Juia Shardae Lewis is a delightfully transparent and impressive fashion blogger who’s here to take control of her narrative. If fortune allows you to stumble upon her blog, you’ll find a myriad of playful pre-nightout posts intermingled with honest confessions of the strength it takes to get through the day.
Fashion initially served as a means to an end for her as she faced the mounting financial pressures that college and young adulthood forced upon her.
“After my freshman year of college I didn’t know how I was gonna afford to stay, so I started doing hair, beauty, makeup, and clothes. I soon began blogging about it, but I don’t write about the clothes themselves. I want people to feel how I feel when I wear an item. It’s not like, ‘this is a piece from Akira, go get it’. I’m more so talking about how the product makes me feel.”
The creation of her platform, JuliaShardae.com, has allowed her to empower black businesses and creatives. Recognizing first hand the struggle required to be a successful black business owner, Julia’s a rider for others trying to do the same.
“I started black brands month this year as a tribute to black fashion brands. I eventually want to be a black brand. We choose to support white people already succeeding, but we very rarely give money to our own.”
While vocalizing her support for other black folks, she’s also been able to bring attention to lesser talked about issues in our own communities, colorism. Through the efforts of a few high-profile black celebrities we’ve seen a more representative depiction of blackness on a national stage, yet we still have a ways to go before we fully represent all the shades and tones that it’s comprised of.
“Growing up dark-skinned, it was something I got teased about, and now it’s this beautiful thing it should have always been. Light-skinned looks better. One of my favorite youtubers (Ivy League Styles) was pushed to the side because of an algorithm. It pushed her to the back burner. There’s a lot of colorism period, on youtube, in the modeling industry. But I’m here to say NO, I’m chocolate and this is who I am.”
When she’s not blogging, she’s also running a stellar marketing agency she co-founded with her best friend (Thank you for the logo TrendInflux!). Multi-faceted and driven, Julia’s been able to achieve so much, but if you ask her, she’s had no other choice.
“My mom came to America and got pregnant at 19. I’m the oldest child. There’s all these adjustments my mom and grandma had to make. My grandma is taking the train back and forth to get my diapers. My mom and I shared a room for 11 years. I was forced to do well. It was very strict but at the same time it wasn’t strict at all. I had little direction so I was forced to do well.”
The love from her community has propelled her this far, and it’s the love for her fans, herself, and her work that keeps her going.
“It makes me happy. Even if I didn’t get as many likes as I used to or no one looks at it, I’m still happy about my posts even if it reaches only one person.”