It’s not easy being a fierce fashionista, but Nicole does it effortlessly, leaving us all wowed. Meet Nicole, a blogger from right here in Mississippi. Her blog, “Lelia’s Southern Charm” (named after her late grandmother, Lelia) gives us all of her latest fun, fabulous fashion details and other helpful tips, such as mental health advice and more!
Nicole uses her platform, whether it’s her aesthetically pleasing Instagram page or her website, to inspire women. From captivating pictures and uplifting captions, Nicole knows how to use her voice to inspire women to be their best self.
I had the opportunity to interview Nicole and get her feedback on some questions about being a public figure in the blogging world. Keep reading to see our interview!
What does it mean to be an inspirational woman to you?
An inspirational woman to me is someone who is confident, stands on their morals and faith, and encourages others to be their best self.
Who was the first woman to inspire you and why did you inspire you? What did she do? Do you think she shaped the way in which you inspire women today?
My mother. She is a God-fearing woman who taught me and my sister at an early age to always rely on our Faith to get us through, good, bad, and ugly. My mom is slow to anger, easy to talk to, and non-judgmental. She’s always taught me to love God and love people. Her actions and parenting have shaped who I am today, love God, love people, and do what makes you happy. My late grandmother, Lelia, was the same way too.
When did you first realize that you were inspirational and influential?
During my undergrad career I was heavily involved in student ministry and worked alongside some of my best friends as we oversaw our own ministry group. I met dozens of college students every year and heard countless stories from them during my time in undergrad. It was after graduation and a year or two down the line that I ran into old students, and they shared their appreciation for how I influenced them during their undergrad career or how I really got them through a tough time. I knew then that I wanted to be in a field where I could inspire others to be their best self. The students that I have met years ago, inspired me more than they probably realize! I love community and believe God places people in our paths to walk through life together, the good, the bad, and the uncomfortable moments. We all are inspirational and influential; it really matters on how you use that power.
Instagram can sometimes make us compare our lives to others. How do you manage to remain influential and true to yourself in the midst of putting yourself out there?
I started Lelia’s Southern Charm about 4 years ago, and during the 1st year I was sharing my daily outfit of the day as many would ask where I would get certain outfits. At the time there were not a lot of influencers who looked like me and I was excited about the challenge. After I got going, I started to see and learn more about the industry and at first glance I felt like I needed to replicate that in order to be “seen”. I burned myself out to the point that I just stopped posting for several months. I then hit a point in my life where my anxiety and depression got the best of me and one of the things that got me through was fashion and sharing what I loved with others. I also had to remind myself why I named my blog, Lelia’s Southern Charm. As a way to remember my late grandmother, Lelia who had a southern charm like no other and loved fashion. I then got back on the wagon and decided from that day forward my purpose of my blog was to inspire people through fashion and to provide encouragement as we walk this thing called “life” together. I decided then to not let other accounts, number of likes and followers, aesthetic pages burn me out. I truly love showing up daily at Lelia’s Southern Charm now and connecting with so many other women around the world. I keep it fun and light on my page.
If you could give your younger self one bit of advice, what would you tell her?
There’s a quote that says “Don’t be like the rest of them darling” that I love and reminds me of my mom who is always preaching to me that I am me, and that makes me unique. With living and growing up in the South, you hear all the time you have to go to school, you have to get married, and you have to have kids by 30 and for a long time I fell into the trap that after I finished my undergrad that I needed to find a husband and live in this big house with a picket fence. I wasted a good 4-5 years thinking something was wrong with me because those things didn’t happen for me before I turned 30. Fast forward I’m in my mid 30’s and I’m living my best single life. I can do what I want and whatever makes me happy. I have the time to grow personally and in my career as an HR professional with no responsibilities of taking care of a home. I have two nieces and I hope that they see me as a strong 35-year-old who doesn’t have everything that this “society broadcasts” to women and yet, I’m still happy and successful. I hope they know that they can change their minds at any point of their lives, and that if something doesn’t bring them true deep joy, that they can walk away from that if they want.
What wonderful words from Nicole! Showing us that happiness doesn’t have to come in the ways that society tells us that it should is inspiration in itself. Nicole shows that contentment comes from within— not worrying about other things such as likes, followers, etc. This serves as a beautiful reminder to us all to seek our validation from God who gives us what we need within!