40 Under 40: Ali Hynek

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Company: Nena & Co.
Title: CEO + Creative Director
Age: 37
City: American Fork

Sustainable Success Ali Hynek’s career has been woven with creativity, adventure and heritage. She is founder of the popular Nena & Co. (over 200k followers on Instagram), which designs one-of-a-kind woven bags that are expertly made, responsibly sourced, and pay tribute to Hynek’s Guatemalan heritage. She is an avid traveler (she’s visited over 50 countries!), and Nena & Co. recently added artisan collections inspired by Morocco and Ghana. Hynek also has 2-year-old triplets (yup, TRIPLETS!), and has become an influencer with more than 60k Instagram followers who peek in on her busy life of beautiful bags and beautiful babies. (Fun fact: Everything Hynek wore to our photo shoot — from the tip of her hat on down to her shoes — was sustainable clothing.)

Childhood Vision “I wanted to be an aerobics instructor. No joke.”

Growing Up “I was always confident. I had a great home life. I worked with my dad in my parents’ pinata factories in Mexico. Sometimes it would be unloading a semi-truck full of pinatas, or sometimes I’d sit with the women and cut tissue paper to decorate the pinatas.”

Clearing The Mind “I go for walks with my 2-year-old triplets and husband. Jeremy and I have agreed not to talk about business until the kids go to bed. I appreciate it, because when we come home from work things feel so urgent. But when we put it on hold for a few hours, we make better, more rational decisions.”

Out of Sight! “I sold everything as a college student and backpacked around the world with a friend. We rafted the Nile River, skydived in New Zealand, went to a U2 concert in Spain and volunteered cleaning up rubble in Thailand after the great tsunami in 2004. It changed my life!”

Ultimate Vision “To give my family financial freedom. And to responsibly give indigenous artisans around the world an opportunity to make a respectable and reliable income for themselves and their families.”

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