Meeting in high school (Boca Raton, Florida) and then traveling the world together, Desiree Chance and Antonella Nardi both knew at a very young age that they wanted to be entrepreneurs. But what exactly they wanted to do was up in the air.
It wasn’t until both Desiree and Antonella were looking for ways to take their health routines to the next level. They realized there was a void in the health and wellness industry at that time for what they needed. So a light bulb went on, and they decided to create a superfoods powder product that would not only improve their health but would also be easy to add into their daily lives—no matter where they were: Yourlixir.
Both with different career backgrounds—Antonella from the fashion industry and Desiree from the entertainment field—living a healthy lifestyle is a must, not a want. They bring passion, drive and determination to make Yourlixir a well-known household name. Meet the women behind Yourlixir and how they quickly grew their idea into something much, much larger.
Meet the Ladies Behind Yourlixir: Their Background
Antonella: I’m from Westchester, New York and currently live in Miami, Florida.
Desirée: Originally I’m from Zürich, Switzerland, but was raised in over 15 cities around the world. I currently live in Los Angeles.
A: I discovered the health benefits of spirulina about 14 years ago while balancing school and work, which led me deeper into wellness. During my international business travels, mainly to Europe and Asia, I quickly realized that although my career thrived, the traveling caught up to me, healthwise. I started to experience fatigue and burnout, and an overall lack of energy. Healthy food options abroad were limited, and it forced me to dig even deeper into the understanding of food for nutrition. Over the years it became clear that using food as functional medicine became a theme in how I balanced both work and play.
D: I was raised in a household where wellness was always a part of my upbringing (dad is a wellness entrepreneur and patent holder, grandparents are in chiropractic, and alternative healing and mother is a clinical orthopedic massage therapist at Boca Raton Regional Hospital). I discovered the powerful effects of maca powder about six years ago while searching for ways to help balance hormones naturally and was impressed with how it improved my life. Since then, I’ve added many more superfoods that help with hair and skin health, energy, focus, detoxing, teeth whitening and more to my diet, as well as used topically.
Before creating Yourlixir, you both came from different industries. Can you please elaborate on your careers?
A: I started in fashion at age 15 as a merchandiser for a local fashion store where I later became a buyer. I received a degree in Fashion Merchandising & Design from Keiser University. After graduating, I worked with a private textile company where I worked directly with the factories in China, Bangladesh, UAE, and Vietnam. Some of my notable customers were Macy’s and Bloomingdales of the MMG Group, ASDA UK, Nordstrom, Marks & Spencer, Zara, etc. I also sourced fabrics, directed production from a cotton mill, sampling, to garment creation, logistics and exporting — all the way until the products were on the retail shelves. I worked closely/designed with Dsquared, Diesel, Robert Graham and multiple private label brands.
D: I began modeling at age three. I continued into commercial acting, runway, on-camera hosting and tv acting. I worked with recognizable brands like KIA, Visa, MTV, Subway, Kohls, Hawaiian Tropic, Ed Hardy, FOX, Jack in the Box, to name a few. For TV, I was on Burn Notice and House. I’ve hosted internationally in Portugal, Spain, South Africa, & Dubai, as well as dozens of red carpet events in Hollywood, California. I’ve produced and co-hosted a show abroad with, Holli Ugalde (Holli Love), winner of season 7 of Hell’s Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay.
Antonella, why did you decide to pursue a career in the fashion industry?
A: My parents are from Italy and in the Health & Beauty industry. My father was a businessman, notable hairstylist who trained with Vidal Sassoon, and philanthropist. I was born around “glam” and grew up in upscale hair salons in New York City frequented by celebrities, models and people in the know. Because of that, there was great importance since a young age to represent yourself well, always be dressed the part, and to be well put together. Hair, beauty and fashion go hand in hand. From that, my creative outlet flourished from a young age. I feel that dressing up gives you a personality and I’ve always liked the idea of having an identity through fashion. I am particularly drawn to making the things around me aesthetically pleasing whether it be in designing my home, cooking, events, gifting and especially fashion. I feel that when things look pretty, it makes me happy.
Desiree, why did you decide to pursue a career in the entertainment field?
D: My father was in the industry before I was born, so it was a natural progression for me. Won my first pageant at 3 ½ years old (Little Miss Florida), although I do not consider myself the pageant type. I always enjoyed working in entertainment because each job was still something new and exciting — new place, new people, new product, etc. It’s also something I’ve done my whole life, so it feels very natural and familiar to me. When I got into acting and hosting, I loved the entertainment industry even more because it gave me a voice, more than modeling ever did. Hosting is like improv and is entirely unpredictable, so I enjoy how in-the-moment and “quick on your feet” you have to be. I still work in entertainment here and there and have now gotten my daughter, Fiona (4 months old), into it as well … she was born with an agent! I love that it forced me to be personable, responsible and taught me work ethic at a very young age, which I hope will be something Fiona can take away from it, too.
How did you ladies decide to start Yourlixir?
A & D: It wasn’t until we were both looking for a way to take our health routines to the next level. We decided to create a brand that would not only improve our health with high-quality, functional superfoods but would be easy to implement into our daily routines, no matter where we were (since we travel quite a bit).
Being a #Girlboss is dedication, time-consuming and just plain hard work. What fuels you both mentally and physically to run and operate Yourlixir?
A & D: Being mindful, taking care of our health from the inside out by being aware of what we put into our bodies and supplementing with superfoods, as well as how we care for our physique. It’s important to keep up with an exercise routine to feel better (release endorphins), keep our energy levels up and stay strong. Practicing things daily that make us happy, keep us stress-free, and ready to take on the day, whether it be yoga, meditation, listening to podcasts, getting adequate sleep, cooking, spending quality time with loved ones and people that elevate you.
Are there any skills you learned from your previous career paths that have helped you with Yourlixir?
D: My career has taught me work ethic, how to relate to people from all walks of life, how to represent myself (or brand) in the best light, how to express myself in a helpful manner, creativity and even problem-solving. I'm used to working long hours on any given project (some days run 14-plus hours, and you have to approach what you’re doing with the same kind of enthusiasm as you did at the beginning of the day to get things accomplished the right way). Also, how to handle rejection (or in business: failure) gracefully and learn how to get right back up and try again without taking things too personally.
A: Planning, thinking ahead and having a pre-meditative approach has helped me more than anything else. In fashion, everything is based on what we would call a “critical path,” and if any of the pre-scheduled items are not finished (you can evidently tell where the issue will arise later on giving you ample time in your strategy to fix it). With Yourlixir, when we have significant campaigns and big spend days, it’s been a critical factor in helping what we need to plan. Especially on the manufacturing and shipping side of things so we can make sure our customers are satisfied. Besides that, having a global perspective from my business travels have given me the ability to discuss my ideas and goals for Yourlixir confidently with anyone, from customers and salespeople to CEOs and major investors. When you see how some of the top companies in the world handle their operations successfully, it’s a major driving factor that allows you to pave the way for even the smallest of ideas.
What has it been like creating your own business?
A & D: Exciting, fun, terrifying … every emotion. There are highs and lows, learning curves and trial and errors that make it one of the scariest, yet rewarding roller coasters you can be on. Overall, it’s gratifying to know that you’re in charge of your wins in life. To be able to be rewarded when you work hard and also feel the achievement in helping others — through superfoods and their health — is the best feeling of them all.
Did you ever think you would become entrepreneurs?
D: Without a doubt. It’s in my DNA because self-employed business owners and entrepreneurs raised me. Aside from entertainment, I worked for other businesses growing up to earn money, but it never felt satisfying. When I was 19, I started my first LLC out of Miami.
A: 100%. I grew up around business owners as well. I’m also a first generation American and seeing the success of my parents after coming from nothing gave a clear direction that your actions completely shape your future. No dream seemed too big, and there weren’t caps on possibilities. Besides my parents, I worked for highly motivated entrepreneurs that have incredible success stories. So, that mentality along with seeing the confidence it takes to get stuff done has been ingrained in me in all walks of my life.
Since you two #Bossbabes live on opposite sides of the country, how are you able to run your business?
A & D: Although we live on different coasts, we are in constant contact, whether it be by email, text, phone or even FaceTime - on some days, it’s by all of them! We’re continually brainstorming ideas, sharing articles or making improvements to our business.
What tactics have you used to your advantage of being a remote business?
A & D: We make it a point always to keep the ball rolling and try to anticipate the steps ahead. One of our goals when creating Yourlixir was to eventually be able to manage it remotely, which, to an extent, we do (thank you, Amazon!). We’ve used our bi-coastal roots to make Yourlixir a bi-coastal startup, which has had its perks. For instance, we’ve been able to create partnerships and collaborate with other wellness companies and events (TEDx, W Hotels, Rise Nation, etc.) in both Miami and L.A. since we each have our hub. It helps expand our reach and gives us a more broad perspective of the current health and wellness scene across the U.S., rather than just one city.
What’s one of the biggest learning lessons you both discovered when launching Yourlixir?
A & D: There’s no step-by-step handbook that’s going to guarantee success. Each business venture is different, and there’s a lot of trial and error. Sometimes you have to go down multiple different paths to find the right one.
What advice can you give to those thinking about starting their own business?
A & D: Be ready for long hours. Starting a business from scratch takes time, money and a lot of creativity. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board and rework your plans to reach your goals. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize milestones, even if they are small ones. Also, make sure your brand and mission are aligned. Know your customer and do your best to go beyond what they’d expect.
What’s your number one tip for anyone who wants to achieve gr8ness in their lives?
A & D: Achieving gr8ness begins with your mindset! Keep focused and positive. Set goals for yourself and knock ‘em off the list as you go. Most importantly, take care of your health because, without it, nothing else matters!
Just for fun: You're stuck on an island and can only take three food items with you (endless supply). What would they be?
D: Avocados, salmon sashimi and all-natural dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
A: Spirulina, coconut oil and dark chocolate covered cashews.
We've got to know, what's your favorite way to eat gr8nola?
D: My favorite flavor is the Matcha Green Tea and I love adding coconut milk and berries to it.
A: My favorite way to eat gr8nola is sprinkled on top of my superfood bowls. It adds the perfect crunch but still follows everything I look for in what I eat—all-natural, low sugar and has good fats (like coconut oil).
Shop for your favorite gr8nola snack!