Alexandra Zanardi is the visionary and owner at The Mix, one of our newest and most innovative businesses, now located in the heart of downtown Main Street. She will continue to own True Massage & True 180 Coaching on Church Lane in East Lyme, which has been operational for five years. It has withstood Covid, one rebranding and four relocations. She is grateful for her loyal clientele and her own fierce resilience that kept it going.
True as a wellness center will remain at the Church Street location, where Alex will continue to take massage clients two days a week. She also offers self-care coaching there to include both yoga and massage. Private yoga sessions will also be available.
Alex will bring her business coaching services to The Mix, as well as serve as Operations Manager. The two environments will vary greatly. True will foster relaxation, healing and amazing self-care coaching. The Mix location offers an energetic and inspired atmosphere.
On your visit to The Mix, prepare to be warmly welcomed. At once, you’ll have no doubt that this is a thoughtfully planned multiple-use space. Alex has created the perfect environment here for burgeoning business owners.
Current businesses sharing the collaborative workspace at The Mix:
Esthetics by Emma: Owner Emma Dembinski offers specialty brow services, body waxing, targeted skin care, spray tanning and event make-up.
Balanced Body Studio: Owner Andrea Chappelle offers personal training & Pilates.
Tara Lee Interior Design, LLC: Owner Tara Braatz offers interior design for residential and commercial properties, wedding design and party planning and home sale staging.
Triumph: Owner Christa Allen offers intuitive mentorship.
Alex is confident her varied business background will bring the right “mix” (pun intended) of skills to help these entrepreneurs thrive. Each of them had hired Alex prior to their involvement at The Mix. And now, each business will continue to receive coaching at no additional cost. Alex says, “My goal is to provide the kind of support that will help them to succeed, and I hope to aid other small business owners, too.”
Each business owner who rents space at The Mix has not only signed a lease but has also agreed to play an active role in the operations of the Mix as an enterprise.
Getting a glimpse into Alex’s background gives us some insight into what led her to her current role. She grew up in nearby Deep River and spent her summers in Old Saybrook. The child of two entrepreneur parents, Alex says “My life was networking from day one.” She worked in both of her parents’ businesses. Her mom, Donna Zanardi, opened A Style Above Designs in Chester about two years before Alex was born. In fact, the family lived upstairs from the salon for the first six months of Alex’s life. Forty years later, the salon remains in operation today, has grown to eight chairs and is still in the family, currently owned by her mom’s youngest sister, Sandra Atkinson. Alex says, “I learned so much from my mom. When I say I started from the bottom up, I mean by age 10 I was sweeping hair, folding towels and answering the phone at the front desk.”
Her father owned a third generation contraction company, A.A. Zanardi in Chester. From working in the office, Alex learned the operations of the business. And she learned from her father that in addition to what you know, who you know can also be important. From here, her passion for networking was sparked. Alex began her career as a massage therapist in 2006, eventually leading her to the creation of her own company, True.
Businesses at The Mix have begun to open and more will be welcomed in the coming months. They are putting the finishing touches on the interior design for the inviting common area and gearing up for their ribbon cutting scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on November 3.
They’ll hold their first event on November 4 – Comedy for a Cause. The intimate space can accommodate about 75 people. Join them for their opening weekend event which will feature comedian Jess Miller & Co. – proceeds to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Doors Open at 7:30 p.m.. Show is at 8:00 p.m.. Visit here for more details; you can purchase your tickets here. (UPDATE: This event has sold out.)
Alex says, “The Mix is a playground for networking and community events – fun and innovative, not traditional, events – more of an authentic coming-together of like minds.”
Event plans at The Mix include education workshops, motivational speakers and local business spotlights. In November, they plan to offer an art class with Marcy from Serial Quiller Creations. Tentative plans for a cookie swap are in the works for the night of the Niantic Holiday Stroll. Alex says, “our goal is to make networking painless and powerful.”
When asked “Why Niantic?”, Alex shares that as soon as she saw the Main Street location, she had no doubts that it was the perfect space to make her vision a reality. She says, “The water view provides calm and inspiration. And the community has been supportive and encouraging.” The reaction she most often receives when describing her vision is “We needed something like this in our community.” From the beginning, Niantic has just felt right for Alex and her team. The strong and growing community lends itself well to The Mix vision.
Alex has taken the time to reach out to members of the community who she says have welcomed her with open arms. She has met with town officials to be sure their space is safe and ready to invite the community in for events. Alex says, “They were professional, yet personable at the same time. This is not always the case. I have to say I am impressed by Niantic as a whole, and I am honored to be welcomed into this community. I know all the other girls feel the same way!”
Contact Alex to learn more about shared space still available.
Alex shares, “You need to visit us to understand that nothing makes sense at The Mix; it isn’t intended to. Our design has been inspired by the late 90s and early 2000s – a New York City loft kind of feel.” Taking the cue from one of Alex’s photos, local artist Jacob Cullers has painted a sunrise that leads you up to the welcoming and serene space. More of Jacob’s artwork is planned for the common area.
Future plans for The Mix include a small retail space featuring local artist’s work and Mix merchandise as well as an area to create floral arrangements. When Alex looks out their back window, she sees more than a roof. She sees potential for a fun outdoor event space or even a yoga class. She likes to say the sky is the limit. She hopes to see The Mix expand to reach other communities. She adds, “We hope to become known for the power of making networking real and authentic.”
Visit themixniantic.com for their full vision and mission statements.
277 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Niantic
Hours will vary by business; someone will typically be there to welcome you into see the space and to answer your questions.
For more about True: www.thetrue180.com
About Our Main Street Blogger:
Joanne lives in, and loves, our community. She was looking for an opportunity to help share all that our local businesses do to make East Lyme such a special place to call home, and she is excited to contribute to our blog. Joanne brings to the role her experience from New London Main Street where she contributed content to their website, newsletters and email communications for many years.