We had the good fortune of connecting with Layla K and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Layla, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I do have a favorite quote actually. “Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with” by Thomas Carlyle has always resonated with me as I have overcome a an immense amount of personal and professional adversity. Although this is true, I’ve come to understand that every obstacle and set back has always been a blessing or a lesson and all things come together perfectly in the end.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own a Marketing Agency called Madison + Harlow. I currently enjoy branding and managing fashion, beauty and lifestyle companies while securing media placements and mutually beneficial influencer contracts for them. I have also built my own online fashion and “Black Love” movement through my Digital Magazine Black Style Report and Black Love Manifesto. Additionally, my team and I are preparing to launch my niche Black Business Directory this winter. Overall, my journey has been 20+ years in the making and I am blessed to be in a position to help other fashion, beauty, and creative brands receive the creative direction they need to take their ideas to the next level. I am generally known for pioneering Atlanta Fashion Week (affectionately known as Haute.lanta Fashion Week), yet I am most proud of my work with teen girls through my program, the Global Fashion Initiative™. I am set apart from others because I am very purpose-driven and I run my business in the same manner. If the project doesn’t impact others in a positive way or if I don’t believe in it, I will pass on it. Money isn’t everything! I have faced a lot of obstacles as being an entrepreneur is not at all what people think, yet I continued to put in the work and pursue my dreams relentlessly and that’s how I was able to accomplish so much. Aside from my faith in God, setbacks seem to motivate me to push harder.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am originally from California so whenever my Cali friends visit, I love to take the opportunity to show off the nightlife and amazing restaurants that Atlanta has to offer. Assuming that there was no COVID, I’d take her to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or High Museum to take in some art. We’d also visit Piedmont Park during the day to ride bikes and enjoy the scenery and food trucks. Then we’d attend ATL Live in the Park or Apache Cafe for live R&B music performances. We’d brunch on Sunday at Cafe Intermezzo, BQE or Boogalou and at night we’d lounge-hop at the many hookah spots in the city. I love to eat so some of my fav restaurants include No Mas, STK, The Garden Room, Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint, Two Urban Licks, The Sundial and Argosy but I can’t forget Mama’s Cocina. You can visit that place at 4pm or 4am, they are always open and the food is soo good! Since I am a local influencer, we may attend a red carpet event or two.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my “Shout Out” to my very close-knit and extremely encouraging family. They speak so much life into me and each other. No matter what I accomplish, big or small, they are my biggest fans, my dad and aunts especially. Additionally, I want to shout out my business besties Nicole Caldwell, Shayne Lee and Nai’Vasha Johnson. These Queens have not only trusted me with their brands, but they have supported my own and pushed me during times when I doubted my abilities or just needed guidance. For decades, they have listened to all of my crazy (good) ideas and stood behind every one of them in addition to consistently promoting and referring. Last but not least, my fiancé Lyndell has played a huge role in my success as well. He is my equal when it comes to brainstorming and implementing creative marketing ideas and he and I have launched successful brands together. My tribe is amazing and I don’t know where I’d be without them!
Other: IG: https://www.instagram.com/blacklovemanifesto/
Image Credits: Madison + Harlow PR and Shaped Light Photography