Alexis Mersel of Instant Pot cookbook fame ("Everyday Instant Pot"; "Healthy Instant Pot"; "Instant Pot Soups") grew up “fueled for fashion.” After studying in Paris, she landed dream jobs at Elle, Harper's Bazaar, In Style and Mirabella. When the digital boom hit, she abandoned print and jumped in, working for fashionmall.com and later Martha Stewart and the Food Network. Moving between San Francisco and London allowed her to connect with a London roommate who ran a bookstore with a cafe which lured Alexis into cooking. Still lacking “family responsibilities,” she quit her job to attend a cooking school in Ireland eventually landing back in San Francisco as a baker. Baking moved her into food styling, which moved her into cookbooks. “Even though I’m a classic type A, I wasn’t thinking of a plan,” she says. “The best thing in retrospect was NOT to have a plan. It let things be.” Her advice for other type As who want to play it free-spirit: “If your gut says yes, say yes. It’s scary. But that’s where you build confidence for your next role."