Written By : Samantha Cee
Asha Bailey is the owner of ‘Blossoms by Leana’ crafting boutique which specializes in handcrafted paper flowers. She is inspired by the colors and blooming foliage of the island of Nevis where she grew up; and uses this inspiration to transform paper into timeless works of art that can be used to year round to elevate and personalize decor for any event venue, photoshoot or home space. Take a look at our exclusive interview with the CEO of the rising ‘Blossoms by Leana’
Facebook: Blossoms By Leana
Instagram: Blossoms_by_Leana & Vero: Blossoms By Leana
"It was intentional for me to be on this path career-wise"
Asha Bailey CEO
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How did the idea for your business come about?
Asha CEO: I remember sitting in class and scrolling through my Pinterest feed, waiting for the lecture to begin. I really should have been reviewing notes, but I digress! I saw a post about coffee filter flowers and I thought it was a creative DIY project. So, I began to research it a bit more and in doing that I came across crafters who used various techniques to create these beautiful floral pieces with different kinds of paper; so being the curious and crafty person that I am, I decided to try my hand at it and the rest is history!
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
Asha CEO: At the moment, the business is just a one person team. I showcase the final product and sometimes the process of the orders on my social media platforms. I also do collaborations with other people who already seen my work on my platforms have an interest in what I'm doing based on what they’ve seen; so, it hasn't been difficult to find other people who care about my work as much as I do.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What three pieces of advice would you give to other children who want to become entrepreneurs?
Asha CEO: I think confidence is key. When I started out, I was concerned that nobody would be interested in my craft since there were so many other people out there doing this craft and had already perfected the techniques. Nonetheless, I eventually decided to do it and what I’ve learned from that leap is that it's also important to be original and put your own spin on things. Creating and adding your own unique technique is what attracts a truly genuine crowd. It’s also important to ask questions! I have found that people are always willing to share their experience and give advice; all you must do is gather your manners and pose your question. There were times when I would ask a well posed question, manners and all- only to be ignored or given a passive aggressive response; but that’s all in the mix and it's something you will have to learn to deal with on your own.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Asha CEO: Crafting isn’t my day job. I’m employed in the area that I studied, so it was intentional for me to be on this path career-wise. However, I would say that if I were to hit replay or rewind and apply slow motion, I probably would have started this venture a lot sooner than I have, if I was able to make time during my studies.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Asha CEO: You must be passionate about your product or service because that will determine your level of resiliency when you need to overcome any hurdles along the way. In addition to that, I think that your ability to be resourceful and use what is readily available to you to your advantage is the measure of a truly successful entrepreneur.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Asha CEO: I think there are many ways to achieve a goal so I’m not sure I believe in failures per se. Like anyone else, I have dealt with challenges and I've learned that it's okay to ask for help and the first stumbling block you encounter is not always the end of the journey. I think it's important to be able to see it for what it is, regroup and continue along your way, just with a slightly different game plan. Trust the process!
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How many hours do you work a day on average?
Asha CEO: I work a full time 40-hour week and then I switch over to creative mode after hours, and during my lunch break. So, I’m pretty much working around the clock!
Fashion Gxd Magazine: Describe/outline your typical day?
Asha CEO My day starts at 6am and follows the schedule of a typical 9-5 day until I clock out from my day job. When I get home, I switch over to crafting work and I would check and respond to email and engage on my social media platforms for a while. I’d then prepare for my next day work and then I’d continue to work on orders until I’m ready to go to sleep.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Asha CEO: It’s definitely reinforced the importance of scheduled time! Having a fulltime job, operating an organic business on the side, and trying to be social is plateful; but obviously not impossible! It forces you to be efficient with your time and recognize what kind of workload you can handle to remain functional in all aspects.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What motivates you?
Asha CEO: I worked my way through grad school and there was a period where unforeseen circumstances affected my finances. It reinforced the importance of striving towards some sort of financial independence. I could have chosen to put my energy elsewhere, and in fact did try other avenues but I missed exploring my creative outlets, since grad school had demanded so much of my time. The ability to combine those two forces is motivation enough, I think!
Fashion Gxd Magazine: How do you generate new ideas?
Asha CEO: Ideas are generated from lots of places! I’m inspired by other crafters, I have several Pinterest boards, memories and picture of where I grew up and my doodling and even the home decor sections in the hardware stores!
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Asha CEO: I’m not sure that I’ve made many sacrifices but more investments. The most obvious ones being time and money
Fashion Gxd Magazine: Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Asha CEO: ‘Blossoms by Leana’ is a new venture and I’m trying to build the brand from the ground up. I’m extremely grateful to those who have chosen to join me and grow with my brand and for others who will join along the way.
I’ve always loved creating things with my hands so I thought it was fitting to name my brand in honor of my late grandmother, who I was very close to and obviously loved very much. My grandmother, among other things was the epitome of ingenuity and lived her life in the moment; and my parents reinforced that perspective. So that is also what I want for this brand. I’m trusting the process and I think this is what creativity truly is; it’s how you’re able to transform anything into something spectacularly unrecognizable from its origin. So, I’m excited to see what creative direction my brand will take in 10-20 years but I’m sure it will be something vibrant and fascinating and will add an element of glamor to any space.