Find that place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.
Liyah Babayan, a beacon of resilience with a commitment to vitality, creativity, and fulfillment, is guided by her indigenous Armenian traditions, ancestral intuition and wisdom gained through her lived experience of war, genocide and adversity as a refugee.
As a social entrepreneur, Liyah established a thriving sustainable business presence with Ooh La La Boutique. Her influence spans from the realm of fashion, to the organic and charitable sectors with MAKEPEACE, an Idaho potato-based skincare line dedicated to upholding the dignity of displaced humanity. As the author of “Liminal, a refugee memoir” Liyah recounts her family’s life under Soviet communism, survival of ethnic killings, championing the compassionate integration of refugees and children of war. Through her life’s work of coaching, speaking engagements, classroom resources, and activism Liyah creates a lasting impact on policy, education and community, contributing to personal healing, mental fitness, multi-generational inspiration and transformation.
Liyah’s industrious nature emerged at the age of 13, leading to the founding of Ooh La La Boutique in 2007. Throughout the past 17 years, she has shaped the sustainable fashion boutique into a community for like-minded fashion enthusiasts, artisans, and creators, fostering a cooperative and conscientious relationship between business, community, and the environment. Cognizant of the societal, environmental, and health impacts of fast fashion, Liyah aligned her spiritual principles with a business vision devoted to honoring Mother Earth by minimizing fashion waste, one recycled, consigned garment at a time. Liyah empowers her clients with private styling, wardrobe consulting and business minded women through franchising opportunities with Ooh La La Boutique.
In addition to her boutique, Liyah, is the founder of MAKEPEACE, a 100% organic Idaho potato-based skincare and bath line with a signature formula for all skin types, reducing eczema, acne scars and arthritis. MAKEPEACE embodies Liyah’s belief that peace is fostered through our ordinary daily acts of kindness and with each purchase, MAKEPEACE donates bars of soap to displaced people in U.S. homeless shelters and refugee camps worldwide. Liyah was recognized as one of Idaho’s Women of the Year in 2015 and 2020, has received the ACLU’s Civil Rights Service Award, the Idaho Hometown Hero Award, and the Governor Brad Little’s “Extra Mile” Award for her humanitarian service and commitment.
Liyah is an accomplished author, having penned the book “Liminal, a refugee memoir,” documenting her family’s survival of the ethnic killings of Armenians in Baku, Azerbaijan. Detailing a child’s perspective of war and genocide, Liyah was introduced to readers, and in U.S. Congress as the “Armenian Anne Frank.” Her memoir highlights the lasting effects of war on survivors. Through journal entries written during her formative years, she shares her lived experience of homelessness, resettlement, survivor’s guilt, grappling with identity, and the profound psychological challenges of life after genocide. Shedding light on the mental health struggles of survivor’s of violence and transforming trauma into healing, personal power and inner peace. This memoir captures life’s inability to break the human spirit when a family is imbued with unwavering faith, unconditional gratitude and sheer determination. Liyah’s book continues to reform policy and education through advocacy, consulting and teacher’s guide.
Speaker & Coach
Liyah’s remarkable personal journey encapsulates resilience, dedication, and a profound commitment to fostering positive transformations in others. Her story of living with CPTSD, struggles of illiteracy, healing from trauma and the refugee experience resonates with youth and adults longing to belong, to find their voice, wholeness and purpose in a world of adversity. Her entrepreneurial ventures in both the fashion and the skin care industry, humanitarian initiatives and literary contribution with “Liminal,” ground her life’s work in serving other people. Liyah’s coaching emphasizes the need for mind-body, spirit integration, mental fitness, and gratitude as a transformational key for self-knowledge and self-recovery. As a coach and motivational speaker, Liyah continues to guide others by her transformative odyssey, methodology and valuable skills for recovering one’s true self, personal power and inner peace, guiding both youth and adults to find that place inside themselves where nothing is impossible.
“I am beyond grateful to learn and listen, while I inspire, build and create with incredible people both locally and globally.”
Civil & Professional Accomplishments
Associates in History, CSI
Associates in Political Science, CSI
Bachelors in Political Science, SOU
Bachelors in International Relations, SOU
2009 Appointed by Mayor Hall to Park & Rec
2010 Northwest Sustainable Business Award
2010-2011 BECAME A MAMA!!
2014 Appointed to T.F. School Board Trustees
2015 Idaho’s Business Women of the Year Honor
2016 Twin Falls Council Park & Rec Service Award
2017 Idaho Service to Education Award
2017 Idaho ACLU Civil Rights Service Award
2018 Published Authors of Idaho Honoree
2019 Idaho’s Gov. Otter Hometown Hero Award
2020 Idaho’s Business Women of the Year Honor
2020 Twin Falls Mayor Hawkin’s “Extra Mile” Award
2020 Idaho Governor’s “Extra Mile” Service Award
2021 Appointed to ACLU of Idaho Board of Directors
2021 Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez Recognition
2021 City of New York Recognition Gov. Andrew Cuomo