• Camille Davis

Living Leah... Authentically.

Even with over 16k followers on Instagram alone, Leah J of Living Leah makes it quite clear that she considers herself a Woman of Influence, not an influencer. Yes, there's a difference. The term "Influencer," to Leah, has been defined loosely as of late, being "someone who basically gets paid to post;" however, a "Woman of Influence is more detailed," as she says.

As a Woman of Influence, Leah J crafts "creative movements using her own platforms and encourages women/men to become a better them." Eating her humble pie until recently, Leah J says it never hit her that she was indeed this "Woman of Influence," until maybe two months ago. The woman behind the brand, Living Leah, is honored to have such a large following, but more concerned with the way in which her influence is being used, rather than "what she wears or how she wears it."

To Leah, it's about "what you're defining yourself as," rather than how others define you; whether that be with the title of an influencer or just in life in general. While Living Leah is fashion, lifestyle, beauty... the brand is all of those categories, and so much more at the same time. She says, "it just represents me as a woman of color, but also just me in general, as being a woman... a mom. I'm just doing what I do, the way I know how, and with a platform."

Leah J promotes living in your purpose. With that practice, one can't go wrong; it's simply a lifestyle rather than living by everyone else's expectations. She says, "it sucks! Unfortunately, we live in a culture where we're valuing people based on the numbers of likes, followers or traction before giving them the time of day. In this world driven by social media, we can take a lesson from the Woman of Influence herself, and that's to "be yourself in the midst of all this self absorbed, fake, capping stuff." For those looking to propel their brand in an authentic way, Leah suggests focusing on engagement, rather than numbers. She says, "at the end of the day, you have to relate."

Fresh Daily Inc. opened up doors and opportunities that allowed Leah J to build multiple brands, particularly under the black women's empowerment umbrella. Stay tuned for Part two, where Leah recalls her brand-building journey from 2014 to date.

For more information on Leah J and Living Leah, visit

livingleah.com

or @

its_leahj

on Instagram.

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