We had the good fortune of connecting with Layla Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Layla, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Last year I took a risk and quit my job. The job was stable, it taught me a lot about the needs of the community and allowed me to work directly with families in Los Angeles. But I knew I would never fully spread my wings if I remained too comfortable. So I quit. I had no job lined up and I’ve struggled to find employment since. But I found myself. I poured into me and I got mentally and physically strong. 9 months later my Nonprofit was officially incorporated. I control the structure of the organization and the pace of growth, I prioritize women who have rarely been put first and I empower them to prioritize themselves. I’ve seen such a change in the people around me since I’ve made this leap. I see my friends taking more risks, believing in themselves and finding ways to support each other. I’ve found the mentors I never had and I’m passing them along to other women so we can all find the support and community we seek. By embracing my nature to move, I have traveled, made friends all over the world, and become fluent in a language that I was not born into. By embracing risk, I have created safety and softness for other women. I work hard, I try new things and I put myself out there so that all the next woman has to do, is be brave enough to walk through the door.

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.
I am in the Spring of my professional career, watching my skills and connections blossom like never before. During my undergraduate years I had no idea of the diverse possibilities for professional success. I thought I would become a doctor and never imagined taking my career into my own hands. After going to college and working in the field I found that what people of color needed most was access and opportunity. I started my path in social work and have moved into philanthropy and entrepreneurship with a scientific and communal lens.

I’m now the Founder and Co-Director of a Non-Profit dedicated to supporting women of color in the journey to spiritual, emotional, and professional fulfillment. Our focus during the pandemic has been community and connection, and going forward we will have an increasing focus on holistic mentorship, retreats, and campaigns to empower women.
I’m also pursuing my Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology at USC. By this time next year, I will be an Organizational Psychologist ready to provide consulting services on talent acquisition, strategies for diversity, equity and inclusion, marketing and events. I am blessed to have a partner who believes in me and compliments my skill set. Together, we can do anything.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Anyone who visits Los Angeles should take a trip to the Santa Monica Pier. During the day you can grab some Bay Cities and head down to the bluffs to watch the water. Before the pandemic some of my favorite spots were SkyBar and The Abbey in West Hollywood; they have amazing cocktails and some of the most interesting people I’ve ever seen. The scenes are completely different though, so depending on your vibe you may like one or neither. The Abbey is a great place to get wasted and eat expensive food while gorgeous men dance semi-naked on stage. Whereas SkyBar is a Saturday afternoon influencer pool party, you’ll need your best shades and sexy cover up to feel at home there. For a great happy hour you can head downtown and bar hop or hit Sake House for shots and sushi. If you’re feeling a luxurious dinner Perch and Mrs. Fish are iconic downtown staples for mood-lighting, views, and Instagramable cocktails.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to: mom, my Nonnie, and my Fiancé. Without their inspiration, motivation, and connections I would not be where I am today. Everyone needs a soft place to land, and they have never failed me. I love you, family.

Instagram: Layla_kariyn

Linkedin: Layla Anderson

Other: IG: @theGOLDNLink

Image Credits
Photos by: Sidney & Company (1) Ermaline Ogbodo (3) Tiana Sharp (5,6,7) Marleny Izquierdo (9)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.