What Fashion Meets Poetry Taught Me




What Fashion Meets Poetry Taught Me

Lisa Harris ~ January 30, 2018

The world is alive right now. On the surface, it’s angry and tormented with polarized political views, misunderstood racial divides, and gender inequalities. Its stories are rooted in sins of our fathers and generations of mistrust, betrayal, and tragedy. We often find ourselves walking in undiagnosed depression and fearing the darkness. Or is it really that we are afraid of the light?

This world is ours, like we often say in our family when referencing each other, “she belongs to us” and beneath her seemingly dark layers rests her heart. Unlike our lungs, which sole responsibility is to keep us breathing, our hearts are tasked not only to pump blood throughout our bodies, but also to love. Every day, despite our differences and anger, we still hope and dream. So like I said, we are alive. There is anticipation in our voices as we witness women break their silence and compassion within us as we learn how to truly listen. We are not in darkness if within each one of us is light.

All this is a reminder of what I have seen all around me since both darkness and lightness have gleaned their presence on my journey. After publishing Unveiled Beauty: Handwritten Stories From a Poetic Heart, I never expected to find myself in the heart of the women’s empowerment movement, yet here I am. Every day embracing new women as I continue on my own journey of healing and peace. One by one, through launching our Unveiled Beauty: Cultivating YOU women’s empowerment events to celebrating the women in our community at our sold out Unveiled Beauty X Fashion Show, they taught me about Beauty and Bravery. So, as the world continues to rage with judgment and amateur listening skills, I aspire to unveil the courage, strength, and love that’s not only seeping through the cracks, but also exploding within our hearts. Today, I share with you what Fashion Meets Poetry has taught me through the hearts of women:

We Are Not Strangers

The Unveiled Beauty empowerment stage has become a space where both our protected selves and authentic selves agree to embrace and the culmination of hidden confidence, buried memories and self-love is powerful. As I watched the women share their stories, hold back their tears and find their inner courage, I began to recognize myself. The stories spilled from their lips with layers of shame, sadness and strength as the memories came alive. Stories much different than my own, but within them, I knew a similar loneliness. Whether we were new acquaintances or old friends, it became evident that we were never strangers. If within another person, we can witness their heart and embody their pain, that person no longer becomes somebody else’s friend; they become someone we have always known. In essence, they become us and we become them.

The Answer is The Journey

As a philosophical and introspective woman, I have always been motivated by the quest for answers and stimulated by the pursuit of understanding. I have convinced myself that within every circumstance, situation or sequence of events lays a reason, a solution, or an explanation. There MUST be an answer. This mindset slowly began to breakdown and disintegrated as I became emotionally invested in each woman and her narrative. How beautifully she stood in front of her community revealing stories that shattered your spirit and crushed your heart. Once again, I found myself asking, “Why?” With tears over a father’s grave, abuse at the hands of a loved one or feelings of hopelessness and unworthiness, SHE endured. It was in witnessing these women, when I realized there was no answer. In life, the hardships that show up at our doorstep and the heartaches that break us are part of the journey complete with its own tragedies and blessings. If we begin to accept the path, it’s only then when we can recognize the journey itself IS the answer.

Collaboration Wins Over Competition

Coming of age, professionally, with a business degree and almost 20 years of experience in corporate America, I was taught that success is determined by how well a company differentiates their product, understands their target market and knows their competition. I was reminded of this recently when buy phentermine india speaking to investors who asked me, “Who is your competition?” For the first time, I struggled with that question, not because I didn’t know the answer, but rather, I didn’t see them that way. I’ve come to believe that competition is just a concept created to motivate and push companies and individuals to move faster, work harder and be more innovative. Through the hearts and minds of women, I discovered that the most successful ones were not only leaning into their own unique talents and building profitable businesses, but they were replacing outdated concepts like competition with community and collaboration. If we begin to shift our competitive spirit to creating partnerships with shared goals, we all win and there is room for all of us. Together, we reach more, empower more, and on the shoulders of each other, we individually and collectively change lives, communities and yes, run successful businesses.

Words Can Heal

Since the beginning of time, words have always possessed the unparalleled power to free our thoughts, imaginations and souls. On their wings, we are sent to far away lands and imaginary worlds. On good days, they help us rewrite history and fall in love. And on bad days, they betray us by fueling hatred and fear. Words are essential in learning, relating, and connecting with one another and their mere existence, whether written, spoken, sung, or heard, brings people together and divides nations. These are the facts. Although, it wasn’t until I began my own journey did I discover the healing power of words. Poetry and writing saved me. However, the Unveiled Beauty: Cultivating YOU women’s empowerment events highlighted another form of healing. As one would expect, our speakers inspired our attendees with their stories, but being witnessed and heard became vital to the speakers’ own healing process. Openly sharing their truth and revealing their authentic self was empowering. If we begin to see words as building bridges and remedies for the soul, we can address the wounds of our hearts and the world we live in.

Bravery IS Beautiful

Every single woman who has graced the Unveiled Beauty empowerment stage is undeniably beautiful – the kind of authentic beauty that surpasses all definitions of conventional beauty. Whether they spoke on stage or modeled for the very first time, the courage and kindness I saw within these women is nearly impossible to describe. Despite any fears and unwelcomed insecurities, each woman harnessed her inner warrior, walked on that stage and owned it. Beneath the perfectly applied makeup and styled hair, there she stood; proving her vulnerability was her brave and her bravery was beautiful. Not only did she emerge triumphant, but she also encouraged the women around her so they too could shine. I continue to be in awe of the women I meet and the true beauty and bravery that lies within each one. If we begin to challenge the world’s definition of beauty and recognize it as the depth of heart, mind, spirit, we will discover beauty blossoming all around us.

As I said in the beginning and I will say again, we are alive! There is no question about it. Love, compassion and kindness still exist and it’s time to give them center stage. We cannot allow the world to lead us into darkness and overshadow what we know to be true. If we have been taught anything, it should be, that true Beauty and Bravery reside within all of us and we have the power to choose how we engage and lead in this world. After all, “she belongs to us” and deserves to be loved, to belong and to be seen and heard.

Fashion Meets Poetry was a journey I was meant to take and everything I shared with you only scratches the surface of what I have learned and continue to learn. More importantly, I am forever indebted to the women who have shared their stories and dared to unveil themselves. With their courage and strength, they inspired those around them and reminded us that we are not alone. There will always be darkness, tragedies and heartache, but in the end, we must ask ourselves… are we brave enough to embrace the light?

I choose to embrace the light. I invite you to join me.


A Letter to Glennon from a Crazy, Mom Fan




A Letter to Glennon from a Crazy, Mom Fan

(crazy in the fact that we all are… the good kind of crazy mixed with a little of the crazy kind of crazy)

Lisa Harris ~ January 5, 2017slide2Glennon’s photo credit: Amy Paulson/ Lisa’s photo credit: Phil Nwafor

Dear Glennon,

Good day, my friend… or more accurately, my secret desire to be friends. Let’s be honest, we both know how social media and being a writer makes complete strangers feel as though they have a special and unique bond with you. Who knows, maybe some day we will meet and find we really could be friends. For now, I suppose I am an admirer and a reader. However, like you, only with much fewer followers, I am also a writer and a recently published indie author. Wow. I can hardly believe I just called myself a writer. It took nearly forty years to publicly admit I was a poet, let alone concede to being a writer. I guess when you officially publish a book; you are in fact an author, which therefore means you cannot deny you are a writer. Apparently, my days of hiding behind that insecurity are over.

Anyhow, I’m going to attempt to make a long story short because I know you are inundated with fan mail or crazy, Mom mail (crazy in the fact that we all are… the good kind of crazy mixed with a little of the crazy kind of crazy). And yes, ‘we’ means I, too am a Mom. Miraculously, I just finished reading your book, Carry On, Warrior. I say miraculously because although I am a writer, I have been a lackluster reader most of my life and well… kids, husband, career and life often get in the way. You see, over the years, I vaguely recall your name and blog being brought up in conversations, but then I would go on with my day and fail to recall the name of your blog and apparently didn’t take the time to look it up. In social media world, this is where the hashtag #realtalk comes in. However, if I have learned anything in recent years, it is that when the universe speaks, we should listen and sometimes I do… and sometimes my dearest friends make sure I do. Jess is one of those friends. I’ve known Jess since high school; she’s one of the models in my book and she mailed me a copy of Carry On, Warrior right before I left for vacation. Vacationing is when I secretly disguise myself as a reader and I believe it works quite well for me.

Like thousands of others, Carry On, Warrior resonated deeply with me and aligns so beautifully with my purpose and passion in life: to connect with women of all ages at all stages in life with a focus on building confidence, facilitating conversation, learning, self-discovery and healing. When I received your book and looked at the title, I was a bit taken aback. The title of one of my signature poems is Warrior Women and I sign all my books, “Carry on, brave Warrior Woman!” I don’t know why it took holding the book to make me see something so obvious, but as my sister would have you know, my memory is garbage. Therefore, if I did know this was the title, it is likely I may have forgotten. Regardless, the universe is speaking and our worlds are aligning.

So, today I am simply writing to say, “Thank You!” Thank you for all the reasons I am certain your crazy, Mom fans have already given you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for writing this book. As a gift to you dear, Glennon for being what I call, BEAUTIFUL and BRAVE (the premise of my future TED talk… maybe – I could change my mind or convince myself that I am not qualified to speak on such topics), I present you a copy of Unveiled Beauty: Handwritten Stories from a Poetic Heart. I won’t bore you with my story. I’ll let the preface/introduction of my book give you a window into my life. I hope you enjoy it and if you do, from one author to another author, from one Mom to another Mom, from one woman to another woman… I hope you share it in whatever way feels right for you.

I look forward to hearing from you and congratulations on your well-deserved success. Keep doing what you are doing. Thousands of women need you!

“Carry on, brave Warrior Woman!”


*Lisa Harris is the founder and creative director for Fashion Meets Poetry, LLC and author of Unveiled Beauty: Handwritten Stories from a Poetic Heart. With over 18 years in corporate America defining strategic direction, guiding product development, and leading marketing initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. Today, Lisa’s passion is to inspire and heal women to reach their highest potential. She will be launching her first women empowerment series, Unveiled Beauty: Cultivating YOU in March 2017.


Discover Your True Essence On An Old Cassette Tape



Discover Your True Essence
On An Old Cassette Tape

Lisa Harris ~ June 28, 2016

Look at this beauty. It’s pastel pink. It has a mint green ‘play’ button. It’s retro. It’s throwback. It’s like totally fresh. It’s a 1986 Sharp radio cassette recorder or, in other words, a vintage boom box.

Yes, I said, “vintage”. And, yes, I said, “like totally fresh”. In all seriousness, if you owned one of these, like I did, or if you listened to your favorite songs on any boom box, you are not a Millennial. It’s likely you no longer stand in line to get into the hottest clubs or stay up all night with coffee in hand, to study for your final exams. Nope. Been there, done that. You, my friend, are a distinguished member of Generation X. We are the generation that grew-up on cassette tapes, jelly shoes, answering machines, “Who’s the Boss?”, Nintendo, Michael Jackson and the original MTV – back when it actually played music videos.

What this also means is that right now you’ve lived a little bit of life. You’ve experienced the many highs and lows and perhaps took a few shortcuts or wrong turns along the way. At this point, you may have even found yourself at a crossroads, either by choice or new life circumstances. But regardless of how you found yourself in this place, it can be a time of deep reflection, self-discovery and purpose.

As I insinuated, often this happens when we enter our forties, however, we can face uncertainty and challenges at any time in our lives. I am reminded of this after talking with so many women from all stages in life, who have come to a crossroads. Whether they are searching for their first job out of college, transitioning into new careers, experiencing the difficulties of divorce, balancing family, or rediscovering themselves in their retirement years, they are all at pivotal points in life. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you listened to your favorite song on a turn table, recorded music onto a cassette tape, or downloaded a new track on your iPod, there inevitably comes a time when you need to silence the world around you in order to listen to your inner self.

It’s in this quiet where we can begin to remember who we are. We need to become introspective in order to follow the path that honors our true selves. Therefore, if you are in this space right now, I recommend you stop for a moment and look back before you attempt to push forward. Your future where can i buy generic viagra online safely lies in rediscovering the true essence of who you are and your happiness and life’s purpose depends on it.

I know this, because I was there. I was at a crossroads and still on a journey of my own. There was a moment when I had to look myself in the mirror, figure out who I was and determine what was missing in my life. The only way to accomplish this was to turn back time. Who was I before life happened? Before I feel in love for the first time, graduated from college, established my career, married and had children… before all that stuff and the responsibilities of every day life. To figure who I was, I had to press the ‘rewind’ button on my vintage, pastel pink boom box, back to a small town in Southeastern Wisconsin.


The year was 1987; “Head to Toe” by Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam was playing on 94.5FM – WKTI out of Milwaukee. If iPods were around in the late 1980’s, this song surely would have been on my playlist. Instead, I was sitting on my bedroom floor with my finger hovering over the record button patiently waiting for the DJ to stop talking in order to record my favorite song. I was a 15-year-old girl who spent her time listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 Countdown, writing poetry in a spiral notebook, and sketching dresses for her mother to make.

Back then, as a multiracial girl growing up in a predominantly white community, I turned to music, writing, and designing as a form of escape. And writing poetry, specifically, became the chosen outlet that offered me both comfort and peace. Poetry, music, and fashion were the true essence of who I was… that was me before life happened.

It took being at a crossroads in my mid-thirties and deep reflection into my childhood to remember and rediscover my true essence. Although I pursued fashion in my professional career, I had stopped writing. During this time of reflection, I began to realize what was missing and came to the conclusion that I had not been honoring my true essence for all these years. My lifeline has always been in writing with a passion for poetry and so today, I finally honor my true essence in releasing my first poetry book.

Now, it’s your turn. The only way to rediscover your true essence is to turn back the hands of time, hold your finger above the button on the old boom box in your mind and if you dare – press rewind.

xoxo L.