Press + Praise

I’m blessed with the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people on the planet. Inspiring, world-changing souls on a mission. Creative powerhouses, minxes in motion and moguls-in-the-making. Here are but a few of my favorites…

I’ve known Lela Barker as a businessperson for over a decade. She started ordering from our raw materials company when she was first starting her bath and body business, Bella Luccè. Over the years, I have watched her grow her business, initially as a vendor to her and then as a business mentor turned equal. Lela now runs a complex business and makes it look easy. It’s not. Growth year after year is not a fluke. In the years that she has grown from a single-woman operation to employing over 8 people, supplying more than 1,000 stores with her high quality bodycare products while staying true to her values and mission. She is an excellent strategist with a quick mind and a gentle soul. Learning from her is always exciting, interesting and useful. You won’t be disappointed and you won’t be bored.

Anne-Marie Faiola: CEO
Brambleberry: Bellingham, Washington

Since partnering with Lela Barker in 2004 as Bella Luccè’s Middle East distributor, I’ve enjoyed ringside seats to Bella Luccè’s extraordinary growth under her careful stewardship. Lela has consistently pushed the barriers, continually innovating in both her product offerings and her business model. As a result, she has emerged as the go-to girl for spa product development in the Middle East and North Africa regions, developing private label products for the prestigious Grand Hyatt® and an extensive spa product concept for seventeen high-end Marriott® properties throughout the region.

Lela is quick on her feet and a ball of energy. She tackles life and business with a joie de vivre that is extremely contagious. I’m in awe of her ability to envision paths and develop strategies on the tightest of deadlines and with finite amounts of information and feedback. The chick is a visionary. We have traveled the world together and I am thrilled to call her both a business partner and a friend.

Areej Sultan: CEO
Beautylicious: Kuwait City, Kuwait

Lela Barker in one word: superextraordinaryawesomeness! The truth about Lela is that you cannot sum up her personality, knowledge and expertise in a paragraph let alone one word. The enthusiasm Lela puts into her life and business is contagious. She shares abundantly, gives tremendously, lives boldly, teaches enthusiastically, fights for her peeps passionately and does it all with enough grace to live as an open book. Count your blessings and grab onto Lela’s coat tails for the ride of your life with Lucky Break Consulting.

Kayla Fioravanti: Author Nashville, Tennessee

Like most indies, the idea of large-scale exporting intimidates me. All of the red tape - European Union labeling compliance, export certification, lab testing, import regulations per country - and the very notion of palletizing enough product to fill a freight car? Forget it. So when a third-party trade firm offered to represent my line to their clients I was desperate enough that even the hefty commission sounded like a good deal.

With a pay-to-play deadline breathing down my neck, I sent Lela a slightly panicked midnight-hour e-mail. By the next morning she'd scheduled me into her busy day for an info-packed phone call. Not only did Lela give me a different perspective on commissions and third-party representatives, she provided me with contacts and information to make international connections on my own. I'd have been content with simple advice, but she gave me the tools to take control of the situation myself.

And that wasn't the first time. On countless occasions over the last 5 years, Lela has generously shared the benefit of her experience with building a fast-growing beauty line; short cuts, production pitfalls, industry contacts, suppliers, and dozens of other insider tips. Her enthusiasm for indie business is infectious, and even a simple lunch date is inspiring and restores most of the motivation that gets lost in the daily details.

Brooke Stant: Founder
Villainess: Nashville, Tennessee

From turning a hobby into a full-fledged business, all the way to taking them global, Lela has advised small business owners by providing best practices that transcends industries. Lela’s proven techniques brought down financial barriers and helped overcome international cultural differences that many small businesses encounter. I cannot overstate the amount of value her coaching brings, not only to the up-and-coming entrepreneur, but to the experienced business owner as well.

Daniel Marotta: Online Community Manager & Strategist
Mass Marotta: Boston, Massachusetts Boston, MA

Lela Barker is an incredible colleague. The products she provides at Bella Luccè are top quality and she and her team bend over backwards to ensure you are delighted with the product and that you get it on time. Lela goes above and beyond simply providing a product, and can also help in concept development, design, and implementation. Not only is Lela professional and dedicated, she also operates with a huge degree of passion for the work and for improving the world in the process.I would highly recommend her work.

Devin Hibbard: Executive Director
Bead for Life: Boulder, Colorado

While there are many steps one needs to follow to be successful, I think the most important is finding the right mentor. Lela, you have always been that person. From the start, you were unselfish at offering your circle of business friends for website design, graphic design, and photography. This made for a quick and efficient start to getting the business rolling.

Every time we meet, I always learn new and exciting ways of doing business. From driving more customers to my site and the best ways to keep in contact with customers, you consistently bring fresh ideas to the table that propel my business forward. I cannot thank you enough for all of the support and knowledge throughout the years. You’re always a positive force with a no-nonsense approach to getting the job done. I look forward to our next meeting!”

Teri Pringle: Owner
Blue Flour Best Baked Goods: Columbia, South Carolina

Participants at Shea 2010 in Bamako were wowed by Lela's stunning sense of aesthetics combined with her knowledge of product quality and enthusiastic demonstration of high level business skills. I have rarely seen West African clients' motivation levels higher, than after hearing her present to a packed auditorium. Feedback from her trainings in northern Ghana was particularly encouraging as Lela continued her tour of fledgling cosmetic firms across the Sahel-Savannah shea zone.

Dr. Peter Lovett: Technical Director
The Global Shea Alliance: Salisbury, United Kingdom

At the moment of my first conversation with Lela Barker in 2005, I knew I had encountered a business treasure. Lela is one of the most tenacious business women I have ever known. Over the years, I have watched Lela’s business grow by leaps and bounds. She has faced down every single business obstacle that has come her way with grace and determination. Lela is naturally business savvy, and what has not come naturally has come anyway since she simply rolled up her sleeves, got her hands dirty and figured out a way to make it work. Whatever “it” was.

Lela is also gracious, friendly and incredibly sensitive to the needs of others. She views business ownership, particularly for women, as an endeavor that requires not only gusto and chutzpah, but also respect for the delicate balance between career achievement and personal and family success. Lela Barker is a woman entrepreneur who not only pursues her business with passion and zest, but who also drives you to do the same in yours. I have watched Lela help countless numbers of small business owners. I highly recommend her, without a shred of hesitation, to anyone who seeks a skilled business mentor and counselor.

Donna Maria Coles Johnson: Founder & CEO
INDIE Business Network: Charlotte, North Carolina

Lela continues to amaze me. After getting to know her via providing merchant services for her exceptional company Bella Luccè, I jumped at chance to have the opportunity again with From Morocco with Love. Not only did Lela bring the same professionalism, passion and astute business acumen to this new venture, she found a way to do so while benefiting others. Her ability to innovate; care about her employees, clients and vendors; balance work and family life while keeping her sense of humor make her one of the most successful businesswomen I have ever known, and it is a privilege to work with her.

Alexia Marcous: Vice President
Dharma Merchant Services: San Francisco California

Lela has been a mentor of mine since I started Soapylove in 2006. She reached out to me to offer business advice and a helping hand when I needed it most, and continues to give me encouragement and support. She is both an inspiration and role model!

Debbie Chialtas: Owner
Soapylove: San Diego, California

Lela is a dedicated and giving individual. I've known Lela for several years now, and I'm never surprised at the level of persistence in providing exceptional products. Lela is a free and loving spirit, and she gives as much as she gets. Your life will be enriched from knowing and connecting with her. I know mine has.

Lisa Rodgers: Photographer
Shoot Y’all Photography: Saluda, South Carolina

Lela Barker is a force of nature! She is an amazingly creative, talented and smart business woman. She thinks quickly and outside the box. When I have questions about our line of work, she is always the first person I contact. Not only is she intelligent, savvy and funny, she is an excellent writer and narrates her life and her travels in a way that makes a person want to be there!”

Jennifer Hardaway: Creator, Owner and Scentual Mixtress
KleanSpa: Los Angeles, CA

Lela has been a strong and respected leader in our industry. She continually extends herself by working in teams with other leaders of the cosmetics industry and by advocating proper proposed legislation with colleagues. Lela is highly effective at owning and operating two businesses, one being a nonprofit, while also being a helpful resource to other business owners in the cosmetics industry like myself.

Lisa Kennally: Creator
Lisa Ann Skincare: Madison, CT


155 Words You Need to Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs is one part entrepreneurial glossary, one part sage wisdom, 100% badass business handbook. It has some of the coolest kids on the block cooing, but don’t just take my word for it…

Lela where have you been all my life? The guide is out of this ball park + galaxy. Never again will I need to hunt for my dusty Webster dictionary for answers or be too scared of where Google might take me. Your guide is just perfect for go-getters + superhero's on a mission. LOVE IT!

Mayi Carles, Artist + Creative Coach
Life is Messy Bootcamp: Panama City, Panama

Do you know what CPQ is? How about FOB or GMP? Economies of scale? Yep, me neither, until I got my hands on this glossary of goodness. This is one dictionary that will keep you awake from cover to cover! Informative, funny and flat out brilliant, Lela has crafted a resource that is every entrepreneur’s best friend. Arming yourself with this complete vocabulary of business terms and definitions will empower you to go into that high profile business meeting or cold call a huge distributor without needing an MBA. Buy it, read it, then take over the world!

Jessika Hepburn, Editor + Speaker+ Creative Empress
Oh My! Handmade: Lunenberg, Nova Scotia

"Behold! A complete alphabet of creative entrepreneurship, from "Advertisements" to "Zebras." Actually, there is only one zebra in this book (not plural, sadly.) But you should own it, anyway."

Alex Franzen: Writer + Teacher + Creative Minx Minneapolis, Minnesota

Fun, creative and down-right awesome, 155 Words You Need to Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs will be your guide helping you go from the small time to the big league. Complicated business terms in a language you understand including creative examples that help you wrap your brain around the concepts. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to grow your empire and buy your copy now. You can thank me later.

Isa Maria Seminega: Founder
Noisette Academy: Croydon, United Kingdom

New to business? This book from Lela should be your number one go-to resource.

Erin Giles: Writer + World Changer + Philanthropy Coach Aiken, South Carolina

Lela Barker’s book 155 Words You Need to Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs is the dream lucky break every business owner craves. This book is filled with nuggets of insight that only someone who has climbed her way from hard times to success could ever teach. With Lela’s business, Lucky Break Consulting and this book you will find Lela on the ladder of success right ahead of you with her hand extended backwards offering to help lift you up.

You could learn it all the hard way, like Lela did, but the best business move you could make is to glean from Lela’s hard earned lessons and take the easier road instead. Forget taking hours of business classes, learn from someone who has been there, done that and paved the road of success with breadcrumbs that are simple enough to digest for anyone to follow.

Kayla Fioravanti: Author Nashville, Tennessee

Lela Barker has condensed her years in the small business school of hard knocks into a resource no entrepreneur should be without. Not only is 155 Words You Need to Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs a user-friendly guide to terms every entrepreneur must understand, but it's also sprinkled with humor and true stories that drive home the specific ideas and mindsets you need to be successful in your business. Like me, you will want to keep this book handy to quickly create context and action steps around every business challenge you face. I highly recommend 155 Words You Need to Know: Practical Wisdom for Creative Entrepreneurs to everyone who refuses to take, "No" for an answer, and who will stop at nothing to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true.”

Donna Maria Coles Johnson: Founder & CEO
INDIE Business Network: Charlotte, North Carolina