Hello, I’m Leila.
I give you holidays from your worries. The future depends on places to dream, inside & outside our heads.
I’ve always worked with people’s imaginations.
I started out in magazine journalism in 2005, while completing my critical theory MPhil at Cambridge. By 2006, I was Deputy Editor of a national homes magazine. I was approached by a publisher, and went on to do three humour books.
For a few years, I worked as a digital copywriter for big agencies and clients in London – but London wasn’t for me. In 2012, I moved to Sheffield to work on a creative technology contract, and within five years was a successful digital artist. I worked in several different countries and even exhibited at The Lowry.
In 2018, I left the art world behind forever. I simply didn’t feel as though I was making enough difference. It was one way of getting people dreaming, but it wasn’t the right one, for me.
I wanted to channel some of the money I’d made over the years into something that could help more people, but it was only when the pandemic threw us all into chaos in 2020 that I realised what I needed to do.
Since last summer, I have been developing a concept for ‘Places to Dream’; affordable retreats for couples or singles to get away and think differently about their lives and their futures. The first of these is an apartment on the east coast of Scotland called Burntisland Studio, and you can find out all about it, and book it, here.
I still write for clients and consult on digital creativity, for example as one half of Sarah & Leila. As the Punk Hotelier, I am gradually building an online identity bridging creativity, wellbeing and hospitality. And I am at a point in my career where I find myself doing a lot of mentoring and public speaking.
Get in touch if I can help you with anything: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a video that I made recently for the Punk Hotelier site – it should give you a sense of who I am and what I’m focussed on now: