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GLAMOUR Women’s Month Series: Jana Leonard

As we continue to honour inspirational women this women’s month. We caught up with Jana Leonard, owner of The Bakiti.Co

Glamour: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your business?

JL: I have been in the PR Industry for more than 10 years, am the founding owner of JL Brand Communicators and as from a year ago the founding owner of The Baskiti Co. Recently, I have also launched Messages for Mama with one of my best friends, Ricci - a premium range of baby accessories and blankets with encouraging messages for Mama embroidered in the same hue as the fabric. A special and unique keepsake for mom and baby! I am a mom of two gorgeous kids and the wife to my high school sweetheart. I am a glass-half-full, wine-loving, nature-seeking, travel-obsessed lover of life!

Glamour: What are you most proud of?

JL: So many things, but the most recent must be that I manage to not only survive 2020 / 2021 but that I seeked opportunities to grow myself and my business(es).

Glamour: What does power mean to you? Do you consider yourself an ‘influencer’?

JL: With power comes responsibility and as I get older and grow more within the decor and PR industries, I realise that I do have influence. There is always someone who knows more than you do but there’s also always someone who wants to learn from you. It’s my responsibility to ensure that what I put out there resonates with my core values and moral beliefs. People are always keeping an eye on you, and with social media, it’s easier than ever.

Glamour: Based on your own experience, what advice would you give someone that is looking at starting their own business/new business owners?

JL: Don’t be afraid to chat to other entrepreneurs, they will be so happy to share tips and advice from their own experience. Connect with them via social media or email them - you’d be surprised how open people are. When starting your own business the best thing you can do is to just start. Start small, test the waters and always be open to feedback. Your business / offering / product will also need to adapt and grow depending on your customer base and demand thereof - be open to this and always be flexible.

Glamour: Who are your role models?

JL: Taylor Swift. I love how she adapts and moves with the times, always changing her narrative to suit the storyline / the space she finds herself. I believe people and brands need to do the same - we are ever changing and so are the expectations from our customers.

Image: Jana Leonard

Glamour: When I grow up I want to be…

JL: My kids. Sounds bizarre right, but I really want to go through life with such admiration for the small things. They are so happy with so little, and that’s how I’d love to go through life. Sadly, I know life happens - responsibilities, stress and more - but for now I will live vicariously through them. In all honesty though - I could not have scripted a better life for myself, if I tried. God really did good!

Glamour: What are your aspirations for the future?

JL: For The Baskiti Co. - I want to go international. I’ve also known that’s my ultimate goal but of late things have really started falling into place to make it happen. For JL Brand Communicators, I want to continue growing my business within the lifestyle consumer space - I want to make a difference to a brand and join them on their journey! Personally, I have so many goals and aspirations - the main one being: to travel!

Glamour: Anything else you’d like to add?

JL: 2020 has been incredibly hard for many - not just in the workplace or financially, but mentally as well. I personally completely felt out of it - I couldn’t give 100% with my kids and family because I have work responsibilities, and I couldn’t give 100% to my businesses because I have kids to tend to. It’s such a catch 20/20. It really messed with my mental health and the high expectations I have for myself. I’ve realised that I simply cannot do it all (at the level I expect) and that’s completely OK. I am incredibly grateful and proud to have our nanny, Jacqueline, part of our family. I’ll go crazy otherwise. Haha!

Glamour: How/where can people get hold of you?

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