We partnered with actress Selenis Leyva, from Orange Is The New Black, to support the Maestro Cares Foundation, benefiting underprivileged children, during the month of November. We talked with Selenis to learn more about her personal style, her charitable work with Maestro Cares and her role as a mother.
Style featured: Somers in Wine
SF: We are huge fans of your work and come to find out you have been a devoted Sofft customer for over 10 years. What is it about the brand that resonates with you and your personal style and how big of a role does comfort play in your wardrobe?
SL: What I love about the brand is that it’s easy to wear. The styles are current, chic, stylish and the fit is always comfortable! It really is style with no fuss.
SF: We are excited to work with you and Maestro Cares, can you give us a little background on the organization for those who don’t know about their great work?
SL: Maestro Cares Foundation improves the quality of life of orphaned and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the United States. They do so by providing housing, educational programming and the essential resources to support their growth and development so they can become tomorrow’s leaders.
SF: You have a big heart and an extensive charitable background. What about the Maestro Cares foundation made you want to lend your support and become an Ambassador for the organization?
SL: I joined Maestro Cares because of the wonderful work they continue to provide for children. As a mother I know the importance for a child to feel loved and cared for. Maestro is providing these children with that. Not only are they building beautiful orphanages for them, they are insuring that these children are well taken care of and have access to education and health care as well. The Maestro Cares team really honestly cares for each child they provide for!
Style featured: Bergamo in Grey
SF: You have become a positive role model for so many through both your on-screen roles and your off-screen charitable work. How has The Maestro Cares foundation connected you with the community that supports you?
SL: Maestro Cares provides orphans from the Caribbean, Latin America and the US with a place to call home. As a Latina I know that the majority of the children without homes are from places I am familiar with. I connect with them. I feel a true connection with the people that Maestro reaches out to and supports, as I know they connect with me.
SF: You are on one of the most popular shows of the last decade, the mother of a teenage daughter who just started high school, and an avid philanthropist using your platform to help those in need. For the days when your free time is non-existent and you are relying on extra large cappuccinos to keep you afloat what shoe style is along for the ride?
SL: My role as mom is the most rewarding job of all. These days, with a daughter starting high school, a cute and comfy slip-on sneaker gets a lot more mileage than sky-scraping heels. I can wear it to drop her off at school, running errands and then to set when filming.
Style featured: Somers in Wine
SF: As an actor, you are essentially your own brand, which means you are constantly working on top of having to put your best face forward when taking meetings for various future projects. What is your go-to style trick for going from mom on the go to businesswoman effortlessly and which kind of shoe helps in that style transition?
SL: It’s true, there are a lot of “lunches” involved in show business, as an actor, people are expecting the more glamorous side of us when we take meetings. For fall, a great looking flat boot and fabulous suede jacket can elevate the same jeans and t-shirt look that I wore running errands hours before. For extra busy days, adding a flat brim hat can save time and energy on doing your hair!
SF: Let’s talk red carpet! The positive energy and confidence you exude is truly infectious. We get to see the playful/sexy side of you on the red carpet. What kind of shoe choices work best for you and do you choose your shoes first or your dress?
SL: It definitely depends on the shoe! A fab shoe needs a simple dress and a simple shoe needs a fab dress. For the red carpet, I love a good platform, which is hard to find these days! If I can get a simple, comfortable platform heel that I can stand on all night, then I will always go that route.
Style featured: Bergamo in Grey
SF: You exude confidence in everything you do! What advice would you give women out there who could use a little more self-assurance?
SL: Confidence is all about self-love. Through the years I’ve made a conscious effort to be kind to myself. I work hard to acknowledge who I am as an individual and not compare myself to anyone. I think that’s key. Love everything about you even if you feel you have “imperfections”. Guess what. Everyone has them!
SF: How do you balance a demanding work schedule with spending time with your family? Any advice for other mom’s out there who are career focused and have a hard time finding a work/life balance?
SL: Finding balance is between work and family is necessary. For the mind, body and soul. Some days or weeks it’s hard to do. I have become pretty clear that my weekends are sacred. Sometimes I will have work obligations that require a weekend here and there but then I make it a point to make up for that time lost. Doesn’t have to be extravagant. I work at making sure I don’t neglect family time, not just for my loved ones, I need it too. It fuels me.
SF: So when you are not shooting your show or owning the red carpet and you are just at home enjoying some good ole fashioned “me time,” how do you unwind? Any guilty pleasures?
SL: I love spending time at home! Love it. I’ve created a space that I really enjoy. I absolutely love hearing my daughter singing in her room. I love curling up on my coach with a fluffy throw my dog and cat near me. Heavenly. Guilty pleasure is the Housewives franchise!!!!! Also I love watching Family Feud.
Style featured: Monique in Peacoat Navy Suede
Shop Selenis favorite Sofft styles and 10% of the proceeds donated in the month of November will go to the Maestro Cares Foundation. (Only ships in U.S.). See her picks here!