Leah feels very lucky at this stage in her life as she love both of her jobs; they enable her to let her creative side show and work in an environment which is very social! Leah is the designer of her own jewellery label, Lavish Jewellery and at night she is a dance instructor at Bobbi’s Pole Studio in East Perth.
Leah studied Public Relations at Curtin University and moved to Sydney to work in a boutique fashion marketing agency, but after a while behind a computer screen she knew that she didn’t want to sit at a desk every day and that she needed to be more hands on and active.
Once Leah came back to Perth, she slowly worked towards creating her own brand (with the help of her gorgeous Mum!) and then in 2011, Lavish was born.
Leah has a Sri Lankan heritage and her parents have done many trips back to their home country and also India which is a very short flight from Colombo; and so Leah’s Mum has had the pleasure of meeting manufacturers over there and visiting the markets where they sell the most beautiful fabrics, decor and accessories. This is what her label is inspired by and continues to be derived from.
Leah’s instructing job has helped her immensely not only from a fitness perspective, but it has allowed her to develop her personality and grow into a confident young woman. Leah used to be very shy and you would never see her holding a conversation with a large group of people! But now she feel comfortable in her own skin and sometimes you can’t shut her up!
Tell us three things about yourself
I’m fun loving, very caring and can hang upside down from my legs for a very long time!
What’s been the biggest health challenge you’ve overcome and what did you learn from this experience?
Last year I went through a phase of very, very strict dieting and have tried some crazy things. Once I went a week and a half only drinking protein shakes! It’s very hard when you have so many influences around telling you that you need to look a certain way. In the end I was not losing weight and it affected my overall energy, mood and my skin started to suffer. This year I made a promise to myself to not obsess over carbs, calories or if I should have steamed over pan-fried. You know what? I am so much happier now and I’m in better shape than ever! I think the more you deprive yourself of something (in my case sweets) the more you eventually binge and it can turn into a very vicious cycle.
What’s your top tip for getting your day off to a great start?
I start my day with a gym session or go into work for a Splits and Flexibility class or pole dancing class. Exercise is my cup of coffee!
Your brekky usually consist of…
One slice of wholegrain toast with mashed avocado, or peanut butter and banana.
Which foods do you eat to nourish your body and give you vitality?
I try to eat organic whenever possible and raw instead of cooked. My lunch on weekdays is a salad of Tuna, raw broccoli, carrot, celery, tomato and spinach – with a sprinkle of chia seeds.
Why is fitness an important part of your life and do you have an exercise routine?
Fitness is part of my life personally, socially and professionally so you could say it’s very important! My exercise routine mid-week is an RPM class 2-3 times a week, but mostly I am at Bobbi’s Pole Studio teaching four one-hour pole dance classes a week, and will always try to go into the studio when I’m not working to do extra classes. Not just for the fitness but Bobbi’s always has a great vibe and you’ll always see a friendly face for a catch up. The strength and toned limbs are a bonus
Your ‘perfect day’ in nutshell would be…
…To wake up in a hotel on the beach somewhere in Europe! But I do love routine, so a getaway for 2 weeks is enough for me.
Describe what motivated you to choose your current business or career path?
When I was younger my Mum used to import accessories from India and Sri Lanka and she made quite a successful business wholesaling to various boutiques across Perth and even in Melbourne. Lavish started out as purely importing but I’ve always been sketching ideas and trying to come up with new things. I’ve also always been involved with fashion (at Curtin I was a member of the Public Relations Student Chapter and was the Event Coordinator for one of their “PR in Fashion” events which is their largest event).
What business or career challenge have you overcome and what one piece of advice would you like to pass on to others?
Biggest challenge is definitely breaking into the Perth market since it is quite small compared to other States when it comes to fashion. Although recently we are seeing a lot more support for up and coming designers in WA. My advice is to persevere, and do whatever you can to get your name out there!
Your favourite book or movie of all time is? And why?
That’s a hard one! Embarrassing as it may be I grew up with Harry Potter and began reading the series when I was in grade 5 and I think the last book came out when I was in year 11 or 12.
And lastly, do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?
A very dear friend of mine has a healthy lifestyle blog which has just exploded in the last few months. She started out writing about healthy option recipes and has now branched out into fitness programs, healthy eating plans and cooking classes. This recipe is for her “Kryptonite Bites” which satisfies my sweet tooth in a not-so-guilty way. Just try them… you’ll see why they are named so! Check out this yummy recipe here!