A conversation with ‘new’ LJVMA president, Alisha Harwylyszyn Frank
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 09/23/18 - 09:38 AM | 3583 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alisha Harwlyszyn Frank is acting LJVMA president.
Alisha Harwlyszyn Frank is acting LJVMA president.
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In May, Alisha Harwylyszyn Frank was elected as president of the La Jolla Village Merchants. She replaced Sheila Fortune. The La Jolla Village News recently chatted with Harwlyyszn Frank to discuss her ideas, business, moving from New York and decision to join the LJVMA.

Tell us a little about your background. You are a life coach. Explain what that entails.

• Prior to establishing Fiercely Optimistic, I advocated for human rights for indigenous peoples at the United Nations in New York City. I am passionate about people. Through life coaching, I assist people to speak their Truth and discover how they can truly change their lives for the better.

You are a bicoastal business, with offices in both New York and La Jolla? How did you folks end up out here?

• After spending 11 years in New York City I was fortunate to meet a great spiritual teacher: Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī (also known as Amma the Hugging Saint).

Out of 3,000 people, she chose me to receive darśana first. As I was approaching her, a great question arose in my mind - Where am I supposed to be? After I received darśana and a mantra from Amma I sat quietly in meditation.

She immediately came to me in a vision and said, “my dear, you are doing everything right but you need to be in California.” I was taken aback by this direction because New Yorkers don’t take kindly to those living outside of the city.

And I had only been to LA a couple of times for long weekends and it was definitely not my scene. Through prayer, I asked this great saint to give me more insight to which I received, “San Diego.”

Within a month I packed up my Volkswagen Beetle and drove across the country to find my new home in La Jolla (of course I was pronouncing it incorrectly at that time).

What prompted you to get involved with the LJVMA.

• I have always been an advocate for a cause. And after about two years of successfully building my practice in La Jolla, I felt confident that I could be of assistance to our beautiful community and merchants.

Now that you are president, what direction would you like to see the merchant group go in?

• I see the LJVMA raising the vibration in the Village by bringing in events that give locals and tourists alike a reason to come to our neighborhood. This will bring more business to the merchants as well as an opportunity for new merchants to see why they need to bring their business here.

What does the Village of La Jolla need business-wise?

• This is the beauty of La Jolla! Everything you need is already here. But we certainly have room for more of what we already offer.

Are you happy with the current mix of businesses here?

• Absolutely! We have amazing art galleries, live music, restaurants, shopping, wellness options and a spiritual energy that I haven’t felt anywhere else in San Diego.

How could the business mix be improved?

• Instead of just trying to make the current “business mix” bigger and better, why don’t we start talking about creative collaborations with the businesses that are already here in La Jolla?

What businesses/services are needed in the community that are not there now?

• I honestly can’t think of one. But we are of course open to innovative ideas for new business ideas whether they be in the field of technology, arts, science or whatever the entrepreneurial mind can invent.

With the emergence of The Lot and the new Conrad music center, it sounds like there’s an opportunity for the Village to go in more of an arts and entertainment direction. Is that something the LJVMA can help out with?

• Absolutely! I foresee us collaborating and creating events that are based around music and art.

Can the LJVMA be a positive force for change in the community? What would that involve? 

• I truly believe that we have the ability to help each merchant thrive through the togetherness of community. There is a lot to get organized. But in good time I think everyone will experience the positive impact of LJVMA.

We like your business name, is that indicative of your philosophy on life/business?

• Thank you! Fiercely Optimistic perfectly sums up my outlook on life. Sometimes life can be difficult but with fierce optimism anything is possible and I believe that is also true of business.

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