In a period of time when we're inundated with what feels like consistent bad news, we wanted to put some emphasis on the positive. This is another instalment in "Collective Conversations," a weekly series focusing on a woman we think is awesome + what she's all about. This week we're talking to Lei Lei Clavey, a wedding + editorial photographer, blogger and mum who moved from the Big Apple to pursue her business in Melbourne. Her blog Lei Lady Lei covers everything from style and sustainability to self-help and motherhood notes. We talked to her about photography, horoscopes and how to keep a positive mindset.

1. Describe yourself in three words? 

Creative, optimistic, sustainably-minded.

2. What does heritage and tradition mean to you? 

I'm half Australian-Chinese and half American so I grew up surrounded by different cultures and traditions, the majority of which were experienced and shared around food! I loved the mix and exposure I had to all of them. It really framed me to be who I am today.

3. Something that you’re passionate about?

Photography, especially capturing those moments that loved ones will look back on in years to come.

4. Who do you most admire? 

Women who have made a name for themselves doing what they love. My mother is an excellent example. She found her passion for writing later in life, once my brother and I had grown up and now she's a successful published author and illustrator. It's never too late to do something you love.

5. What is a weekly/monthly/fortnightly ritual or tradition you do for yourself?

Every month I love to read my horoscope- Susan Miller is a favourite -and write down the key dates and prospects on the horizon. While I don't 100% believe in star signs, they're a fun indulgence I allow myself. Once we're out of lockdown I would love to reintroduce yoga back into my weekly routine. It's so important as a parent to carve out that time just for yourself. Also as my son grows up, I would love to introduce traditions such as Sunday family lunches.

6. What is something you’re proud of? 

Building my editorial and wedding photography business this year! I have wanted to start my own business for the longest time but only within the last year after my son was born have I really made the leap. I have invested in online education about business and photography, branding, copywriting and a new website that is all set to launch in a few months! I've also started selling some fine art prints which has become a fun part of the business. I couldn't be more excited and proud about what I have achieved and how I have grown in this time.

7. What's something you do to be kind to yourself?

I know that I am impacted by negative news and devastating stories especially involving families and children (after having my son this year, I've found these stories particularly difficult) that instead I purposely listen, read and absorb content that is positive, motivating and inspiring. This keeps my mind and thoughts in a better place for me to create and provide for others.

8. What are some traditions that you’ve adopted from somewhere or someone else? 

Cooking. There are so many great cooks in my family and over the years I've learnt little bits and pieces from them. While I'm not overly skilled, I find it a relaxing activity and love sharing what I've made with family and friends.

9. How do you align and connect with your intuition?

It's something I've had to tune and grow over the years. Decreasing unnecessary clutter in my brain, going for walks and putting away my device so I have the freedom to think, allows me to connect with my intuition better. The more I listen to it the clearer it becomes.

10. What's an assumption others make about you?

That I'm an extremely calm and stress-free person inside and out. That's true about my waking self however my subconscious is filled with thoughts that filter into my dreams and if something is playing on my mind I'll often wake up in a panic. I need to try and meditate before bed.

11. Is there an item you would like to see from Collective Closets in the future?

Colourful printed jumpsuits for stylish mums on the go!

You can follow Lei Lei on her Instagram here or visit her blog Lei Lady Lei here.

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