Today we’d like to introduce you to Lea Bodie.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lea. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
A few years ago, I went to a cocktail party with my husband, Jason and we met an amazing couple, Nika and Emeka. They had moved to Houston THAT day so he could be the GM of a well-known restaurant. We spent hours talking together and separately. We have so many things in common! When Nika and I spoke privately, we were shocked to learn that we share the same history of sexual abuse that has given us a passion for combatting sexual exploitation specifically sex trafficking. Interesting cocktail party talk, huh?
After the party, we shared many lunches, dinners and outings until they felt called to MOVE to the Philippines to continue Nika’s ministry work with child survivors of sex trafficking. In the meantime, Jason and I had each been searching for more significance in our lives. We run a successful IT Staffing company, Imperastaff and do real estate investing on the side, but we wanted more! More meaning!
We had been spending a lot more time with family, especially my parents as my dad has stage IV colorectal cancer, and structured our finances so that Jason can retire in the next few years. Then, we made the decision to homeschool our little kids for the next few years, allowing us to really create family memories while they are young. We plan to travel all over the world! A trip to visit Nika and Emeka is definitely in the works!
Nika called me several months ago and said she had been praying about a way for her to use her fashion degree from LIM and buying experience at Barney’s New York to really join the fight against human trafficking and support the country she was calling home. She had the idea to create a curated line of accessories made by local artisans and sell them to benefit human trafficking causes. And she wanted my help!
If our mid-range targets are accurate, we will be able to give $50,000 to organizations in our first year!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Life is full of struggles! I am so grateful for all of my life experiences, including my sexual abuse, as they have shaped me into who I am today.
Láro – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our mission is to leverage fashion as a means to empower women while advocating for underprivileged and marginalized communities around the world, specifically through supporting indigenous artisans and joining the fight against human trafficking.
We believe that fashion is our message to the world and that each of our handbags is a reflection of the beauty inherently created within us. Our collection is lovingly handcrafted by local artisans and drenched in the rich heritage and legacy of The Philippines.
Láro integrates traditional signature techniques of weaving, embroidery, and beadwork from various indigenous groups. The heart and soul is reflected in each design as the artisan breathes life into it. We seek to honor the sacred stories of these communities by offering our signature blend of polished and artisanal to the world.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as being able to find joy in all things. Even in trials. If I am able to weather a storm, a disappointment or failure with grace, that’s a success!
- Bags range from $675-$745
- Address: 2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Houston, Texas 77062
- Website: www.shoplaro.com
- Phone: 281-616-5276
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @shop.laro
- Facebook: @shoplarohandbags
Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.