Just a glance at the title of Glenda K. Harrison’s website: “So What to Twenty” will get you thinking. But read on, and So what to Twenty will get you ‘rethinking.‘ Rethinking your ideas about change, about style, and about your own life’s calling.
My first introduction to Glenda Harrison was last year at a conference for Bloggers @ Midlife (BAM). When Glenda entered the packed meeting room, there was a palpable presence, a star quality, the essence of a gentle spirit. Kind of hard to explain. You know, a “je ne sais quoi.”
In truth, I never got to speak to Glenda at the conference, because there were so many others clamoring to meet her. But when I returned home, I became a fan of this mesmerizing 51 year-old author, blogger, speaker, and style influencer.
On first glance, you might think Glenda to be a fashionista. Well, you would be right. Her love of fashion was cultivated at an early age when she played dress up in her mother, and her maternal grandmother’s, wardrobes.
“As a young girl, the perfect Saturday for me was to ride my bike to the library, grab all the fashion magazines, and sit in a corner for hours–reading and looking at the images.”
In 1986, after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, Glenda went on to work in retail management, merchandising, and personal styling. Then, she says, “In my 30’s life happened: I got married, I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer, I started my family, and a series of unfortunate events happened. My trail got very murky and I lost my way for a while.”
“When you have great pain, you need a greater purpose.” …Glenda K. Harrison
In 2007, Glenda began writing a style column for a local newspaper. In 2008 she had a dream that became the revelation for her first book: A Place Called Peace. She left her newspaper job and launched a not-for-profit cancer support service in honor of her mother. Glenda named it: “A Daughter’s Heart.” Glenda says: “The death of my mom saved my life.” And after serving the community for many years and reconciling her mother’s death in her own heart, Glenda moved on to pursue her passion for writing and fashion.
“The death of my mom saved MY life.” …Glenda K. Harrison
Since then, Glenda has written for and been featured in countless print and online publications including: Chico’s Inside Chic, Midlife Boulevard, Vibrant Nation, Fabulous After 40, My Side of 50, and others. And she regularly offers ‘sartorial’ advice on her own blog.
Yes, I had to look up the definition of the word sartorial, too:
Sartorial: Relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress.
But you won’t hear any diatribes from Glenda about following fashion trends.
Glenda says, “There is a big difference between fashion and style. Style is internal. It is how you comport yourself. An embracement. Your essence. Fashions are our sartorial choices. When used in conjunction with our internal depth, (those choices) help to tell our story. In other words, fashion is an element of style, but fashion is not the meaning of style.”
Glenda has put words she has been carrying in her heart for over a decade into her latest book: TRUE STYLE: A Look Beyond the Surface. She says her motivation for writing TRUE STYLE was to, “… unravel the person who embodies style, and carefully weave her together again.” She uses the word ‘tapestry‘ as an analogy for style–“both have depth, substance, color, and history.”
If we were going to write a note of thanks to Glenda K. Harrison, this is probably what it might say:
What a relief to feel that we no longer have to compare ourselves to our twenty year-old selves. We’ve been there. We’ve learned from those experiences. We’ve had that metabolism, that hair, that skin. Now we move on–with acceptance and anticipation. Waiting to see where our next marvelous adventure will take us.
With gratitude, Every Woman