Meet Lela

Mover. Shaker. Momma.
That’s me! Truly lovely to make your acquaintance.

I move… mostly mountains but sometimes boundaries. Always in an upward motion.

At the turn of the millennium, I was a broke (and broken), single mother of two young toddlers. Though my future looked grim, I forced myself to fight through the tears and disappointment to create a life I adore. Without the benefit of a college degree, a sugar daddy, government grants or a Fairy Godmother, I created Bella Luccè®, a bath and body company, in the teeny tiny kitchen of my 800 square foot house.

A decade later, my Bella Luccè team works out of our 7500 square foot headquarters in Columbia, SC. My products have hit the shelves in more than 1,000 spas worldwide, from LA to Dubai. From Trump Hotel® in NYC to the St. Regis® on the African island of Mauritius. They’ve been featured in hundreds of international magazines, high-profile blogs and newspapers from coast-to-coast. And though Bella Luccè has secured international distributors covering a handsome chunk of the globe, our luxurious bath and body products are still made in small batches by the hands of some of the spunkiest souls you’d ever want to meet. I’ve collected more than thirty passport stamps as I travel the world on behalf of my company- and I’m home most afternoons by 3pm to walk the dogs and greet my girls.

Oh yes, I run a nonprofit, too.

I shake... things up.

I live loudly and passionately. I’ve never met an envelope I didn’t delight in pushing or a line whose outsides weren’t pleading for color. I’m rowdy and real and despite my Buddhist sensibilities, my internal volume is perpetually on high.

I shake things up for others, too, by helping women unearth their inner mojo. I encourage them to dream bigger than what they envision each morning and then I provide the practical tools to do just that. My decade in business has taught me that the path to success for creative entrepreneurs isn't dictated by formal degrees or trust funds or contact lists brimming with megawatt celebrities. Do those provide a "leg up" for their beneficiaries? They certainly don't hurt. But the keys to your kingdom are all within you. Building a true empire is about being: Hungry. Methodical. Consistent. I teach creative entrepreneurs the methodologies and strategies that lead to success and help them channel their energies so they can press on when the path appears too steep or the week has proven too brutal.

I make things happen. I envision paths, chart them carefully and then shimmy on down the road. And if you want to shimmy, too, you are oh-so-welcome to jam along with me (I love good company!). Tell me where you'd like to take your business and I’ll teach you how to sway those hips and rock those shoulders to get from A to B. How to rise above the noise. How to work smarter, not harder. How to employ laser focus. How to create buzz and get your fabulosity out there in a big way so that people can fall madly in love with you and what you do. Because entrepreneurship is a radically empowering journey and I want the women who have the courage to embark upon it to be enriched by all that it has to offer.

I momma...my girls and a whole brood of furry creatures.

My Chloe is a belly dancer, horseback rider and future lawyer or international aid worker. She spent last summer in Thailand painting schools, teaching English and working in a drug rehabilitation program. I am alternately smitten with and frightened by her adventurous soul, but I can’t wait to see her take over the world. Celie is my competitive gymnast and aerial silk student. She vacillates between dreams of being a marine biologist and traveling the world as a Cirque du Soleil® performer. She spent last summer at surf camp and is currently trying to sweet talk me into a trip to the Galapagos Islands this summer. To which I say: “No child. You have lost your marbles.”

And we can’t forget about the furries: my two pups by the names of Emerson and Thoreau, guinea pigs Tofu and Karma and one pretentious cat named Sasha. It is an abundant and joyful life indeed and I am ever grateful.

I invite you to come play with me, learn how I can help build your empire or invite me to the party at your next entrepreneurial event.

Life as I know it in 6 quick snippets...
1. My middle name (Rain) was given to me by my mother, who used to wrap herself in a blanket and sit on the front porch of the commune (it was the 70’s after all) in a big rocking chair and rub her pregnant belly during rainstorms. I come from good bohemian stock. My sister’s name is Mimi Samadhi…I’m pretty certain she drew the short stick.

2. I’m deaf in one ear and losing my hearing in the other. And yet I would venture I’m the hippest 30-something with a hearing aid that you know. Wait…you don't know any others?

3. I was diagnosed with cancer at 21. A mother of two by 25. Divorced by 26. Bankrupt by 27. An entrepreneur by 28. Lost most of my hearing at 30. But by age 37, I’ve traveled to 20 different countries on behalf of my business. I work largely from home and often in my pajamas with my adorable pups at my feet while sipping hot tea. Despite what my friend LL Cool J says, you can call that a comeback.

4. I love traveling to places I’ve never been and preferably places I have no business going. I’ve danced in the streets of Morocco at a world music festival, crawled on my belly in the pyramids of Egypt, spent a week face down in temples on retreat in Thailand, soared above Bedouin villages near Dubai in a hot air balloon, prayed in the Pope’s home cathedral in Rome, floated in the Dead Sea, taught business development and women’s empowerment workshops in both Ghana and Nigeria, and danced with survivors of the rebel insurgency in Uganda. My passport has a few blank pages and I’ve got big plans for them.

5. I’m married to my high school sweetheart. Once upon a time, I might have married someone else and procreated a few times, but I’m now married to my high school sweetheart. How that came to be is the sweetest story you've ever heard. Bless that man...

6. I jump out of perfectly good airplanes to clear my mind. My goal is to skydive on six continents; though you can keep Antarctica for yourself (brrrr). There are still a few continents left to conquer in my Skydiving Tour of World Domination. Soon my pretties, sooooon.

 

Pssstttt...how fabulous are these photos? They were snapped by my colleague Lisa Rodgers of Shoot Y'all Photography. If you live within a day's trek of Columbia, SC and you need pictures, then you need Lisa.  She's amazing- please tell her I said "hello!"