We had the good fortune of connecting with Denitza Leon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Denitza, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
I remind myself of a lyric from Frank Ocean’s song Biking…”God gave you what you could handle.” Second-year into running the business Ouu i Love before the rebrand it was Denitza Digital. I got a call letting me know the love of my life was diagnosed with a rare Leukemia called BPDCN. I was in my photo studio in Downtown Santa Ana, CA at the time. I dropped to my knees at that very moment and felt my whole world was falling on top of me. It was an uphill battle because not only was I am about to fight this battle of cancer with him but we had to seek treatment at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. It was 9 months of traveling back and forth from LA to Houston. His health was first to me and the business second. There would be 12 hours days at the hospital but I was running the business in between appointments/treatments. I would be present for appointments but take calls with clients in hallways or the familiar 8th floor for leukemia. The thing I learned and what got me through some of those toughest moments was the world doesn’t stop and cancer wouldn’t take away the person I love nor the business I dreamed of having. Fast forward to today, we beat cancer and God truly gave me what I could handle. We have expanded our team and a new location to flourish in as a full-service creative studio. Running a business and balancing life isn’t easy and I know it but as a Latina woman, I am capable of it.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My love for creating is something that is drive by pure passion. What sets my work apart is I truly immerse myself into the work we create. I love telling a story with our client’s brands. As the story begins to roll out it’s as though it comes to life in what we do. Easy, far from it. I decided to pursue being in a space that has been truly male-dominated and coming across some one Latino rare. I wanted to be part of that change in the industry. To overcome the challenges I made sure to invest back into my education, shoutout to GA(General Assembly). To this day I attend workshops to make sure I stay sharp to be aware of the ever-changing digital space (ecomm, photography, digital marketing, design, etc.). The lesson learned is corporate America is changing. There is a new movement happening of doers and POC thriving in this change. I am a Latina woman with family roots from Peru & Mexico. Both of my families came here with dreams and they made them a reality by becoming business owners here in California. It’s in my blood to create a business/brand that will help others make their dreams a reality. Ouu i love is a brand here to stay and help future and current entrepreneurs of doers that we will be part of helping tell their story through our design, photography, and branding capabilities.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well hey bestie! First we have to stop at Melrose Vintage in Uptown Whittier for some pretty cool vintage t-shirts and denim. Would then walk down to Local Fixture in Uptown Whittier for some fun buying pots and plants. Probably stopping in the card aisle to get a few awww so cute! From there we would grab a cup of cafe de olla at La Monarca and of course some delicious pan dulce to go with it. Mostly likely stop at King Richard’s Antique Vintage Center in Whittier to check out some one of kind furniture pieces. Bestie and I both have a love for all things vintage and home decor. 3 floors of pure vintage love!!! We would walk down to Ouu I love studio to have a selfie sesh, hang out and laugh the rest of the evening. Most likely ordering some Thai Food from Thai Food Pick Up! Nothing like a curry and thai tea night <3 Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A shout would be to two of my greatest mentors who challenged me to be the creative persona I am today. Adrian Rojas, Director of Operations for Robert Wayne Footwear. He taught me what it meant to be a creative but an overall strategist when it comes to my work. I’m thankful for a mentor who exposed me to so much in the digital space. Jule Kuo, VP of East Lion. I admire the strong woman she is. She taught me to be sharp and diligent. A lot of respect for the business and work she does. The two women in my world that are my everything my Mother Karina Leon and Grandmother Nancy Leon. They are my reminder to be the strong and hardworking I am. This is for you both. Love you Always, Te Amo Siempre.
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