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Velia's Life

Meet Local Realtor and Artist Velia Lala

Article by Savannah Vasquez

Photography by Shanna Magnuson with Davista Photography

Originally published in Destin City Lifestyle

Who said success comes from sticking to one career? Certainly not local Realtor, Artist and Philanthropist Velia Lala. Life would be boring if there wasn’t a little flair, and where Velia is concerned, that means more color, more travel, more design, more living and more surrounding herself with good people.  

“I want to go anywhere I’ve never gone and do everything I’ve never done,” Velia said. “I like to say, I’m a young 60. My passion is art and I love to travel.” 

Art and travel go hand in hand, so why not art and realty? Velia likes to incorporate her artwork into every property she sells, as a trademark of her appreciation. 

“When I sell a property, each of my clients gets one of my art pieces, that’s my gift to them,” Velia said. “The idea is that when they have guests over, or someone stays on the property, they will see my art and want one of their own. Some of my investors that have vacation rental properties have my artwork staged throughout the whole place.” 

Speaking of staging, Velia’s most recent homes have been sold fully furnished. She explained that when it comes to someone purchasing a vacation home or a vacation rental property, having a turn-key home, fully furnished and decorated takes the stress off the buyer.  

“So many people are in the market for a second home in this area,” Velia said. “There are people that don’t want to furnish another house if they don’t have to. If they like the way it is set up, then I just say, ‘Move on in!’” 

With her dual careers in realty and art, Velia said she is fortunate to have found success in both and therefore looks for every opportunity to give back. She has donated art pieces to countless charity auctions and safe homes, taught team building workshops for military members and non-profit organizations, and led fundraising events for local charities such as Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center and Sinfonia Gulf Coast. But, Velia said the charity that is closest to her heart is Aletha’s Legacy, which supports orphans in Liberia via child sponsorship and funding improvement projects for the orphanage facility.  

“We sponsor an orphanage in Liberia with 56 kids,” Velia said. “When we took it over several years ago, they had no running water or bathrooms or kitchen. Several kids were sharing beds, and some were severely malnourished. Over the years we have raised money from the Destin area and have been able to go back and build bathrooms, showers, a kitchen and dorm area, install running water and electricity, as well as provide clothing and sufficient food for the kids.”  

Children are a soft spot for Velia, as she said they are the most vulnerable population. As an empty nester, save her canine daughter Lexie, Velia said she enjoys serving and giving children a brighter future. 

“I went through a lot as a kid, so this is my way of not making excuses for my upbringing but giving back despite it,” Velia said. “I’m very fortunate that I've done well for myself. Realty is my job, artwork is my passion, and I love giving back and working with any organization that has to do with kids.” 

“I’m very fortunate that I've done well for myself. Realty is my job, artwork is my passion, and I love giving back and working with any organization that has to do with kids.” 

“When I sell a property, my clients get one of my art pieces, that’s my gift to them. The idea is that when they have guests over, or someone stays on the property, they will see my art and want one of their own."

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