It’s been a big year for Lydia Freeman. The CEO of Giselle magazine got married to her long term boyfriend, bought a new home and successfully hosted her second annual fashion week. The busy mother, wife and blogger gave us an exclusive into her career. Check out our interview below:
Why did blogging interest you and how did you get started?
ANSWER Lydia: I went to an all white Baptist school from 10th grade to 12th grade. I was the only African/Black Girl in my class. I didn’t have technology or social media at the time, my parents didn't allow me to have such luxury in school. It was 10th grade when I began to wonder if there were Liberian Models, Musicians or just entertainers in general. At the time I was really interested in modeling, fashion, music, etc. So I searched Google, I didn't see what I was looking for, nothing positive but war pictures and videos about Liberia. I said to myself I want to Create a website to write and shine positive light on Liberian entertainers. That's how it all started.
What do you like and not like about working in the blogging industry?
I love how creative Liberians are. We got so much potential, this is one of the reason I keep pushing, even on the days I don't have time to blog and promote because our Talents need to be recognized. And I feel like my little contributions will make a huge impact some day.
Liberian bloggers are not united, some of us got Ego issues. We don't have a platform and program for Liberian bloggers to learn, Unite, etc. This is why I created Liberian Bloggers Association -LBA. I try to get things started by reaching out but I didn't go about it the right way. Few years later I saw the bloggers in Liberia creating another Liberian Bloggers Association. Few of the people who are apart of the Liberian based Blogger Association, knows about the one I created, I remember reaching out and giving a brief description of the idea of the platform. Instead of working together they took the same name and try to have me join the same thing I have been wanting us to work on together. Honestly I think is some of the reasons our industry is still behind. Everyone wants to be a CEO, nobody wants to work without titles.
Over the years I have learned some of the people I blog about and promote are selfish, ungrateful and isn't humble. We got new bloggers who feel the need to disrespect bloggers who have put blood, tears and precious time into blogging. Instead of giving the people who been there before them their honor, they don’t talk to bloggers who have made blogging popular, because they feel like they can do better, Just heartbreaking.
Most of our entertainers think we working for them, some don't build relationships with blogs and platforms owner but expect you to jump when they say so. I don't like that.
Where were you born?
ANSWER Lydia: I was born in Bushrod Island, Liberia and lived in Slipway, Liberia for a while then we moved to Ghana due to the War.
Tell me about your childhood, what was the best part? Worst?
ANSWER Lydia: I am a bless child. I grew up with both parents. Moved to America in 2007, lived with my Aunty and her family. I have always had amazing role models. Went to one of the best private high schools in Georgia.
My parents didn't allowed me to have my own way, I wasn't allowed to have technology till I graduated from high school. I felt like I wasn't allowed to asked questions or expressed myself growing up. Because I felt that way, I became very shy, I couldn't even asked questions out loud in school like I wanted. So many times I wished i could have conversations with my parents but I was too scare to talk (African Parents and their my house my rules mentality). Because of this communication became very important to me, now as a wife, mother, friend, aunty, etc, I try to communicate with everyone, especially my love ones, even when we have misunderstanding, I still try to talk things out, majority of our little miscommunications get fix through talking it out. Being able to hear my kids ask me questions and tell me how they are feeling is one of the best parts of being a mom.
Who was the most influential person in your life?
ANSWER Lydia: My mother, Grandmother and Aunty. They paved the way for me, they were very hard on me growing up but I totally understand now and I very grateful for them.
What do you consider to be your weakness?
ANSWER Lydia: I care too much. I expect people to treat me like I treat them. I expect people to not give up on me because I won't without trying. Most of us don't like to communicate, we get in our feelings, assuming and stop talking to people who we suppose to work or build with, over simple miscommunication. It's hard being the bigger person at a young age. But I refer to put my pride aside and talk things out. I think it's a weakness but it might not be a weakness.
Who is your role model, and why?
Tyra Banks, Oprah. Growing up I watched American Next Top Model so much to the point I wanted to become a model. But my parents wanted me to become a nurse. At the end of the day, I Still ran back to the entertainment world. I changed my major so many times in College. I am very happy I decided to follow my heart and do what makes me happy. Growing up I was very shy, but after watching few seasons of The Oprah show, I got inspired to start doing interviews. Lincoln TheLegend Ward started calling me "Lib Oprah" back in 2019, he didn't even know she's one of my role model. I haven't mentioned this to him, but he decided to start calling me "Lib Oprah", I saw it as a sign and
I took it as an compliment.
Where do you see Giselle magazine in the next ten years?
ANSWER: The Goals and vision for GISELLE Magazine scare me. I can't really say much but the next five years I see myself being self employed through GISELLE Magazine and my other businesses.
What are some of the challenges you faced planing Giselle magazine fashion week?
ANSWER: Where do I start from, from the first and second annual it wasn’t easy trying to bring people together, especially after a pendamic. But because of my communication skills, team work, Passion and consistency everything worked out so well. I can't wait for yall to see what we got planned for GISELLE Magazine 3rd annual Fashion Week 2022.
Would you do anything different for next year fashion week?
ANSWER: Yes, the show will be held in Minnesota. We are trying to take the show to different State each year and Liberia in few years.
Tell your fans something you haven’t told the public.
ANSWER: I am Emotional but very Caring. I am also very Hard headed, it's my way or no way. I will expressed myself, get upset at you today and go back to loving you tomorrow. Basically I don't take shit from anyone.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to become a part of the Liberian entertainment industry?
ANSWER: Make sure you are passionate about what you want to do, Stay consistent, be open minded and learn to love people without expectations. Basically do, give without expecting anything in return.
We are excited to see what she has planned for her next event.