“Pivot” might be the most commonly-used word of the last year and a half. From restaurants to hotels to workout studios, people have had to reinvent the wheel—to stay scrappy, to keep their ears to the ground—perhaps more than ever before.
This is true for many businesses, but it’s true for individuals, as well. Take Alyssa May DiZoglio. After graduating from law school in Malibu, she landed a great gig as a corporate mergers and acquisitions attorney in Los Angeles. But after nearly two years on the job, she came to terms with the fact that her heart wasn’t all the way in.
“It was really exciting to get to work with founders who were super passionate about their brands and their companies,” the Northeast native says via video from her LA home. “I learned a ton on the lawyer side, but I really found myself realizing and feeling like I was on the wrong side of the table.”
So she quit. In this sense, it was a pandemic pivot of her own making—a privilege she acknowledges not everyone has, and one she does not take for granted. As for what’s next, we caught up with her to find out.
How did you make the decision to quit your law job and pursue something else?
As much as I enjoy the legal aspect, it’s just that one role. I realized that I love building things—whether that eventually ends up being my own company that I go out and start on my own, or whether I’m working with a brand that I really believe in and want to help them build and grow. That’s really where my heart, my passion is. My parents are entrepreneurs, so I grew up around that.
What businesses do your parents have?
They have restaurants, so I grew up in the restaurant business world. I did every job except the kitchen.
No wonder you like wearing different hats—that’s the name of the restaurant game.
Yeah, exactly. I realized how much I like that aspect of being on the brand side. Whether it’s a restaurant or whether it’s an essential oil company, you have a story to tell and a relationship to build with your community, your customer. And I love that.
So where do you go from here?
I started teaching yoga full-time before law school and started doing an annual yoga retreat with, at the time, the studio I was teaching at, with the owner of that studio—and we have now been hosting that retreat for six years together, which is great. Through law school I did keep up teaching; I actually taught at my law school on the front lawn there, which was really great. But the pandemic, actually, was an interesting avenue for me to start teaching more.
My sister asked if I would teach a class one Saturday for her and her friends on Zoom; this was a week or two into the pandemic, so last March. I did that and threw it out there to some friends, and I ended up having this great community of people who show up every Saturday: friends, and friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends. It’s pay-what-you-can or donation-based with some different organizations I suggest.
I do teach for a studio here in LA now, as well.
Aside from your yoga practise, what has been keeping you grounded at home throughout the pandemic?
My meditation practice. The daily rituals that I already had, for the most part, before this, have become even more important. Waking up really early: I usually wake up between like 5:00 and 5:30. I have a pretty busy nature, so waking up early lets me start the day slowly; watching the light dance across the room as the sun rises. I have a little ritual with lemon water—even just the act of setting out my kettle, hearing the whistle. And my vitruvi diffuser, of course: having scents that make your space feel like your sanctuary. And you can be intentional with it.
I love to try to be outside as much as possible. In LA there are so many great spots to go hiking, which is really one of the major things that attracted me to the city.
One more big thing that I have loved to do throughout the pandemic is have a dinner party every Saturday night with my quarantine bubble. We plan out the meal and appetizers, the wine pairings and the cocktails. It’s something to look forward to.
You’re a member of vitruvi’s Essentials Club subscription program. What oils do you subscribe to?
My favorite is definitely Eucalyptus; I was so excited when vitruvi started selling the bigger bottle of it, so I have that one on subscription. Usually during the day I have Eucalyptus going; right now I’m loving it with a little bit of Spruce and Geranium. I really like Pacific; that one’s on subscription. Dusk I’m actually out of right now, but I love it; my subscription should be coming in any day now. Lavender, of course. Honestly, I think I have every single oil, but those are definitely some of the favorites that end up getting refilled more frequently.
Why is scent such an important part of your space?
Scent is an extension of the way that the room feels. I always have my diffuser going, and I think that it sets the tone, sets the mood.
It’s like putting music on—it’s an extension of filling the room with however you want to feel in that moment.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
This article appears in Natural Habitat Print Issue No. 1. Order your copy here.