Dry January Profile: Meet Alena of Alena Botanica
Posted on January 29 2020
Alena, owner of Alena Botanica, is a Portland designer who says her plant-inspired glassware helped her get sober. Dedicated to both plants and art, she is planning her first Plant Art at the Bar mocktail event in Portland in February. at Citrine Bloom, a local plant shop.
Describe your sober journey.
My dreams of sobriety began many moons ago before I quit drinking on 11/8/2017. In 2003, I began working in Craft Beer- it quickly became my entire world – my friends, career & my brand all revolved around it. I had fear about losing my identity- and it took me years, and a move across the country, to build up the courage to leave that all behind. I knew in my heart, giving up alcohol would unlock my full potential. And, I was right- it surely did. I love being sober and fully present in my life.
How did you get into glassware?
My first 6 years in business, I designed plant-inspired apparel. In 2014, I moved to Portland and wanted to introduce a new line of products. I met a fabricator who etched glass and inspired me to put my designs on glassware. I love beverages, plants & drinkware. Why not put them all together? Plants are my muse and have always inspired my work. They are in everything we use, eat and drink. It’s important to have them in the conversation, always.
Tell us about your mocktaills + plants event concept.
After I reached about 18 months of sobriety, I started missing bar life. Not drinking alcohol and fending off beer-soaked beards, mind you, but missing those festive rituals: the drinkware, the banter, the art of the beverage. SO, I am throwing my own Mocktail Party at Citrine Bloom, a cute plant shop in SE Portland. Tickets include drinkware, mocktails, a ToMA glass straw and few other surprises! Buy tickets via the link in my @alenabotanica profile on Instagram. Come Plant Art at the Bar with me on February 13th for an evening of sober fun, plant inspiration & community!
What has surprised you most in your business?
The biggest surprise has been realizing that designing drinkware is what helped me get and stay sober. I began making mocktails a couple years before I quit drinking and little did I know, this manifestation of my new life was working its way out through my creative self. I love being a designer – it is truly a gift to be able to have your story influence your work, and through that inspire others to connect back to their own.