Alejandra Thompson de Jordan is proud of her Southern roots. “Greensboro forever for me!” But like so many driven young people, she felt compelled to see what else was out there. She showed up in NYC with an impressive resume of educational experience. At UNC School of the Arts, she studied classical guitar. At Emory University, Business Administration and Marketing. Then Fashion Design at Savannah College of Art and Design.
L’Oréal scooped her up quickly. She moved her way up inside the world-famous beauty brand, going from Assistant Marketing Manager to Assistant Vice President of Marketing in under eight years. Chanel was the next to recognize Alejandra’s talent. They immediately made her Director of Marketing. These great opportunities made the downsides she experienced living in NYC worth it–for a while.
Alejandra felt like an imposter in the city. She didn’t feel like she belonged. Walking down the street was akin to driving in rush-hour traffic–you had to pull over to take a call. Beyond the culture shock, she really had to bundle up just to leave the house with her baby daughter. Her brother, Clifford, didn’t help the homesick feelings. He’d often send listings for large homes in Greensboro that cost less than half the rent of her tiny NYC apartment.
This high-powered executive describes her NYC life as “kind of like The Devil Wears Prada.” She traveled exhaustively, flying from Paris to NY, then off to LA, and back again. This wasn’t exactly the lifestyle she wanted for her young daughter.
In 2020, the COVID crisis led Alejandra to worry. When people were told not to come in to work, she knew the city would shut down. She ran that night to rent a car and drove her daughter straight to NC. What she thought would be a two-week escape turned into months and now a year.
Alejandra was glad to be close to family in these times of uncertainty, even more so now after having another baby during quarantine. On maternity leave in Greensboro, she has had the opportunity to take a serious look at the differences in family life between NYC and GSO. With all its excitement and opportunities, New York didn’t offer two major things needed to build the community Alejandra wanted: space and time. In Greensboro, her workdays are shorter, even as VP of Sales & Marketing for Thompson Traders, Inc. The cost of living and lower daycare price means she has expendable income for weekend getaways and lunches with friends. Large backyards mean grilling out for the whole family.
One of the smallest things that brings Alejandra great joy is just getting in the car and driving around. She admits she lives a quieter life in Greensboro, but she’s doing great things. Thompson Traders, her family business, is growing into more of a luxury brand under the eye of this marketing maven. Alejandra has found her home again in GSO, and GSO is fortunate to have her talents.
Alejandra’s “I’m Outta Here” Moment:
At the beginning of the pandemic, when NYC started to shut down, Alejandra knew she had to get out. She and her husband rented a car and drove with her daughter straight to her family home in Greensboro. She anticipated staying for two weeks, hoping the worst would then be over. Two weeks turned into months, and now Alejandra, her daughter, and her newborn baby are all so glad they made the move to a quieter life near family.