Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Olayele.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a young boisterous Black girl growing up in South LA, I always knew I wanted to use my voice – whether through the pen or verbally- to help others. I especially wanted to inspire other young Black girls who may not have had the opportunities I had when coming of age. That led me to thoughts of law or politics as a child then to a sports agent as a college student and eventually finding my space as a writer/blogger in sports and lifestyle.
Now as a Black millennial working wife and mother of three young children, I split my work life between my full-time job in facilities management for a top-tier talent agency and my own business endeavors including Love Olu, my lifestyle blog and online children’s boutique.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to this life has not been easy. Though I’ve been extremely blessed to have an amazing family support system, I was the victim of my own less-than-stellar work ethic in college as well as a completely tanking economy soon after graduating from undergrad. But in those times of loss (I was chronically unemployed for a couple of years), I was forced to, not only figure out what really made me happy, but how I was standing in my own way. I allowed myself to really explore my writing voice and consistently reflect back on that time and how it grew me in so many ways.
Please tell us about Love Olu.
Love Olu is a lifestyle blog that focuses on motherhood and the family life of a millennial Black family that loves to explore the world around them. Love Olu also operates as an online children’s boutique with a focus on modern, small business-crafted products. We look for items that are natural or organic alternatives to familiar options, as well as handmade items. We also put a heavy emphasis on children of color often finding books, toys or clothing made/created/ distributed by people of color.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Family has been, and continues to be, a central focus of my life. All of the most special parts of my childhood include holidays, birthdays, and special occasions with both sides of my family. I particularly remember going to church with my grandparents (dad’s parents). Man those services were LONG, but the reward were those amazing dinners after that had us eating all of the best soul food you could find. I watched a community of people come together every week to enjoy time together and I keep that in mind when I think of what type of community I want to help foster with my passion and business.
Kelly Dunn of Little KMD; Amber Charles of Ecletick Vision (Anna Linduska)