I’ve grown up surrounded and influenced by strong women in my life. I am grateful for my mama, grandmothers, and aunties. They have all humbled and inspired me to dream big and work hard. When I think of how it started, I am taken back to times spent with the women who raised my mama and aunties – my grandmothers! They lived by example in showing love to others and providing safe spaces for all people. Both of them enjoyed living their lives to the fullest, and that included self care, traveling, shopping and buying gifts for the people they love. I always felt like I could go to either of them with my dreams and goals and they’d be the first to hop on board and tell all their friends.

As I dreamt up a name for my lifestyle brand with products meant for gifting, I new that I wanted to pay homage to the legacy of two important women in my life. The struggles and trials that they each endured as women of color, the loss and joy experienced, it shaped them and how they exhibited love towards their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the random neighborhood kids. They both enjoyed getting dressed up, glammed out and dancing.

In honor of my grandmothers

Evelyn Leaño

My Lola (Grandmother in Filipino) was with us until shortly after her 90th birthday in 2022. She was a cancer survivor and ultimately passed after battling Alzheimers. A native of the Philippines and retired Chemist with U.S. Borax, she was a social butterfly well into her 80s. She was strong in her faith, had a love for traveling, jewelry, couture apparel, and handbags. A wife of over 60 years and mother to 6 children, she had a love for her family, people and her Filipino culture. Lola was a giver, always wanting to make you smile and enjoy life’s blessings. She loved to laugh and have fun.

Bonnie Jean

My Granny is still with us and continues to smile while living with ALS in Los Angeles. She has always had a passion for serving and caring for others, professionally and personally. She worked at St. John’s Hospital and eventually became a private healthcare worker in Beverly Hills and cared for late actress, Lucille Ball. A wife to my late Grandad for over 50 years, she is a mother to 7 children. Granny’s door was always open to anyone, showing love in many ways but always seemed to be exactly how someone needed to see or feel it (whether they realized it or not). I treasure some of her jewelry pieces which includes a lot of brooches!

L – R: My Lola & Granny at my graduation where I earned my Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising in 2011