It’s NFL football season and for Leanna Smith that means a lot of endless days and sleepless nights as the owner and operator of Myztiques.
Smith, who was born in Harlem, New York, grew up in South Central just south of downtown Los Angeles and for the past few decades in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a custom graphic designer of T-shirts, hoodies and other unique accessories.
This week is going to be especially busy with the hometown Saints playing a Monday Night encounter against the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 12.
Myztiques is formally Youneekly Yours and for the past several years served as a unique gift shop specializing in personal custom products.
“I was raised in a neighborhood called the roaring 20’s. My neighborhood was a big family and I needed because my biological family was in New York. I had a rough in the beginning because I didn’t fit in, but As I grew older and the neighborhood changed for the worst, I knew wanted more out of life,” Smith explained to Inglewood Today about her upbringing.
As a student earning straight A’s in high school, Smith was attracted to what was known then as the black power movement and yearned to learn more of her heritage.
“I was a young supporter of the Panthers and that is where I found my purpose and who I truly am.”
Today, what Smith truly is, is a mother to five sons and a reliable source for the most unique T-shirts and hoodies a person can find. She has been in business for 35 years now.
“I founded this idea as a dissatisfied customer; and decided to make the shopping experience a memorable and enjoyable journey,” she said.
“I am Black Woman with extraordinarily high standards there for my business reflects those standards. Our Company motto is, “WE SPECIALIZE IN CUSTOMIZED CUSTOMER SERVICE”; AND WE TAKE THAT LITTERALLY.”
Smith obviously loves what she does and so does her many customers, especially those rabid Saints fans and even more particularly people who wanted to demonstrate their support for victims of racial injustice.
“This journey has been a long and pleasurable one. A couple years ago I had two back to back strokes which left me slightly disabled and could no longer work. I struggled for awhile to regain my mobility and then went straight to work building my part-time business into what it is now! This part-time business became my major source of income and I am extremely proud of it,” she added.
“This year with all the changes in the world, particularly the murder of Brother Floyd, I had to do something. I dedicated a line to the senseless murdering of my people by the hands of the Police. I have OLM “Our Lives Matter” and that is the name of my collection.
“I have always had some type of business going from age 16. I attended USC and obtained an AA in Computer Science and that’s what sparked my interest in graphics. I can recall running through the Forum parking lot selling concert t-shirts before they were even popular. We worked with a gentleman named Leroy and he made his own silk screen machine. A lightbulb went off and I have been doing it ever since.”
“Our line includes T-shirts, hoodies, leggings, dresses, purses, clocks and blankets just to mention a few. I take pride in what I do. I may not be able to get out there and walk and protest, so I make my presence known with apparel. My subsidiary Company is called WORD ARTtm and that is my graphics side. My shirts reflect current events for the most part.
We also have a unique line of jewelry and Duvets. Come check one or all of our site out: