Alexis Ren's time in quarantine has been massively productive. ET's Katie Krause recently spoke to the 23-year-old model about what she's been up to and how she's working hard to do some good.
Like many people, Ren thought her 2020 would go a lot differently than it did, having just booked and arrived on set of her first movie. Things took a turn, though, when COVID-19 hit, leading Ren to question what she should do to fill her time.
"Because of this pause I was able to create Future Prosperity and I was able to create Warriors," she says of her latest business venture and her lifestyle community. "I was able to focus on music as well... It's just focusing on the things that the universe is telling me to."
Amid the months-long quarantine -- and writing 20 songs in two weeks -- Ren worked hard on her two new ventures, both of which she considers her "babies." When it comes to Future Prosperity, Ren was inspired to start the sustainability-focused, women-led platform and retailer with her co-founder, Vanessa Black, while thinking about the world she wants for future generations.
"I remember reading in a book that scientists don't even talk about our kids' kids because they don't even see our kids' kids having a future because of what we've done to this planet. That that was the moment when it hit me the hardest," she says. "To be a 23-year-old and think about being a mom, and being unsure that this place is a good place to raise a child. That is what motivated me."
"And also seeing that my generation, they're ready to take responsibility... When I saw that in my followers and the people that I talk to everyday, I knew that there could be a huge shift. Why not lead and become a part of it and incorporate myself into it however I can?" Ren continues. "We need everyone. That's how I see it. We need everyone."
Being at the center of the environmental movement initially seemed daunting, but Ren decided that this was even more of a reason to get involved.
"I'm like, 'How do I even start? Where do I even start?' That was actually the reason that I went into it, because I don't want people to feel like this. I want people to feel like they can come to this space and there's a place that feels safe for them," she says. "They can start to grow by doing micro-changes in their lives, and then, karmically, it just leads to a better life."
"... We need everyone's help. We don't need everyone to be 100 percent zero waste. We just need low-waste," she adds. "Be a little bit better, and that is going to make a huge difference."
Micro-changes include ditching plastic razors, using sustainable cleaners and bottles, and other similar things that "make huge impacts in the world."
"We're in a time where convenience and instant gratification overrules our sense of protection for this planet," she notes. "... If we can stop looking for the most convenient things, and start looking for the most regenerative products, something that can sustain for our future kids... for me, it's future prosperity."
While Future Prosperity, which launches Oct. 8, is focused on what's to come, Warriors was founded with Ren's past in mind. The model, who's been open about her past struggle with an eating disorder, started the "amazing workout and lifestyle community" to provide a system of support to those looking to improve their body image and mindset.
"I have thousands of girls where we do live calls with dietitians and eating disorder mentees. I do a call with them every Friday. We have workout challenges," she explains. "For me, it's walking with these girls through the struggles that I personally went through that's been really fulfilling."
"... It's super empowering. There's nothing more empowering than the truth, in my opinion... Having these girls open up to me about their struggles, and, not only hearing them, but, like, really understanding where they're coming from... it's been so grounding, and so amazing, and fulfilling," Ren continues. "It's, like, the most fulfilling thing ever to be on live with these girls and just laugh and talk for an hour. It's like therapy."
With Ren's life currently busy as can be, she hasn't had time to sit down and watch the latest season of Dancing With the Stars. Regardless, Ren, who finished in fourth place on the show in 2018, has kept in touch with many of the show's pros, including her former partner and ex-boyfriend, Alan Bersten.
"We definitely have been in contact, just saying good things. He just texted me on my birthday," she shares. "... We're super good friends and everything's good energy. So yeah, the best outcome possible."
In fact, her time on DWTS is something she cherishes, and credits with helping her develop her "self-belief."
"It helped push me physically, mentally... Now that I saw I have that capability and mindset, I'm a more confident person. I'm forever grateful for that experience to push myself to that level," she says. "... Everyone had my back... And so I started to believe in myself deeper because of them. It's a spiritual journey to say the least."
As for if she'd ever want to return to the competition -- if the series chose to revive an All-Stars season -- Ren admits that "it's definitely a possibility."
"I love performing. It's my favorite thing in the world. It's an exhilarating thing. It's super addictive," she says. "So being able to perform again, that would be beautiful. And I love dancing."
While a DWTS return is far from certain, Ren does know some of what she hopes her future holds.
"Hopefully I get Future Prosperity to be a huge brand in that space. And helping girls to make micro changes to these macro changes. I love speaking... Really speaking on behalf of my generation would be really beautiful and mean a lot to me," she says. "Performing is really special to me, so I hope that the right roles come to play in the next five years as far as acting... And then hopefully singing. Singing to me is my safe place."
"... I also believe what's meant to happen is going to happen," Ren adds. "This is the most trust I've had in life in, like, forever. I finally know what they mean by coming of age."