Miss LAJA is a brand that strives to express Nigerian (and one day African) culture through fashion, beauty, and writings. Miss LAJA is passionate about all things that are prints and patterns, especially ankara. She not only showcases the traditional ways, but she also gives it a modern twist; like spreading the branches without letting go of the roots. Beauty wise, she creates different looks drawn from various sources of inspiration from gele head wear to jewelry pieces and even seasons. Her sources of inspiration are endless. The adages (words of wisdom) serve to enlighten readers on the Nigerian culture while offering motivation and inspiration to brighten their day and help them cope with life’s challenges. Miss LAJA is a community to enlighten, inform, and inspire!
Interview with Miss LAJA
1. What inspired you to start?
I am a Nigerian attending school in the US and the portrayal of Africa and her culture is offensive. This isn’t to say there aren’t problems that need solutions but the stories are too one sided and the negative aspects greatly outshined the positive. There’s a lot more to African culture than what’s portrayed in the media. I wanted to showcase the positive aspects in the little way I can through fashion, beauty, and traditional adages starting my culture. With encouragement from my mum, in 2012, Miss LAJA was born.
2. When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion and beauty mogul?
Miss LAJA evolved over time. At first I focused on just writing but I eventually expanded to fashion and beauty because it was fun, more flexible, and added more variety. In fact, I will say she is still evolving. I’m excited for what the future holds.
3. What does your craft mean to you?
Miss LAJA is a community for learning, inspiring, and enlightening. She strives to not only celebrate culture but also push her readers to embrace their heritage, whatever it may be. Also, to be comfortable in their own skin as individuals. Even if it’s as little being inspired on how to better style ankara or learning a traditional adage, as long as I can impact my readers positively, I’m happy.
4. Who is one of your inspirations?
My parents, Chimamanda Adichie and…I don’t care how cliché this sounds…Beyoncé.
5. What keeps you motivated?
The unrelenting encouragement from my family, friends, and readers’ keep me going. I can’t explain how much joy fills my heart when I receive positive feedback from people I don’t personally know who read my blog. It’s really humbling and it encourages me to try harder to produce better content. Plus, I have come to realize it’s something I’m passionate about. I love, love, love everything to do with prints and patterns, especially ankara.
6. How would you define your personal style?
Bright, balanced, and sophisticated.
7. What is your favorite thing about your job?
Mostly the feedback that comes with each post and the happiness I feel right when I’m about to release a new one.
8. What is the most important thing to you about your brand?
No matter where Miss LAJA ends up, I want to always have an aspect of Nigerian/African culture intertwined with my brand.
9. Any pregame rituals?
None that I can think of…
10. What is a random fact about yourself?
I adore green tea, shea butter, and Ian Somerhalder…woohoo!
11. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in your position?
Never stop dreaming. Love what you do. Patience and consistency is key.
12. Where do you want to be in 5 years?
By God’s grace, Miss LAJA’s community will have grown and expanded. I would love to work with brands I really admire like Vlisco, Lisa Folawiyo, and Demetisk NewYork to list a few and eventually have a line of my own.
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