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Entrepreneur Spotlight: La Shawn “LaLa” Lukes

Entrepreneur Spotlight

La Shawn “LaLa” Lukes

La Shawn “LaLa” Lukes is a seasoned veteran in the entertainment industry. The Long Island native is what people would call the “Jackie Of All Trades” because she wears many crowns. La Shawn is a radio station owner, radio personality, production coordinator, producer, director, artist developer, women’s empowerment activist, writer, engager, host, sister-girl, small business mentor, and creator. Out of all the crowns she wears, her most rewarding and fulfilling gift in life is being a mother.

La Shawn was exposed to industry at an early age. When she was eleven years old her uncle took her to her first video shoot. She watched her uncle direct and put together different events & functions. She was intrigued to see an idea come to life on the MC Lyte “Paper Thin” production set. Family members encouraged her to go in a different direction so she decided to complete her education and work in the legal field. La Shawn worked in two law firms for approximately 18 years. After years of being mistreated, overworked and burned out, La Shawn decided to take her chances and bet on herself. La Shawn went back to her roots and started “La Chocolate Custom Sweets” and promoting celebrity parties such as Bobby Valentino. Her life went full circle as returned to her passion in the entertainment field.

La Shawn Lukes in her capacity as owner of La Chocolate Custom Sweets is a self-taught chocolatier and custom designer. She started her business in the kitchen of her Long Island home in 2012, after a family friend showed her how to melt and mold chocolate. La Shawn added her own flavor and started to custom designing each order. La Shawn, who was at the time an account specialist for a law firm was tired and burned out from long hours. She found herself daydreaming most of the day about doing what she loved, which is helping people in a creative way. The emerging idea to combine chocolate, creativity and design was the start of La Chocolate Custom Sweets. While making chocolates for her customers, La Shawn found this therapeutic and she could involve her children, and simultaneously mentor them in entrepreneurship. But there was still a void her creative mind needed to fill.

La Shawn had to find a way to release her pain and baggage and while she went through her process she wanted to help other women. While on her journey of finding herself, “Bag Lady, The Photo Experience” Season 1 was born. Bag Lady, The Photo Experience” is a women’s empowerment project showing everyday women how they can transition out of different states of abuse through photos, promoting sisterhood, unity and honesty. The project tackles tough topics such as HIV, drug addiction, sexuality, greed, vanity, single parenting, etc. The actual photo exhibit includes display of the photos, true-life testimonies, music and the arts. The exhibit calls attention to a 501c and donates a portion of the money from the event to charity.

Bag Lady the Photo Experience had a 2-season run. Season 2 was featured in “Solis” an international magazine in November 2015 and was covered by a host of blogs. While doing these projects, La Shawn gave so much of herself to the women who worked in this project, she became their sister-girl. A sister-girl gives any support she can give. It is an open-door policy for women based on unity and sisterhood. It is a no judgement zone. She also used this vehicle to point other women in the direction of obtaining help, getting access to resources and/or services.

La Shawn is also a entrepreneurial mentor. She has hosted and presented at parties and private events for Brooklyn Borough President and Nicole Johnson from channel 11 (PIX 11 news).

While hosting parties and events La Shawn realized she had the gift of gab. It was her charisma, presence and strong following that made her want to connect with her audience on
a personal level. She became a radio personality. The stations she worked on are PNCRADIO.FM RIDDIM&VIEWS
Chocolate Mornings. On her show La Shawn has featured a host of guests from various industries. She has interviewed legends including Fonda Rae, Anthony Lolli (Real Estate Mogul & Owner of Rapid Realty), Freedom Williams (C&C Music Factory) and Vanessa Braxton (Owner of Black Momma Vodka) (Braxton family). As well as snagging the first exclusive interview with David Knight (Owner of SX Liquor) after partnering with Trey Songz to name a few. 

La Shawn works as a contracted production coordinator, she has worked with private clients & artists including French Montana (video), Uncle Murda (video)and Maino (video) reality TV star Sassy (From VH1 Black Ink) and Fashion editorials (print) just to name a few. La Shawn is a producer and director of “Bag Lady the Photo Experience” Season 1, 2, 3 and “The Experience” (short film documentary).

La Shawn is going into 2017 strong, with her current projects that she has directed and produced “The Experience Documentary”. One of her biggest milestones is launching her own Radio station

“Long Island Edge Radio Station”. Where the motto is ” The Voice of the People”. She has her own featured segment “Life of La💋Reality Radio Show.” She founded “The Men of Greatness” a men’s group dedicated to empowering the community. La Shawn has a variety of events she is putting together in 2017. “Sip & Chat 3” for example, is teaching small businesses how to engage target consumers. Another is the “The Creative Corner” a creative kaleidoscope of fashion, art, spoken words, food & politics. She is currently writing and developing Season 3 of “Bag Lady the Photo Experience.” LaShawn is the co-founder of “Exclusive NYC” the blog where the motto is to “Live Exclusive”. Always seeking to make a difference, she is also the social media chairwoman for Andrew Hardwick’s mayoral campaign 2017.

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