Leanne Aranador had endured some of the harshest insults. Like salt in a wound, they were hurled at her during the times when she was feeling her most vulnerable. And the words stung.
“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. They held a lot of power over Leanne. But they weren’t coming from someone else—they were lies she had been telling herself for a long time.
It wasn’t until the Brooklyn, New York-based 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—not typical mindless doodling, but intentional daily doodles. As she doodled, Leanne realized there was a different voice inside her. It wasn’t harsh or demeaning. For the first 208 days of doodling, the voice was a faint whisper. And then, on day 209, a major transformation occurred. The voice had become louder than the one that’d been telling her lies for so long. 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 tees, sweaters and totes featuring combinations of her doodles with messages of purpose, transformation and vulnerability.
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.”
The name Ladoru is a combination of Leanne’s initials and words from different cultures and languages including “l’dor v’dor,” which translates to “generation to generation” in Hebrew; “la dor,” meaning “her pain” in Portuguese; and “dor,” which means “longing or desire” in Romanian. For Leanne, the greater meaning behind Ladoru is a longing or desire to transform one’s pain, circumstance or situation into something beautiful and purposeful that will inspire others for generations to come.
Leanne’s ultimate goal for Ladoru is to inspire 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.
Are you ready to courageously share your story with the world and open the door to resources and opportunities? My Founder Story takes you through the process of clarifying your WHY and developing your WHYography—a powerful short story designed to articulate and elevate your purpose, and an essential tool for leveraging your business with potential investors, partners and supporters. Learn more here.