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By Collin Breaux | Twitter: @collin_breaux

Since some people are spending more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they might want to beautify their personal space—which is a good thing for Alexxis Torres.

The Laguna Niguel resident is the owner of Bella Lexie, a small business that sells dry flowers. Dry flowers are exactly that: real flowers that go through a preservation process, which means they can, as Torres puts it, “last—essentially—forever.”

Local small business owner Alexxis Torres sells dry flowers and other home décor through her online businesss, Bella Lexie. Torres has battled through mental health issues on her way to personal success. Photo: Pop Media LA

Dry flowers are popular as gifts or event decorations. Torres said she has seen an increase in demand since the pandemic began, and got into dry flowers when she started selling pampas grass. Torres began Bella Lexie last August, and it did very well financially at the start. While demand has recently slowed down, the business is still relatively successful, Torres said.

Bella Lexie has a warehouse in San Juan Capistrano and is primarily an online business at Customers are as close as Ladera Ranch, and as far away as Canada and Australia.

Along with her business success, Torres is also celebrating 10 years of sobriety. She has struggled with depression, suicidal attempts, and substance abuse. Torres is sharing her story in hopes that it can help and inspire others who are in a dark place.

“From research, nature brings healing,” said Torres, who is a nutritionist and majored in psychology in college. “I like bringing nature indoors.”

Torres said mental health issues run in her family, and she used alcohol to self-medicate when she was younger.

“I started my journey when it comes to my substance abuse and mental health,” Torres said. “I realized if I wanted a different path, I had a choice to make.”

Everyone has the potential to get better—no matter how far gone or dark their story may seem, she said. While she has experienced her own lowest of lows, she is still here.

“After 10 years, I’m really grateful I didn’t die,” Torres said. “It’s a message of hope that you can stay sober and have fun.”

As for her business life, Torres is reaching out to wholesalers and event planners to heighten awareness for Bella Lexie. Popularity with Ladera Ranch residents has come through word-of-mouth, she said.

Her journey toward success and sobriety came about through reaching out to a network of mentors, coaches, therapists, and psychologists.

“I couldn’t do it alone,” Torres said.

Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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