From Scrubs to Snacks: Meet Our CEO
Working in the wellness space even before she became a doctor, Linda has over 10 years of experience in holistic wellness with a focus on nutrition.
Q: You have an uncommon background in both Western and Ayurvedic medicine, tell us about that.
A: When I was in medical school, it became clear that the cause AND treatment of many diseases could be traced back to nutrition. However, nutrition was viewed more as an elective rather than a core science. So before starting the clinical years of medical school, I took a complementary medicine sabbatical to better understand nutrition and explore traditional medicine practices that have been handed down through generations. Turns out I was the first medical student in the country to do this.
Q: That must have been surprising.
A: It raised some eyebrows, but am so thankful for my mentors who understood my reasoning and believed in me. Years later, I had a medical student take a complementary medicine sabbatical. It was pretty incredible to see this come full circle. It’s exciting to see this mindset shift happening in Western medicine.
Q: How has that influenced your approach to creating Levelle's products?
A: Plants have been used as nutrition and medicine for thousands of years. They have been studied and we understand how our bodies react to them. With athletes experiencing so many different symptoms in reaction to the sports nutrition available today, I wanted to make products that go back to basics, that are real food–not engineered sugars and additives.
"I am proud that, even when something hasn’t been done, I don’t think of it as impossible. Rather, I think of it as a challenge and an opportunity."
-Dr. Linda Alvarez
Co-Founder and CEO
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A: I really wanted to be like Jem from Jem and the Holograms. Scientist and activist by day, 80’s hair glam rock star by night. I am kind of doing my own version of that now. Formulating and researching by day (and most evenings) and then jamming out and singing rock ballads with my partner and our dogs (Elvis and Bootsy Collins) during breaks.
Q: Which of your traits are you most proud of?
A: I am proud that, even when something hasn’t been done, I don’t think of it as impossible. Rather, I think of it as a challenge and an opportunity. I am so thankful my father instilled this in me when I was a kid. He is an inventor, and some of my fondest memories are working with him on inventions and home improvements. (My mom was not so thrilled to have her 8-year-old soldering but I was having a blast!) Outside of inventions, he taught me this about life. As an immigrant, he has faced more adversity than I will ever understand, but he never let it stop him from living his dreams and believing in himself. I am so thankful to be witness to his resilience.
Q: What does success mean to you?
A: Being the change I want to see in the world. Not just talking about it, but putting the work and action behind it.
Q: In your opinion, what are the top three things someone should consider before starting a business?
A: Is there a problem? Is this a big problem? Does your solution fix this problem?