We had the good fortune of connecting with Alana Gissen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alana, what do you attribute your success to?
The (2)most important factors behind the success of my brand is: 1)My parents paving the way since the beginning of addiction treatment being available
2)Taking care of my own mental health

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an amateur photographer! Prior to my life as a photographer, I never even paid attention to a sunrise. Now, I love taking pictures of the sun rising. I started taking photos of the sun rising about 13 years ago. I had issues with depression when I was younger and had some challenges that I’ve worked through.

Depression can feel like a very dark place to be in; however, really being present and experiencing a sunrise can feel very emotionally fulfilling. Recognizing when the sun was raising became a big turning point in my life. Being that I received so much strength and spiritual energy from the sunrise, I wanted to share my experience with others and I started taking pictures and sharing my photos of the sun rising.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Just some of my fav’s:

Greenstreet Cafe/Grove
Bistro Cafe
Grandpa’s Cafe/Lauderdale
Amara for Brunch
Michael’s Genuine
Panther Coffee
Verde/Frost Museum

Greenstreet Cafe/Grove
Sadelle’s /Grove
The Daily
La Granja
Lil Greenhouse Grill

Mr. Mandolin
Meraki Greek
Alloy Bistro
Sexy Fish
Prime Italian, Prime 112
Joe’s Stone Crabs
Greek Islands Taverna/Lauderdale
Kiki on the river
Pubbelly Sushi


Miami Heat Games

Wynwood Walls

Merrick Park

Hard Rock

Calle 8

Frost Museum

Miami Beach

Brightline to Ft Lauderdale Las olas for lunch or dinner

Brightline to Palm Beach to RH for lunch

Knaus Berry Farm/Berry Farm

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Matthew and Helene Gissen (my parents) are pioneers in the addiction treatment industry. They started the first state funded substance abuse treatment program called The Village South in the late 1960’s in downtown Miami. As a young child, I grew up in/around “the drug rehab world ” and addicts and alcoholics in recovery. Watching my parents during most of my life helping so many people has been exceptionally rewarding. I was educated at a very young age about the dangers of substance use and addiction. In fact, many of my friends growing up would hang out with me at The Village and learned also about the suffering from the disease of addition and the journey of recovery. I was “born” into the substance abuse treatment/recovery industry and have been blessed with a 30 year career as a social worker helping people who suffer from the disease of addiction and/or mental health issues.

Website: www.alanagissen.com

Instagram: peacelovehappinesssunshine

Linkedin: Alana Gissen, LCSW

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