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Leena Alsulaiman: “Be authentic and true to yourself”

Our minds associate smells with memories and emotions, so when I need a little boost I spritz on one of my favorite perfumes and it’s like magic! Even though many of us are working from home, do a little bit more than you normally do when it comes to your appearance. When you do more, you […]

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Our minds associate smells with memories and emotions, so when I need a little boost I spritz on one of my favorite perfumes and it’s like magic!

Even though many of us are working from home, do a little bit more than you normally do when it comes to your appearance. When you do more, you feel better, which makes feeling beautiful easier.

Hydrate! Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking young and glowing all year long. And as an avid espresso drinker, I have a 2:1 rule. For every cup of coffee I drink, I have two glasses of water!


As a part of our series about “Social Media Influencers Share Their Top Self Care, Wellness, and Beauty Tips, I had the pleasure of interviewing Leena Alsulaiman, a fashion stylist and brand consultant based in the Bay Area with clients worldwide. Her keen sense of style and personal branding has helped her build an organic, active following on social media amongst fashionistas and women in business.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory of how you came upon this career path and to where you are today?

As a young girl growing up in Saudi Arabia, I always gravitated towards the creative side of things, and my parents encouraged that. And reflecting now on my diverse career history I see that designing and creating is something I have always done in one form or another.

I’d always loved fashion, but when I was younger, I never had an example of how you could make a living in this industry. So alternatively for many years, I took the path of the creative entrepreneur and unconsciously always brought a side of creativity to my roles.

In my new consultancy, I have created a business model in which I can cater to both of my passions by creating a platform to serve women by helping them to create magic through their wardrobes and their brands.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

There have been many people that have impacted my journey in one way or another and I am grateful for each one.

But without a doubt, my mother was my biggest teacher, cheerleader, and role model. She pushed me to live, love, and create in a way that was perhaps even beyond what she could have imagined being possible. Somehow she just knew I was destined for bigger things, and she did everything within her power to make sure that I was armed with the knowledge and tools to think outside the box and create accordingly.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?

So many how can I choose! In one of my previous roles I had to send out the company newsletter, and I was nervous about how it would look so I created what I thought was a test list to send to myself, and started sending and tweaking things…over and over again! Only to get a call from someone on the team telling me I had been sending all my “test” emails to the entire team! At the time I was mortified, but now I can laugh it off and have streamlined all my workflow processes!

As an influencer, you have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. In fact perhaps most people who tried to follow a career path like yours did not succeed. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

As cliche as this sounds, do something you love. Something you can see yourself happily doing for years to come. Come from a place of service and do something that fills your heart and soul. Throughout my career, I have dabbled in so many different things that I enjoyed short term. But once I started my consultancy, and started doing the exact things that I love: working with amazing women, supporting and giving them a voice, all the pieces fell together.

Can you share with our readers some of your strategies you’ve used to build an engaged, loyal, and large online community?

My strategy is simple. Be authentic and true to yourself. The online community is extremely savvy and they can spot fakeness in a split-second scroll. Be you and don’t compare your squares to anyone else’s.

Engage and interact. I have personally made some amazing connections online and some of my biggest supporters are women I have connected with on my platforms!

Also, remember this space is yours, and the restrict button is your friend! Trolls are everywhere and I used to get upset by the occasional negativity. I then drew my boundaries and utilized the restrict button (I do block occasionally) and gave myself immediate peace in my space.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive and care for oneself in three areas: body, mind, and heart. You are a busy person with a demanding schedule, can you share with our readers two self-care routines, practices or treatments that help your body thrive? (Kindly share a story or an example for each.)

As a single mother of three teenagers, I take my self-care routine very seriously. The foundation of my wellbeing is based on sleep and eating well. They sound basic but they are so integral in how I feel from day-to-day.

I have a very sensitive digestive system which I ignored for the majority of my life, chalking it all up to genetics. But 15 years ago, I did my first real detox guided by Dr. Nish Joshi in London and it was my first time to realize how good my body could feel. It was the turning point. Now I listen to my body and I’m very conscious and mindful of how/what and when I eat and what my body tolerates.

I am a big early night sleep advocate! I read research years ago that said that the 90 minutes before midnight is the most powerful phase for sleep as indicated by our biology and I have stuck with that! I function my best when I sleep by 10:30 pm and get 8 hours of sleep — I seldom need an alarm because my body wakes up naturally and full of energy.

Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind or heart to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)

I ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my days. You can be productive and so much more effective without all the hurry! I practice this by taking breaks during the day to breathe, I also do things on purpose to slow things down like walking the long way around and avoiding the ‘shortcuts’.

Another thing I do is that I use airplane mode during the day, whether I am working or not. Drawing boundaries by managing when people have access to me and my energy. There is such freedom in being unattached to the world and I find it calms my nervous system, that as an entrepreneur, is almost always in standby mode! Let people leave voicemails, and get back to them when you have the time for it.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Our minds associate smells with memories and emotions, so when I need a little boost I spritz on one of my favorite perfumes and it’s like magic!

Even though many of us are working from home, do a little bit more than you normally do when it comes to your appearance. When you do more, you feel better, which makes feeling beautiful easier.

Hydrate! Drinking water is one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking young and glowing all year long. And as an avid espresso drinker, I have a 2:1 rule. For every cup of coffee I drink, I have two glasses of water!

Is there a particular resource, a practitioner, expert, book, or podcast that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?

I am always on the lookout for new sources of information on anything related to overall productivity and wellbeing. I am a huge fan of Dr. Mark Hyman for all things health, and Lacy Philips has been instrumental for me in expanding and unblocking unconscious blocks and beliefs.

Do you have a story about the strangest, most bizarre or funniest wellness treatment that you’ve ever experienced?

There have been a few! I once had a coffee mask treatment. This was a whole-body treatment, in which there was a coffee mask applied to the entire body and you were then wrapped for 30 minutes. It was supposed to help with water and toxin retention. After finishing the treatment I went home to extreme nausea and later in the evening a trip to the ER to rehydrate with an IV fluid treatment! Needless to say, it is not something I recommend at all!

As an influencer, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

The stylist in me would love to see people shopping in a more sustainable way to bring back the idea of owning well-made pieces of clothing that can be passed down generations. Something that is overlooked today, is that with all the fast fashion available most people don’t have well-made items in their closets that will stand the test of time, and in the absence of that link, I think we will miss out on an integral way of sharing our history.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Honestly too many to count! Can I have a tea party instead? I would love to invite Oprah, Glennon Doyle, Brene Brown, and Queen Rania of Jordan. All different yet the same in that they are amazing, strong, and authentic women doing so much good and magic in the world!

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