Alison Chace is a woman of many talents. Alison is the founder of Pink Wisdom, a support network dedicated to helping women reinvigorate their careers and love lives. She is also a mom, actress, and online entrepreneur. If she looks familiar, you may recognize her from my favorite Herbal Essence commercial. Yes, the one with the woman screaming, “Yes, yes, YESS!” as she emerges from the bathroom.
Alison Chace, Founder of Pink Wisdom
What inspired you to start Pink Wisdom?
As an actress, I finally realized that I needed to create my own show – my own personal vehicle of self-expression and creativity. Even though I have an excellent agent that sends me out on auditions frequently, I got tired of relying on others to decide whether or not I got the job. There is an enormous amount of rejection as an actress, and it’s important to maintain your momentum and self-esteem after all those doors slam in your face. This is really what inspired me to start my first website, Wake Up To A Break Up, and from that, Pink Wisdom. Seriously, if you don’t create your own opportunities that you can get excited about, you may as well curl up in a ball and cry all day. I’ve come to see that the best plan is to have many pots simmering on the stove, or as Warren Buffet puts it, “many eggs, many baskets,” so you never really feel like you’re sitting around waiting for the phone to ring and you can earn money from multiple sources! It requires constant vigilance not to lose confidence with all the rejection in this business and this is the solution! Hello! Even Brad Pitt has his own production company! If A-listers like Brad don’t wait around, it’s pretty much mandatory for me, a Z-lister, to do the same. Plus, I like to think Brad and I have much in common.
Six years ago when I launched Wake Up to a Break Up, publishing online seemed like the way to go. It was clear that online video and internet-based television was an emerging web trend with a ton of momentum.
In regards to why breakups, I have always been fascinated with the psychology of relationships, particularly romantic ones, so it was a topic that I was excited to explore. The original concept was that it was going to be a weekly morning show, hence the title wake up to a breakup and all things relationship-orientated – kind of like an Oprah, but with a focus on interviewing people going through breakups, relationship experts, therapists, comics, bloggers, authors, datelogists, matchmakers, and more.
Interestingly, during the process of creating this online breakup destination, I mustered the courage to split from my own marriage. Maybe it was a case of the teacher needing to learn the lesson – or whatever that expression is.
How would you describe Pink Wisdom in a few sentences?
A premier online video destination for woman to seek both career and relationship advice and support from other woman who have established themselves as experts in these fields.
What is the Pink Wisdom’s mission?
To help women overcome their own limiting self-beliefs. So often our potential is greater than we can even imagine. Support, encourage, validate, inspire, and empower. All those great buzz words. Feel the love sista’!
What were the first logistical steps you took to start a business?
First step, finding the woman I wanted to interview. I created and produced the videos first, then designed the actual website second.
What is a day as Alison like? Please walk me through a day!
Alison-land involves a daily combination of being a mom, going on auditions, and working on Pink Wisdom.
What are your responsibilities as CEO and founder of Pink Wisdom?
I am the creator, the writer, the producer, and the founder. I hire awesome freelance talent to help me out, who are usually always females in their 20’s.
What has been your proudest moment from your career so far?
Since I think of myself as a three prong fork, my proudest mom moments are when my kids are smiling and laughing, my proudest acting moment is when I find myself in the waiting room for gigs with “famous name” actresses who are auditioning for the same role. That, and doing live television for Plum TV. And my proudest Pink Wisdom moment is when I get validation from my viewers saying we’ve actually helped them.
What have you learned about yourself since founding Pink Wisdom?
I have a mantra that is right out of a Proust Questionnaire, and it is this: Why not me?
What is the most important characteristic that someone needs to be successful in your role?
To er on the side of enthusiasm.
What has been the biggest challenge and, on the flip side, the biggest reward of starting Pink Wisdom?
The biggest challenge is speed and momentum. Thinking of creative ideas to keep it going, keep developing it, and keep expanding it. This is also the most fun and rewarding part.
What is the most important characteristic for entrepreneurs to have?
In my own case, persistence and belief in yourself.
You are also an actress and are famous for one of my all-time favorite commercials, the Herbal Essence commercial where you emerged from the bathroom saying, “Yes, yes, yes!” What advice do you have for other actresses?
Email me, and let me help you in any way I can. Seriously, helping you helps me. I have found that the more I give, the more I get in return. So you will actually be helping me if you let me help you! Does that sound corny? Well, I am from the Midwest, so corny comes naturally to me. Go ahead! Don’t be shy. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But here’s some simple advice – get started, send a postcard out with your picture and a quick personal message on it every single casting director and agent in Ross Reports. And enthusiastically accept all jobs you are offered, no matter how small. I remember being over the moon thrilled at booking my first job as a spokesperson for Oreck Vacuums. To this day, I adore my Oreck vacuum cleaner because it represents my first break in the business.
You also do improv. Two of my favorite role models are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They write a lot about the impact improv has had on their careers and outlook on life. It helped Tina Fey come up with her success secret, “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterward.” How do you think improv has impacted you?
Me too! I love those badass chicks! Her secret, “Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterward,” sums it up. When you do improv, you end up laughing…a lot. It helps me not take life so seriously and triggers the release of endorphins. I highly recommend that you take an introduction to improv class.
What is it like to create videos for funnyordie? I love Match.com Momma!
So darn fun! The best! I will put you in my next video. When I was younger, I dreamed of being the next Carol Burnett. I couldn’t master her Tarzan yodel, but I could do a mean Woody-wood pecker. It’s fun thinking it up, writing it, shooting it, editing it, and then trying to get it seen. Have you seen this latest one on #TrumpShowUsYourPenis from College Humor? I wish I had thought of it.
You previously worked at Conde Nast’s Conde Net and iVillage. What did you learn from those experiences?
At the time, I was like Laura Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, and I didn’t even know it. We were so early in the infancy stages of online publishing and Internet, and it was amazing (now in retrospect) to have been there at the beginning to watch it happen.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start a business?
Surround yourself with other like-minded woman who motivate and inspire you.
What is one thing that you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?
I suppose it took me a while to get the concept of being yourself. It never felt enough to not “do” anything and just “be” instead. The good news is that with age come wisdom and perspective, and that has helped me considerably. I’m constantly seeking inspiration in this area by using tools like therapy, personal growth courses, and seminars. Then I try to use what I learn in the real world: Writing, creating new shows, interviewing woman I admire, and taking risks in hopes that, through example, I can inspire and empower other women. That has been the key.
What is on your desk right now?
Coffee. Always coffee.
What is your morning routine?
The very first thing I do in the morning is turn off my alarm at 6:20 am, and fumble to reset it for 6:40 am. Then I get up, feed the cat, open all the curtains, turn on the lights, turn on the radio in the living room, open the shades in my son’s room, tell him to “pump up the kicks and give God the morning glory” (I say this every single morning) and then go back into my own room and lie down for five more minutes until 7 am. At which point, I officially get up and get in the shower…
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I was contemplating whether or not to move on from my marriage, a good friend told me these words: “Alison, this is an IQ Test, and you are failing.” I don’t know why, but I think of these words often and they motivate me.
What is your career advice for other young professional women?
If I can do it, you can too. Trust me.