Lizzie Leilovalova is someone who holds her own. The independent woman of faith is not afraid to try new things, including participating in this photoshoot, and took the opportunity to celebrate who she is – a working Ni-Vanuatu woman who is proud of her heritage and culture. Lizzie holds a leadership position at her work and while she is focused on her career, she also cares about her community and encourages all women to never compromise on being themselves when it comes to fashion.
#NiVanuatuWomanInAModernWorld #IslandQueen #Independent #Focused #Leader
I am the Chief of Staff at the Utilities Regulatory Authority – www.ura.gov.vu
Tell us about your family?
I’m a career moma with 3 children. I come from a big family, 6 sisters and 1 brother. I live in the village and commute to town daily for work.
Where are you from?
I’m from Shefa. I come from the village of Tanoliu, North Efate and I’m part Makira – from Shepherds Islands.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
During my spare time, I love watching English TV series. My favourites are Emmerdale and Benidorm.
My hobbies include community service and vegetable gardening.
What did you study?
In 2002 I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies in Accountancy from Massey University in New Zealand.
What do you aspire to do in the future?
Perhaps do more community service and if work can allow for sabbatical leave, I would pursue a study on the difference responsibilities in churches and how they influence people to become Christians…(Don’t think my close friends would agree with me but its an aspiration.)
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as confident. I believe fashion tells a lot about an individual. When I’m not in the office working, I am a community-oriented person. I understand that by lending a helping hand to my family and community, it comes with responsibilities. I think how you dress up influences how you conduct yourself so I wear Island dresses a lot around my family, in public and during important occasions as it give me confidence. When I wear an island dress, it provides a sense of belonging and acceptance by a wider target audience.
At work and especially as a woman in a leadership role, I believe fashion and that executive presence or what one may refer to as charisma is crucial to drive motivation and one’s work objectives forward. I say this because fashion at work is an art, like negotiation skills or acting. It’s fundamentally about developing your own original voice. It’s an art because it is deeply personal and must be refined and mastered over time through experimentation, failure and repeated execution.
Where do you buy your clothes from?
I mostly have my island dresses sewn for me by Aunty Emmanuela Taurua from Erakor who has a shop at the Centerpoint mama’s market. She’s been sewing my dresses for some time now. She knows my taste.
Who influences your style?
My style of dressing and approach is influenced by the setting or obligation. As long as I’m comfortable, I’m not too strict with dressing up but I have to be sensible, respectful and dress to suit the occasion. It’s keeping my little mind sane.
What beauty products do you use?
I don’t wear make up. I use a little blush/touch up every now and then but I’m not a beauty product person. The perfumes I like – in order – are Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy & Calvin Klein.
Any fashion advice?
My advice for fashion is always dress up like there is no tomorrow. Keep it simple and comfortable but not compromising the real YOU!
Photographer: Nicky Kuautonga
Hair, makeup and nails: Body and Soul
This article was originally published in the January edition of the Vanuatu Daily Post Life and Style magazine.