Inspire – Women of Dartmouth Stories

Grateful

Alex Friedman ‘04, founder of LOLA, muses about the defining moments of her life

I grew up in NYC with two full-time working parents who gave me the best childhood imaginable – full of quirky family activities (trips to chocolate factories and duck ponds), strong role models (my mom founded her own legal nonprofit), and freedom to learn and experiment (I was neither a star tap dancer nor soccer player but I showed up to practice and I gave it my all!).

Both my parents worked. Both my parents took care of us. I had dolls and I played sports. I received an allowance and spent it as I chose. I spent hours doing arts and crafts and playing ping pong with my sister. I worked very hard in school despite my parents’ claim that they never told us to do so. When it came time to go to college, moving from NYC to New Hampshire just felt right.

At Dartmouth, I made my life friends. I lived in a two-room triple and “blitzed” all night (rather than talk). I wore costumes and down jackets. This will date me but I listened to Dr. Dre and Shakira. I learned how to have hard conversations – like when I let down a friend or ended a relationship. I studied neuroscience, religion, and Hispanic literature, and after 9/11, majored in international affairs. I studied abroad in Montevideo and finally mastered Spanish. I relaxed in Sanborn with tea and a book.  My fingers froze carrying my chai lattes across the green. I loved every minute.

Toward the end of my time at Dartmouth, I found a passion for business. I’ve since been a consultant, investor, and operator. I’ve worked for exceptional leaders. I’ve succeeded and fallen on my face equal times. With another Dartmouth alum (a friendship cemented later in life), I co-founded and co-run a lifelong brand for women called LOLA. We’re trying to change how women experience their reproductive lives by offering ingredient transparency in our products and reliable content and expert advice to a stigmatized category. It’s been a wild ride to say the least, trying professionally to turn an industry on its head while simultaneously personally experiencing these reproductive life stages and growing our families.

I met my husband in grad school on a ski mountain. Despite having regrettably not become a skier at Dartmouth, I was able to attract him during lunch one day on the mountain (thankfully he never saw me try to walk in the boots). That was 10 years ago. We now live in NYC with our two beautiful children that look too much like him and too little like me for the effort I put into creating them. I’m happy to contribute to this storytelling effort because it brought me back to happy memories in Hanover, at a time that has been and continues to be trying for all of us and for everyone in our country. At this moment, I’m doing everything I can to stay safe and healthy, and contribute in every way I can to make things better for the people around me and for the next generation.

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