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Apr 21, 2011

Inspired by My Story Featured in Delta Gamma’s Anchora Magazine

I LOVE being a part of the Delta Gamma fraternity. Being a DG has brought me so much strength, encouragement and confidence, and I wouldn’t be where I am without my sisters! It’s all about supporting one another, and I’ve had the honor of sharing some of my fellow DG sister’s weddings (here and here) on Inspired by This! Needless to say I was incredibly honored when Delta Gamma’s quarterly magazine, The Anchora, asked to include me in their “Cool Jobs” section.

They invited me to share my story of how I got to where I am today. You can read the article below or read the whole magazine here! Many of my readers may or may not know my personal family struggles that actually led me to what I am doing today. This article shares just that.

Two weeks after my college graduation, I received news no one wants to hear:  My mom, only 50 years old had been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia and was given 2-5 years to live. Being the oldest of five children, I felt an ocean of responsibility wash over me. But the priority shift led me to where I am today: in my dream job and honoring my mother. My carefree, post-graduation plans were to stay in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I knew my family needed me. Before I knew it I moved back to Los Angeles with my family, living the life of a caretaker. I spent the summer accompanying my mom from one doctor’s appointment to the next.

I eventually settled into my first job at a small business trade magazine. It wouldn’t last forever, but unbeknownst to me, the work was setting me on a path toward my dream career. I got my first taste of event production when I planned and executed an 800 person award show dinner for the company. After that night I knew my passion was not in corporate life but in working with people.
I knew it was time to redirect.

I had always had a knack for style and design as well as a passion for giving to others. “What a better way to combine the two,”  I thought , “than by helping people plan one of the most important moments in their life – their weddings!” Wedding planning brought me so much joy, but I again felt that need for something more. As a planner, I discovered a void in the wedding market. And, I felt compelled to fill it.

In 2007, five years after I graduated from Santa Clara’s business school, I created Be Inspired PR, a full-service public relations agency, dedicated to giving wedding planners, dress and jewelry designers, florists, cake bakers, photographers, stationery companies, and other vendors their deserved places in the spotlight. I unified my industry knowledge with media proficiency to open the first-of-its-kind firm. My modest staff and I create positive images and foster brand recognition to ignite vendors’ growth and sustain momentum. In four years, Be Inspired PR (beinspiredpr.com) has grown by 300 percent in revenue and has worked with more than 100 clients, including some of the industry’s most well-known vendors.

It’s been an expectantly bumpy journey but I discovered my true calling. As fate would have it, this endeavor allows me to channel my dad’s entrepreneurial spirit and pay homage to my mom’s life work as a floral and décor designer.
In life, there’s reason for everything. If I hadn’t pledged Delta Gamma, I would have never met the sisters who helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life. If I hadn’t moved right back to LA, I would have never gotten to where I am today. If my mom hadn’t become ill, I might not be as introspective and as appreciative of all I have.

Last year, with my wedding all set for a weekend in May, I later realized it would coincide with Mother’s Day. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Nine years after Mom’s diagnosis, she’s still with us – physically, at least. Her memory is gone, but her presence is a constant source of inspiration and strength. She reminds me that the future is what you make of it.
Now I get to help others make the best of what they have, for in the words of Lorrin Lee, “Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring”

  • Kudos to you and your strong spirit. Congratulations on your triumphs.

  • My readers may not know my personal family struggles that led me to where I am today. This article shares just that. http://bit.ly/fpmXGP

  • @weddingPR Enjoyed reading your story in the latest @DeltaGamma Anchora!

  • @weddingPR You have no idea how much I needed to read that today, Leila. Thank you. 🙂

  • @weddingPR That’s beautiful. I love when we are able to confide in our readers personal struggles that have helped shape us.

  • This is amazingly inspiring! Thanks for sharing. RT @weddingPR: This article shares just that. http://bit.ly/fpmXGP

  • @weddingPR holy cow!! I love your story. I DEFINITELY relate to your journey.

  • @weddingPR That’s such a lovely story and very inspirational too! xx

  • AllFreshPicked

    You are truly an inspiration to all women @weddingPR! Great article!

  • LOVE this.

  • Jim

    Thanks for sharing!

  • What a lovely article! I’ve been reading Inspired by This for a while now but I’d never heard the background of how it came to be. You’re such a business rock star! And agreed about how great it is to be part of a sisterhood.

  • leila, you are strong, smart and amazing and i’m glad you are in our lives. xoxo

  • @weddingPR Thanks Leila-the story of younger caretakers is not often told-inspiring that you’ve balanced that with marriage and career.

  • Kimberly Maus

    This gives me tears. What a story. I’m a DG too. Thank you for inspiring us all!

  • Christia

    You should be very proud of yourself! I know your mom would be!!

  • Maggie

    How lovely that you get to honor your mother like this, she is your angel that will always watch over you, as you succeed in life and while inspiring others!

  • Ann

    Leila, I’m proud to have you as my daughter-in-law. You are so gifted and talented. Your parents did a great job and all of your hard work is paying off.

  • Congrats on all of your accomplishments, Leila!

    I, too, am a Delta Gamma alum (Delta Lambda, Mississippi State). I had the opportunity to visit Zeta Epsilon, Santa Clara when I traveled as a CDC in 2003… have to say it was one of my favorite chapters!!

    If you are ever in need of imprintable invitations and/or other paper products, I invite you to visit my line, Address to Impress – https://www.facebook.com/AddressToImpress or view our catalogs here: http://www.issuu.com/addresstoimpress/docs/2011catalog

    Best of luck in the future… and ‘hope’ for many more years with your Mom!!

    Hillary Phillips Jordan
    Delta Lambda ’99-’03

  • leila, thank you for sharing your story! it is so wonderful how life changes and pushes us to our paths that we wouldn’t have otherwise known to do! i am proud to call you a friend and fellow sister in dg! itb!!!

  • @weddingPR beautiful post, thanks for sharing from your heart

  • Majorly inspired by @weddingPR humble beginnings and story http://www.bit.ly/hTJeIO I think I need to call her

  • Had no clue you were a Delta Gamma, too – such an inspiring story! Best of luck to you!! @weddingPR

  • @weddingPR Loved this article, especially the quote from Lorin Lee. Thanks for sharing this!

  • @weddingPR beautiful article! Thanks for sharing!

  • Wonderful article from @weddingPR Life really is what you make of it. Very inspired. http://tinyurl.com/3wyrdka

  • jenny devoto

    What a beautiful story Lei…..so touched to have been a part of your journey with you!!!

  • Jenny Morgan

    Leila, you deserve ALL of the success that has come your way. Congrats to you my sweet sister! You are a radiant example of living life beautifully! XOXO & ITB

  • Elizabeth

    What a wonder artivle Lei! I loved reading it! You are so blessed to have your family – and they are even more blessed to have you in their lives!

  • Brooke

    Love your article! I’m so fortunate to have you in my life. You constantly inspire me 🙂 x

  • Brought me to tears, what a journey.

  • Tony

    So proud of you and how far you’ve come. Your success and character is an ongoing tribute to both parents and the example that they set…

    Marlo and I are both lucky to have you in our lives 🙂

  • colleen

    What a wonderful tribute to your journey – and it’s far from over. I am so grateful to have you as an inspiration in my life.

  • Thx for all your kind words about my personal journey on the blog today& thx @DeltaGamma sisters for your love& support http://bit.ly/fpmXGP

  • @weddingPR @DeltaGamma . You are an inspiration to all! Reading your story gives me motivation to really follow my heart and my passion

  • Wonderful story. Thx 4 sharing! RT @weddingPR: Thx for all your kind words about my personal journey on the blog today http://bit.ly/fpmXGP

  • @weddingPR thank you for sharing. Very inspirational, my dad just got diagnosed with dementia and I’m a DG!

  • @weddingPR Brought me to tears, what a journey. http://bit.ly/fpmXGP

  • My most precious friend Leila shares her story on her blog about family and success. http://bit.ly/fpmXGP @weddingPR

  • @weddingPR amazing a touching story! Inspiration IS where we find it! And I love a fellow sorority girl (#AKA) and industry pro.

  • @weddingPR oh that was a bitter sweet post. Xoxoxo

  • @weddingPR such a moving post. You are such a brave inspiration. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  • @weddingPR amazing story! Congratulations to you and your amazing success!

  • what an touching and inspirational story. thank you for sharing something so personal. feel like giving you a virtual hug 🙂

  • Aline Yaacoub

    Dearest cousin, I have never doubted your potentials or your ability to become the person you are today. You deserve alllll the BEST and may God bless you and your family :))))))

  • Lesley

    what a beautifully written article. you should be very proud!

  • Leila, your story is beautiful. We are all so proud of your success and lucky to have an incredible friend!

  • Leila – Thanks for sharing your story. It was beautiful! My mom has had breast cancer for the last 6 years and she had a brain tumor last year so I can relate to your struggle. Her strength has been so inspirational to me. Best of luck in the future.

  • Leila, you are truly an inspiration! Not only of your dedication and love for those most important in your life, but also for following the events in your life with such a grace…and working hard to make your dreams come true! Such an inspiration!

  • Emily

    You’re the best godmother ever! I love the article!

  • Leila, this was so touching- loved this article! I am so incredibly proud of everything you’ve accomplished and the phenomenal woman that you are. You truly are an inspiration!

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  • Layla thank you soo much

  • Leila, Congratulations on being featured in Anchora and for following your dreams. I also have recently followed my dream of becoming a wedding photographer and it’s been amazing to do something I love. I wish you the best of luck. ITB, Gen

  • this was such an inspiring, tear jerking story. Thanks Leila for sharing such a personal part of your life. your are such an inspiration to me and I am so grateful to know you! xoxo

  • So eloquently written-Beautifully inspiring! RT @weddingPR my personal family struggles that led me to where I am today http://bit.ly/fpmXGP

  • @weddingPR Just read the “Destined to Inspire” interview… thanks for sharing 🙂

  • @weddingpr continues to inspire me everyday with her hard work, creativity and drive! Read her fabulous story: http://bit.ly/dTd6qz

  • @weddingPR loved reading your post – thanks for sharing!

  • @weddingPR very touching! Your courage is inspiring. The bay area misses you too.

  • @weddingPR beautiful article in the Anchora. I didn’t realize you were a fellow California @deltagamma.:)

  • @RiceInk @weddingPR That is a young woman with amazing grace and strength and yes definitely brought tears!

  • @weddingPR Leila, what a touching story. Thanks for sharing your strength 🙂

  • You never know where life will bring you. Thank you for sharing your story @weddingPR http://bit.ly/hTJeIO


    @weddingPR very touching and inspiring, you should be very proud.

  • Leila, what a beautiful story! Thanks for sharing. I hope I get to work with you one day soon 🙂

  • Carolina

    Hi Leila! You inspired me more than you can imagine! I have a bachelor degree in Public Relations and I am organizing my own wedding. I discovered I love weddings and I am starting to believe I can do it!!! I am from Argentina but I live in New Zealand! Maybe one day I will be like you for other like me!

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    It’s triggered by the passion displayed in the post I read. And after this article Inspired by My Story Featured in Delta Gamma

  • It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
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  • Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
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