Introducing Your Road to Style -- an interview series with entrepreneurs, stylists, bloggers & the like. You'll get a front row seat at what inspires them & how they're forging the way in their field.
We're kicking things off with Leilani, a local (Pittsburgh) blogger & influencer whose sense of style is just as flirty & fun as her cocktail creations.
1. What does the word style mean to you?
To me style is an expression. It’s an opportunity to show off your personality. Or dress up and be someone else for a few hours. Either way it’s a fun!
2. How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is classic meets street wear. You’ll most likely find me in a good basic paired with something trendy and a comfortable heel! I’m only 5’5” so I really benefit from a little boost.
3. What made you decide to start blogging? How did you come up with the name The Cole Journal?
Blogging was actually suggested to me. At the time I only used Instagram for friends and family and I only followed fashion designers and fashion magazines. I had no idea you could grow a community and monetize your name on social media. Fast forward to 2018, when I moved to Pittsburgh. I started blogging as a means to check out the local scene and meet like minded people who could potentially become friends. I moved here knowing no one so it was a little overwhelming but I think I made out just fine!
4. Who/what inspires you?
I have lots of inspirations— I’m easily inspired. I’d say my mom is my biggest inspiration! She has such good taste and she was my first introduction to fashion. Right now I’m taking a lot of fashion inspiration from the runway at Sacai and Sies Marjan. Their styling teams are phenomenal! I also draw a lot of inspiration from art, old films, other bloggers and if all else fails I’m not afraid of jumping on Pinterest and checking out Olivia Palmero’s street style.
5. What are three must-haves every woman needs in her closet?
Oh that’s a hard one! Definitely a pair of heels that you can walk in and stand in for hours. A fitted pair of jeans that make your booty look good. And a versatile blazer, it can be worn with anything and very easy to dress up or dress down.
6. What are your current fashion obsessions?
A monochromatic outfit is at the top of my list. I'm hoping to style one for The Co Lé journal soon. I’m also all in for a statement sleeve, the bigger the better. And mini dresses and skirts! I’m ready to show some skin and get some sun after this winter.
7. Have you experienced imposter syndrome? If so, how do you handle it?
All the time! Mine stems from validation. I never feel like I’m doing enough or reaching enough people and in the space that is what so many people judge you on. But I’ve come a long way: luckily, the longer you do it the easier it gets. I have really learned how to be confident in what I do but I still fall victim to it. In fact, when I first started blogging it was almost embarrassing to say what I did out loud because my followership was so low.
8. If you could only have coffee or wine for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Probably wine! I’m one of those few people that caffeine does not seem to have an effect on.
9. What advice would you give your younger self on life, love & style?
So many things! In style, don’t dress down for any occasion. Express yourself even if you’re surrounded by others who don’t value fashion. In life, let it take you where it’s supposed to. I’m trying to learn that one myself. I so often try to plan, schedule and force things to happen and life has a way of showing you what you’re supposed to be doing. In love, listen to your gut. If you feel like something is right or wrong that is because it is. Don’t sweep that feeling to the side or it’ll come back tenfold!
10. Share something that people might not know about you…
What don’t y’all know? My entire life is on the internet! Hmm... I guess that I have a decent signing voice. You’ll only hear it at 2 am at the karaoke machine or if you catch me in the shower haha