From overcoming the challenges of foster care to carving her path as a multifaceted entrepreneur and actress, Alyssa McKay’s journey is a narrative of strength, inspiration, and determination. In this exclusive interview with Galore, McKay opens up about her upbringing, her love for acting, the creative inspiration behind her streetwear brand “Beyond Lost,” and the pivotal role of Snapchat in connecting with her audience. With insights into her balancing act between acting and entrepreneurship and her advice for aspiring creatives, McKay shares the essence of her story and the exciting ventures ahead.

Can you tell us about how your upbringing has shaped you as a person and as a business owner? What lessons in your childhood do you believe transferred over to becoming a successful creator & entrepreneur?

Growing up in foster care, I struggled a lot with feeling loved and cared for, housing/food security, being burned over and over again and never knowing if someone actually cared for you or for the check they got for you being in their home. I think because of all of the hardships I’ve faced, I am extremely resilient, as well as grateful for every day that I get to wake up with a roof over my head, food in my stomach, enough to care for my fur babies, all while doing what I love – creating. I never take any opportunity or experience or dollar for granted, and I think that that’s what really sets me apart as a content creator and entrepreneur. I don’t have a backup plan. This is my plan A through Z.

What influenced you to pursue acting?

I discovered my love for acting when I was a freshman in high school after seeing my friend in a production of The Addams Family: The Musical. I was subconsciously looking for an escape, and acting has allowed me to step outside of myself and my own life and become someone else. Ever since I experienced acting for the first time, I knew that that was what I wanted to do forever.

Why did you create “Beyond Lost” and how does it reflect your personal style?

My management team (@ The Network Effect) and I have always bonded over our mutual love for streetwear style and fashion in general. As someone who doesn’t stick to one aesthetic, I have always found my default style to lean more towards streetwear. I have always loved fashion, so my team and I decided, why can’t we do it and do it great. It’s been such a crazy journey and I am so grateful to be able to create pieces that so many people love!

How do you think using Snapchat as a platform to share Beyond Lost with your fans & followers has separated your brand from the rest?

No one really understands the power of Snapchat. People and brands are starting to, but I have been cultivating my audience on Snapchat since 2020. Even though I have 15M+ across all social platforms (and I am super grateful), I value my 2M on Snap infinitely the most. When you have an audience that has been with you everyday for years, through the good and bad days, there’s a much more special bond than the people that scroll through hundreds of videos a day and happen to see a video of yours and add you to their following list. Snapchat followers are so much more eager to support your endeavors, such as Beyond Lost, because it feels more like a friendship than an influencer/follower relationship.  There truly is such a close bond!

How do you balance your acting career with your responsibilities as a business owner & full time creator?

A lot of self discipline! I am so lucky I have an amazing team keeping me on track. A lot of creators run around to parties and red carpets and those types of events to keep busy because no one is really comfortable in their own skin. (That was so me back in 2019). Now, I fully consider myself a business woman and I understand that in order to achieve longevity in this industry, you need to be multifaceted and you have to keep your head down! I am definitely a bit of a workaholic, but I also love what I do, so it rarely feels like work.

What is a must have from your brand that everyone should have?

That’s a hard one because they’re all so good. I would definitely say a hoodie from our upcoming Royal Triad Collection, and definitely one of our basic sets. Our hoodie/sweatpant sets are so comfy and we release them in a lot of different colors so there will definitely be something for everyone!

Who / what is your greatest creative inspiration?

Honestly, Jenna Ortega. She’s a great actress and I love how she stands up for both what she believes in and the integrity of the projects she’s in. As a woman in the entertainment industry, it can be scary to speak up if you aren’t an A-lister because there’s a million girls that look like you in line for your spot. 

What piece of advice would you give to someone whose situation mirrored yours in your adolescence?

It gets better. As cliche as it sounds, growing up in foster care sucks. There’s no getting around that. And sometimes, it feels like there is no possible way life can go up from there. I am living proof that it can, and it does. Advocate for yourself, pay attention in school, apply for scholarships. You can’t help the cards you’ve been dealt, but your future is in your hands.

What can we expect from you moving forward, in terms of your brand and acting ventures? 

We have some exciting acting projects in the pipeline that I am so excited to share with the world, and we have so many cool Beyond Lost drops coming up. Make sure you’re signed up for texts because we are doing giveaways for every drop and people who are signed up also get early access to shop all of our drops first!

As you continue to evolve as both a creative and an entrepreneur, what advice do you have for young creatives looking to break into the industry?

Be yourself. Authenticity will always win. People will eventually see through you if you’re not being yourself. Additionally, social media is constantly evolving. You have to consume as much as you create and keep up, because what was working for you one year may not the next. That is why it is important to build an audience that loves you for who you are at your core.

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