious as possible, I always travel with my reusable water bottle and coffee cup. Hydration is key when you are traveling and caffeine curbs cravings when you are passing through food deserts but I always pack some type of protein bar or raw nuts just in case hunger hits.
Whenever I have a long flight and need to be ready to go into a meeting or social setting, I wear a silk turban so I don’t walk out of the airport with airplane hair!! I recently started doing this and it’s a game changer.
And to avoid getting sick, I put some thieves oil on my scarf or sweater when I’m at the airport. If someone near me is coughing or sneezing, I inhale this blend of essential oils. It was created at some point in the 15th-century so grave robbers could avoid disease!
Any general beauty tips you can share?If you want long nails but they are always breaking, start by filing them round!
Any cant live without items?
My DĒAWY products! It’s what I am obsessed with right now, especially the Cloud Nine Moisturizer… It has 450mg of broad spectrum CBD and has been whipped into a velvety decadent cream. It’s one of those products that makes you feel rich!
DĒAWY is a new skincare company called based out of NYC. I was lucky enough to get in on their “Friends and Family” product run and it has done wonders for my skin since I am often traveling in harsh environments. Their skincare is made of a premium plant base and infused with CBD, every time I put it on it feels like my skin went through a therapy session. I also love that they use minimal packaging and maximize on sustainability. Everyone should keep an eye out for them!!
What are you listening to right now?Mostly my fiance’s music! He has been working on his solo album so he is constantly sending me the music he’s working on. He goes by the name DJ Lápiz and he sings reggae as well as produces music for artists of all genres in and outside of Cuba. I love his sound because even though it’s reggae you can hear the Cuban influence and he works with some of the best musicians from the island. I have learned a lot about Cuba through the lens of his work and it just hits differently because he is not influenced by any trends or the internet!
What are some of your favorite local (and not local) brands/makers/businesses?
I like to shop elbowroom of course! and AlmostAlways Vintage, both Miami based shops that are so chic and an easy way to look fly while being gentle to the environment. I also like to shop VOLVÉR in South Miami- they offer elevated pieces with labels from Asia and Europe.. you will not find clothes like this anywhere else in Miami!
Last one! What are your favorite Miami spots?I love going to visit my jeweler Kelly in the Seybold building, The Standard Spa for drinks with a view, Captain Jim’s for seafood… but mainly my favorite spot is my home, if I don’t have to leave I won’t.
Sofia's latest thrift find. Sourced in Pittsburgh.
Follow Sofia on IG! @sofia___alexandra