You started your content creation career in your family home back in Toronto. Could you talk about your creative journey through the worlds of beauty, lifestyle, and fashion over the past decade?
Yes, born and raised in Toronto! I grew up watching and following along with OG beauty YouTubers like Michelle Phan and Jackie Aina, and it was the first time I was exposed to beauty and fashion in such a captivating way. I grew up always loving creating random videos with my cousins and taking photos on my hot pink point-and-shoot camera that I saved all my money to buy, so the passion for creating was always there. When I found the beauty community on YouTube, I felt so inspired by these everyday women sharing their personal tips and tricks that I wanted to try it out myself. I was never great at makeup, but I always had fun experimenting with different fashion and beauty trends. In the summer of 2011, at only sixteen years old, I created my first YouTube video.
Eleven years later, it has become my full-time career and flourished into something I could have never imagined. Over the past decade, I've grown from a hopeful teenager secretly creating beauty videos in her teal-blue childhood bedroom to a successful woman running her own creative business from her home in Los Angeles.
While at the beginning of my creative journey, I focused almost exclusively on makeup and fashion, I've since grown into a healthy balance of beauty, modest fashion, lifestyle, food, and home content. I realized I didn't want to be put in a box and limited to a certain type of content because I am a very multifaceted woman. I love sharing things that I am excited about, and that make sense in my season of life, and thankfully my loving community is always here for it!
Similarly, you've mentioned before that a lack of representation in the beauty industry inspired you to make your start. As an early pioneer, can you reflect on how the industry has changed?
When I was a teen and browsing through YouTube channels to find tips on beauty and fashion, I always noticed an extreme lack of Black creators on the platform. Either that or they were not getting the recognition they deserved compared to others. On top of that, there were virtually no Black Muslim, hijab-wearing women on the platform. I grew up never being represented in traditional media and seeing someone that looked like me, which can take a toll on a young woman's perspective of beauty. So when I found YouTube and the same thing was occurring, I thought, why not just represent myself? It wasn't something I consciously thought about at first, but once I started gaining an audience, I noticed I'd get comments from girls like me mentioning how cool it was to see someone like them on YouTube. That's when it all started to click, and I realized I was filling a niche that had never been filled before. It started to become bigger than just myself, and it made me so proud to be able to provide that representation while simultaneously doing something I absolutely loved.
Even just 5 years ago, the creator industry was not as diverse as it is today. As I was growing my social channels, I found it much harder to get noticed by brands and land paid campaigns than I do currently. Even if a Black creator amassed a huge following, they were often overlooked when working with the brands they speak so highly of on social media. Diversity was not at the forefront for many companies; sadly, many got away with it. I remember when I decided to go full-time with my social media career, that even with over 100K followers, it was extremely difficult for me to land sponsorships or even just gifting campaigns. Through my determination, I was able to carve out a space for myself and other women like me, and thankfully the industry looks a lot different today. Brands that do not put diversity and inclusivity at the forefront will not succeed in the long term, and it's thanks to creators like myself and many others that have spoken out about the unfairness that we've seen positive change.
What feelings do you hope to evoke in people walking into your home?
When people walk into my home, I want to evoke a sense of peace, calmness, and hopefulness. Like a breath of fresh air. I love keeping my spaces neutral and organic, so you'll see lots of cream, ivory, white, and a mix of natural linens, oak, and other light-toned furniture. I live in a stunning highrise in Downtown Los Angeles, so I'm blessed with the most breathtaking view of the city. So luckily, I can keep the styling in my home quite simple.
What are your three tips for transitioning an apartment into a new season, especially in a light-filled space like yours?
I would say keep the space clean and neutral and accessorize with pops of color that reflect the new season.
My first tip is to begin every season with a thorough deep clean of your home. This includes going through your clothes and accessories and donating items that do not serve a purpose for you anymore. It's a great way to get yourself in the seasonal mood and leaves room for new pieces!
My second tip is to switch out small home accessories like pillow covers, throw blankets, and towels. For example, since it's currently summer, I decided to go with subtle pops of yellow because it is a color that reminds me of sunny summer days.
My third tip goes along with the organic feel I love to keep in my home. Flowers! I absolutely love filling my home with beautiful flowers of the season. It's a great way to weave in seasonal colors and add some life to your home. Bright pinks, yellows, blues, and greens for spring and summer and deep burgundy, orange, cream, and browns for the fall and winter.
It was such a pleasure partnering with you on your bedroom makeover! What was the inspiration for your space transformation?
Thank you! This was a dream partnership because I'm constantly bookmarking Lulu and Georgia posts and drooling over all the beautiful pieces and lookbooks. When I moved to LA three years ago, I wasn't really thinking about pieces for my bedroom that I absolutely loved, and I had no real goal when choosing pieces to complete it other than I needed a functional bedroom. So now that I have moved into my dream apartment, I knew my bedroom was the first project I wanted to start. My inspiration for my space transformation was to create a peaceful and serene luxury hotel vibe. I wanted a neutral space I could come into daily and feel at ease. I especially prioritized pieces that were soft, easy on the eyes, and not distracting. I had my eye on the Adara Bed Frame for so long, so I used that as a starting point and found pieces to compliment it and bring it all together. I'm obsessed with the whitewashed wood furniture pieces and how beautiful it looks as the sun pours in every morning. I love that I kept everything neutral and organic because if my style and ever taste change, I can simply switch out small accessories like table lamps, bedding, and decor to create a whole different vibe.
Any advice for those looking to update their bedroom—including some tips for people wanting to recreate its neutral, modern, and bright look?
My first piece of advice is to figure out your budget and what you'd like to splurge on, and what you're ok with saving on. This will give you a clearer idea of where to start. Afterward, I would say to start with the bed frame. Since it is the center of the entire bedroom and usually the first thing people look at, find a bed frame you absolutely love, making it easier to find pieces to compliment it.
To keep that neutral look, it's important to make sure you're matching tones. I find it easiest to stick to natural linen and cotton, natural wooden tones, and softer shades of color because they don't need to match exactly to still have a cohesive look. If you go with stark whites and bold pieces, having a finished product that looks cohesive can sometimes be challenging. Additionally, since bedroom furniture is something we do not switch up too often, I always ask myself, "will I still love this in 5-10 years from now, or is it just trendy?" That way, I'm more intentional with the pieces I'm pulling together.
Personal touches are so important when curating your home. What are some essential pieces that you had to style in your new apartment?
I have to admit, I still have yet to style all my personal pieces around my home as I moved in just a few months ago, so many of them are safely stored in a closet until I can find new corners for them. However, a piece that I knew I needed to have in my bedroom is one that I had custom-made by my friend and artist, Aadil Abedi. A couple of years ago, I went through a pretty tough time, and a verse from the Quran that really helped me through it was "Verily, with hardship comes ease." I had Aadil create a custom calligraphy piece in neutral tones to match my space with that verse in Arabic, and I hung it over my bed. Every time I walk into my room, I'm reminded of that beautiful verse, which instantly brings me peace. It's probably my favorite piece in my entire home.
A few Lulu and Georgia pieces are layered into your space. Is there one statement maker you still find yourself fawning over?
The Corliss 6-Drawer Dresser!!! WOW! It took me SO long to decide on a dresser because I needed one that would be big enough to hold all my things (and I have a lot!) but also look beautiful in my space. Honestly, I was very unsure of the dresser at first because I thought it might be too modern and chunky for my room, but it turned out to be my absolute favorite piece from Lulu & Georgia. It is a beautiful whitewashed reclaimed wood that matches perfectly with my nightstands, making me so happy.
You live and work in Los Angeles. How do you like to spend your free time when not creating content?
I just moved to Downtown LA, and there are so many cool spots to explore here, so in my free time, I love walking around and finding new restaurants, shops, and neighborhoods. I also love going to the beach and walking the sunset with my friends, and hosting dinner parties at my place. I absolutely love cooking, and feeding people is my love language, so I do a lot of that in my spare time, haha!
Being in DTLA, do you have any local staples you frequent?
So many! I love this coffee shop called Bohemian House of Espresso + Chai. The owner is so warm and inviting, and he makes the best chai and mint matcha latte! I also love exploring Little Tokyo and grabbing matcha ice cream from the many shops around. Every Sunday, I walk through the Historic District Farmers Market, pick up some fresh fruit and veggies for the week, and say hello to all the friendly vendors. Downtown really has a charm to it, and I love being able to explore it on foot!
What's next for you?
I love creating content and will be doing it for as long as it keeps me happy, but I've always dreamed of launching an apparel or beauty line. I recently released my first apparel collection, Happy Looks Good On You, and it's been a great success. I hope to continue building out the line and seeing where it takes me. Honestly, I want to do anything and everything. I want to explore all of my interests and see where they lead me because 11 years ago, I never would have imagined I'd be here doing what I'm doing, so I know there is so much more to accomplish!