When Ronlonda Robinson recently graduated from college with a degree in apparel design, she knew just how to celebrate and show off all that she learned.
The 24-year-old mother, who goes by Londa Love, took to her Instagram to share a photo shoot she had in honor of the momentous occasion. Having attended Louisiana State University, she posed with her two children, Naomi, 7, and Lawrence, 3, in matching outfits with the school’s mascot, in classrooms, and at other important spots on campus.
“I always love to see families dress alike, so that concept was inevitable,” Robinson tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But when I came across the Louis Vuitton fabric, I knew that would be dope.”
Robinson says she wanted to make a big statement with an over-the-top photo shoot for her graduation because of everything she had gone through to get to that point in her life.
“In high school, I became 16 and pregnant after falling in love with an upperclassmen on the football team, who I soon found out only loved himself,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “At the time, I was a rising track athlete and a straight-A student, so I had no intentions of becoming a teenage mom. Sadly, the father left me to figure things out on my own and I was terrified.”
After her daughter Naomi was born, her mother became her main source of help. “She kept my daughter for me while I continued to run track for the remainder of my high school years and even became a cheerleader senior year,” Robinson says. “But it really ruined our relationship because it brought more obligations into a household that was already financially struggling. Nonetheless, I never received a grade below a B in all four years, and I graduated No. 2 in my class.”
A post shared by Queen Londa Love (@queen.londa) on Sep 9, 2014 at 5:42pm PDT
From there, Robinson enrolled in college and as a part-time job designed, sewed, and sold clothing. Meanwhile, she was also juggling her familial commitments and a new relationship.
Robinson eventually got pregnant again and although she “wasn’t very happy about that” at first, her pregnancy was so much better the second time around. “I had the father there by my side the whole time. I was very happy. But this time my academic career was a wreck,” she admits.
Because of her low GPA, Robinson had to attend summer school and pay for it out of her own pocket. So she focused on growing her fashion business and turned to social media where she grew her clientele. “As the orders poured in, I accepted them all, and made about five outfits every day for the entire summer,” she says.
A post shared by Queen Londa Love (@queen.londa) on Feb 27, 2014 at 3:16pm PST
Robinson was able to make all the money needed for her classes that summer, ended up getting straight As, and gave birth to her son Lawrence. Saying that she was the happiest she had ever been, Robinson fondly reflects on that time of successfully overcoming so many obstacles. But there was still more to come when she found out that the father of her son was being unfaithful and decided to end the relationship.
“For the past three years, I stayed single and focused on my talents as my passion for design grew and my social media following slowly grew along with it,” Robinson says. “With my focus in the right direction, I’ve been able to get my own place and buy myself a brand-new car.”
With her degree in hand, she plans to continue building her brand — and show others that “anyone can achieve success when they pursue the things that they are passionate about.”
“We were all created for a purpose and it’s as simple as doing the thing that you love to do,” she says. “Start working towards your dreams and don’t be afraid to fall. You don’t have to be defined by your struggle, but you can use it to learn, gain strength, and be motivated for change. Hard work pays off, so never give up.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• Single mom, 24, graduates from Harvard Law School: ‘Let’s keep beating all their odds’
• Mother of 5 proudly poses with children in law school graduation photos: ‘We did it’
• This 22-year-old single mother says she couldn’t have graduated without her 2-year-old daughter