#WCW: Leila Janah

I’ve been blessed to have been raised by and around some fantastic, brilliant, empathetic, kind, and basically all-around bad ass women. In honour of them, I’ve decided to bring the #WCW (Women Crush Wednesdays) trend to my blog.

I’ll be highlighting inspirational women making a world of change and my inaugural post is dedicated to Leila Janah, CEO of Sama and founder of LXMI (pronounced ‘luxe-me’), a natural beauty line.

SAMA – The Microwork Revolution

I’ve always been interested in the democratization of Philanthropy. By that, I mean the idea that all of us can play a small part in supporting grassroots projects around the world. While I believe there governments play a critical role in providing aid worldwide, I don’t think it’s enough. Sites like GlobalGiving – a one stop shop for philanthropy that let’s you fund fantastic projects around the world, and Kiva which supports entrepreneurs with microfinancing are fantastic ways to give back.

That’s why I was so impressed when I found out about Sama (formerly Samasource), a fantastic company started by Janah that helps move people out of poverty through digital microwork. Sama means equal in Sanscrit and that is what inspires her drive. According to an interview that dates back a couple of years, Janah’s company has moved over 27,000 people around the world above the poverty line.  It now employs 1,200 workers around the world.

I urge you all to have a look at this fantastic TED X Brussels talk (because, come on, who doesn’t love Ted talks), wherein she talks about the Microwork Revolution:


LXMI – Look good, do good

Now, onto the yummy stuff.

I started my transition to natural beauty a few years ago and there’s no going back for me. In the beginning, it didn’t seem like there were enough brands out there to feel like I wasn’t missing out on the variety that I was used to seeing in Sephora and other beauty stores. Thankfully, nowadays there is a much larger selection (I’ll post on my beauty must-have’s at some point in the future).

LXMI is new on the natural beauty scene, but is earning rave reviews. It’s name comes from Lakshmi, a Hindu goddess whose four hands are thought to represent prosperity, liberation, morality, and love – two giving hands and two receiving hands. According to their website, “the brand seal represents this concept of giving and receiving”.

The Creme du Nile is on my wish list. But, what I love most about this brand is that it goes beyond just producing wonderful vegan, fair-trade, and sustainably harvested products, is that it gives work to women in need.

Evidence suggests that women reinvest money in the household. A living wage job for a woman means education, healthcare, and safety for her family”


So there you have it. Leila Janah: game changer and inspirational woman.

As a side note:

Here’s a fun fact for my Belgian readers: Leila’s grandmother was a Belgian woman who, in 1948 decided to hitchhike around the world. She made it to Calcutta four years later where she met and married Leila’s Indian grandfather, and together they started India’s first art ceramics studio.

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