LEAH + JHEYDA
Finding a suitable roommate is never easy. But at times, you might get lucky and find a valuable friend that supports and stimulates your creativity. Originally from San Diego, Leah was desperately looking for housing in Los Angeles when a friend sent her Jheyda’s Instagram post regarding an open room. Although seemingly different at first, Leah being an introvert and Jheyda a proud extravert, the two complement one another.
Reflecting on the moments that defined the strength of their friendship, Jheyda said, “When I was going through a lot, Leah took her time to help me with dishes and errands, and she validated that I’m on the right path. It felt so maternal and warm; I knew then this was someone I could genuinely befriend and not just occupy space with.”
Leah shares that although she tends to be shy when she initially meets someone new, Jheyda made her feel comfortable and opening up to her proved to be easy. The two value open dialogues about mental health and experimental lifestyles that allow room for mistakes and growth. As roommates, the two have established the importance of spirituality in their lives.
Leah is a writer, and Jheyda is a photographer, but they make time to listen to each other’s ideas. “Jheyda is a talented artist, and we share a love for visual storytelling. While her work is multifaceted, her outlook on photography has definitely pushed me to think about television and film differently,” explains Leah.
Leah and Jheyda also share Mexican roots. Leah is mixed Mexican, Yaqui Native, and white; Jheyda is first-generation Mexican-Guyanese-American. For Leah, their ancestral connection is bound by practicing Mexican traditions, but she recognizes that their practices are idiosyncratic. For Jheyda, their shared roots come through in moments of unspoken sisterhood.
When designing shoes for one another, the two were keen to use materials and methods that reflected one another’s aesthetic propensities. Jheyda designed Leah’s Chucks with love of collaging in mind: “The design on one side is her nickname ‘Lee’ with sparkles. I spray painted a collage of images on the other side: stars, flowers, a Chicanx style clown and Virgin Mary.”
On the other hand, Leah was inspired by Jheyda’s love for vintage clothing and ’70s patterns. She dyed the Chucks a golden tone and settled on earth tone accents — cool and simple, much like her best friend.
When it was their turn to shoot one another, Leah and Jheyda wandered around Highland Park, where the two live. Here, the duo felt comfortable and could embark on their shared love of long walks. As they meandered through the eastside of LA, Jheyda recalled,“Once in a while I’ll lose all sense of reason, and walk from East LA all the way to Koreatown.”
When asked where they see themselves in the near future, the two see themselves prospering and creatively collaborating — bringing each other support and success in their respective projects. “Maybe we’ll have an A24 movie or Netflix show or something crazy like that.”