A little ray of sunshine – that is how I would describe Leana Mullane. When you’re in her presence it’s like being kissed by the sun, and you feel warm, nourished and happy. You simply cannot look at her radiant smile without the corners of your mouth turning upwards and her positive energy is completely intoxicating. On the surface Leana is a beautiful, twenty-three year old with a killer sense of style and a hugely popular blog Coconut & Lime but there is so much more to this incredible lady! She is kind, compassionate, intelligent, deep and she’s determined to make a real difference in this world.
Soul Sister Circle chats to our newest team member Leana about her growing blog, her story so far up until her new job at Soul Sister Circle and what the future holds.
SSC: Let’s begin with a little bit about you. Who is Leana Mullane? What lights you up and brings that big, beautiful smile across your face?
Leana: For me this is a question that is always changing and growing because I feel especially this year I have learnt more and more about myself, who I am and what makes me happy. I have really given myself the time to do this.
Well I am 23 years old and graduated from a Bachelor of Fashion Design last year. I have my blog Coconut & Lime and I took this year to travel, rest and just explore who I am and have fun being me. I am a super creative person and have been my whole life; I remember hand-sewing heart shaped pillowcases filled with scrunched tissues haha and drawing pictures, scrapbooking, painting and exploring my own style even from a young age. I like to believe I get my happy, smiley and bubbly personality from my dear mum. She gave me the confidence to be whoever I wanted to be and we would have times sitting in tears from laughing over the most stupid of things, she brought so much laughter and happiness to my life and I have taken that on in myself to then also give that to others.
I love the feeling of being inspired, gosh isn’t it amazing! For me that is one thing that really lights me up, and that can be anything from a simple colour, to an inspiring story, a wonderful book, a photo or a song, the list goes on. Music is also very special to me; I just started playing guitar this year after secretly always wanting to begin but never giving myself the time. I absolutely love it and just being able to play and release my thoughts and emotions through music is so powerful. Family really is important to me and lights me up. After losing my dear mum 2.5 years ago I really learnt the importance of it and I am so lucky be apart of a big family, so I have so many amazing people supporting me and bringing love into my life.
SSC: You created a gorgeous little part of the online world called Coconut and Lime. Can you tell us about what inspired you to create this gorgeous space and what you love most about having a blog?
Leana: Coconut & Lime as silly as it sounds really just happened, I never planned for it or ever really knew what I was doing for a long time. It all kind of started back when Instagram first began out and my name ‘Leana Marie’ was already taken and I had a Tigerlily ‘Coconut, lemon & lime’ candle next to me and BANG it was born haha. I was in my second year of uni studying Fashion Design and had really started to find out what my style was and what I felt good in. I had discovered Spell Designs too when they were in their early days and quite small, they inspired me so much and reminded me why I loved this industry and how powerful inspiring people can be. I then just started created flat lays with my own clothes and sharing things I loved, doing little photo-shoots in my backyard on timer haha. A lot of my following started to ask if I had a blog or website and it just kind of happened. I loved having a creative outlet from uni and being able to share with others what I was so passionate about.
My favourite thing about having a blog is all the incredible people I have met and come by. I have made some life long friendships and have such a wonderful group of people who inspire me every day all over the globe. I love being able to hear their stories, follow their journeys and then being able to play a part in that to help them to continue to follow their own dreams. As much as I love what I do, I really love what I am able to do for others and how I can make them feel.
SSC: Your Instagram account has well over 100k followers. When you started, did you ever think it would become this popular?
Leana: Of course not, I had no idea at all and I never really saw this as something I would be doing in the future. I simply did it for fun and the joy of helping others in one way or another to help them follow their own dreams. For me the number means nothing, yes it is incredible that I have so many people who believe in what I do and share but I always say to people, if you love what you are doing that is all that matters. That if I was inspiring 200 people every day and making them smile that is 200 more than I ever thought I could be, and that is 200 people I am helping to also then inspire others.
SSC: What advice would you give to someone who is new to social media or is perhaps looking to boost their profile online?
Leana: I get this question a lot and the most important thing I believe is to just stay true to who you are, be confident in who you are and love what you do! I myself find I am more likely to connect with someone or embrace what they do if I can see that they are being themselves and I can see the passion shining from within, and over time your profile will continue to grow from this.
SSC: You’ve just started working with Soul Sister Circle as their Social Media and Digital Marketing Coordinator. Can you share the story of how you got this gig?
Leana: I still cannot believe it myself!! This really is the most magical opportunity and I am so beyond excited to be apart of the Soul Sister Circle team.
For me it has been what felt like a long journey to get to here. I went into my university course after high school knowing yes I want to be a Fashion Designer and that was that; I guess I was a little unaware of how big the fashion industry really is and that within it now a days there are so many paths to take, and that is amazing but also quite overwhelming. So about half way into my course I kind of started to realise that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be specifically that, and through learning my strengths and weaknesses at uni I learnt how much more naturally styling came to me. Business was also my best subject at uni ironically haha, but I have always been very good at knowing who my brand is, projecting that and being confident in that, so of course that made sense and has come to help me in the future. After launching my blog I was able to improve my skills in styling and luckily my course covered so many different subjects that allowed me to explore many parts of the industry.
But after losing my dear mum in my graduate year things came tumbling down a bit, and had to put on stand still my blog and course to allow myself time to grieve. It was a really hard next two years as what felt like one bad thing after the other happened. I did my final year part time over two years and once I graduated it was so amazing to just finally breathe a bit. But then came that pressure as everyone would ask “You have finished uni now, have you got a job? What is next for you?” and I started to freak out as I had no idea what I wanted to do and really all I wanted was to just stop for a while. I then went through a tough break up after 5 years and this was just the icing on the cake for my heart to say STOP you need a break. And that was what I did.
The last 10 months I worked, started guitar, started yoga, continued my blog, travelled, enjoyed seeing my friends and just took time out for me and explored what made me happy. I then came back from America and started looking for jobs, spending hours searching through positions that really I had no idea if I wanted to do them or if I wanted to be working 9-5 5 days a week. Then Sophie Hardcastle’s book ‘Running like China’ came into my life and after finishing the book and having been to my first Soul Sister Circle event the week before I sat up at night contemplating my life and what I really wanted to do. I knew I wanted to be creative but I had always loved helping people and inspiring them, wanting to include that too. That was when Bec came to mind and I thought she does exactly that with her company already and the idea came to life. Bec had been calling out to the universe for the right people and here I was as keen as anything and finally feeling that this could be the right thing for me for once in a long time. After a long Skype session I left nearly in tears of happiness as finally I had found something that was a job yes but also it just felt so right. And after a few meetings here I am working for Soul Sister Circle and I couldn’t be happier!
SSC: You recently read the book “Running Like China” by and it made a profound impression on you. Can you tell us why this book inspired you so much?
Leana: This beautiful book written by Sophie Hardcastle really touched something in me. I always have felt books chose me and this was definitely the case with this one. Having suffered from Anxiety my whole life and a major fear of the unknown this book made me so happy that someone was finally bringing to the surface a topic that so many don’t talk about; something that is shun upon at times. Mental Illness is in my family and also my dear mum suffered with Bi polar, so I got to experience very similar things as Sophie in the book writes about. Although this time I don’t see it from my angle, I see it from the one suffering. This book gave me a whole new insight into what my mum may have been going through and also made me really think about my own life. I had always loved helping people and having been through some horrible things myself I never wanted to wish upon anyone else that pain so I always felt I wanted to relieve some of that from others if I could. So this book although quite sad, was also so incredible inspiring and I actually got the chance to meet up with 21 year old Sophie last week. It was the most magical thing ( and a bit of a #fangirl moment haha) and just to see her living life and smiling was the most beautiful thing.
SSC: What excites you most about working with Soul Sister Circle?
Leana: I think it is just the possibilities that can now happen for Soul Sister Circle. I am excited for what I can bring to the table for this already amazing company and I am excited for how this company can grow, continuing to make a wonderful change in this world one woman at a time. I am even more excited for all the wonderful people I will meet, all the inspiring stories I am sure I will come across and how I will grow as a person and continue on my own journey too.
SSC: Why do you feel it is so important that women come together to support one another and raise each other up?
Leana: I think this is important because really why shouldn’t we be wanting to support each other. I know myself from experience when I am surrounded by like minded people or others who are successful in a similar field it brings me up, it lights that fire within me and reminds me why I love what I am doing. Seeing the simple happiness in others from loving what they do allows you to glow from the inside out too. It is a magical thing and should be done more often than not. It reminds us we are also not alone, and that we are all in this together!
SSC: You have a hugely popular blog and now a new job with Soul Sister Circle, what do you hope the future holds for Leana Mullane?
Leana: I am not really sure what the future holds right now, but all I do know is that right now at this present moment I am where I need to be. I mostly hope for happiness, being able to wake up every day smile and excited for what each day brings, loving every moment of whatever I am doing and making my dear mum proud of her daughter as she watches up in heaven. I hope to continually embrace life and just take whatever comes my way… whatever the future does hold I am sure excited now!