Featured Founder: Leanne Aranador, Ladoru

Leanne Aranador’s Whyography is one of more than 30 stories featured in the “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose” book. 100 percent of proceeds from book sales benefit the Fueled by Purpose micro grant fund for womxn-owned businesses. To purchase the book, visit the Marketplace page.

Leanne Aranador had endured the harshest insults. Like salt in a wound, they were hurled at her during the times when she was feeling her most vulnerable.

“It’s because you have no value,” after a coworker refused to acknowledge Leanne’s contribution to a project.

“You know you’re not worthy, right?” when a job interview Leanne thought might turn into something didn’t pan out.

“It’s no surprise he didn’t call back,” when a connection with a potential match didn’t go beyond a first date.

The words were unkind and untrue. But they held a lot of power over Leanne. And they weren’t coming from someone else—they were lies she’d been telling herself for a long time.

It wasn’t until the artist and illustrator made a New Year’s resolution to doodle every day for an entire year that she began to see the truth. It was an experiment suggested by a friend—intentional daily doodles. As she doodled, Leanne began to realize there was a different voice inside her. It wasn’t harsh or demeaning. For the first 208 days of doodling, it was a faint whisper. On day 209, a major transformation occurred. The voice was louder than the one that’d been telling her lies for so long. And through the art she was creating, Leanne realized that imperfections were actually points of interest. Doodling had unleashed her true and powerful voice, and through it she could turn vulnerabilities into strengths.

Leanne made a promise to herself to honor that voice every day moving forward. She began combining her doodles with advertisements she thought were bland, transforming them into works of art. She expanded her repertoire of surreal illustrations, using them to tell compelling stories in her freelance design work.

Doodling also sparked an idea for a purpose-driven business. Leanne envisioned an art-infused clothing brand as a means to encourage other women to wear their voices and transform their lives and the world around them. In 2018 she launched Ladoru, a collection of apparel and accessories featuring combinations of her doodles with messages of purpose, transformation and vulnerability. For Leanne, the greater meaning behind Ladoru is a desire to transform one’s pain, circumstance or situation into something beautiful and purposeful that will inspire others.

While entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, and often a test of courage and confidence, Leanne’s transformation has empowered her to overcome fear and self-doubt. She finds strength in sharing her voice with the world and in the connections she’s made with others while pursuing her purpose. She is most grateful for the people she’s been able to bring together throughout this journey—those who share similar values and who, like Leanne, believe “our words shape our world.”

Leanne wants to bring inspiration to both closets and minds. “Just like you choose your clothes every day, you can choose the words and thoughts you put on.” She hopes she is inspiring women to choose to wear compassion, kindness, humility, strength and love.

To learn more about Leann’s business, visit Ladoru.com.

Photo: Ladoru

About the author: Chris Olsen is a broadcast media maven turned communications consultant and the author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.


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