Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Star

Lisa HarrisI will share that I attended Bauder Fashion College in Arlington, TX. I achieved an associate degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. I have been in the industry for 20yrs in one company/city or another. Where it be designing or working in retail ranging form managerial to creative.

I used to design clothes for my girls. Many parents would see the dresses and wanted to have me have make clothes for their kids. I soon came into the understanding that full-sized children needed clothing that was more appealing. The parents were having a hard time to find things for the children because they were having a hard time to find things in regular department stores that fit properly. This was an issue that I faced with my girls so had compassion for the children and parents that were experiencing the same thing. I ran with that. I even created clothing for plus size kids and opened a boutique in Rex, Ga.
When I see young people here that have the tools to become a good model, some parents have an issue with the stigma that goes along with the modeling industry but I reassure them by conveying what it is that I am doing and what services I provide through my company. I call this the in-between time. The time where children are young and plus sized but may not be when they reach adulthood.

Recruiting young people and using this platform to reach them to assist with their self-esteem is gratifying to me. When a child comes to me and we try to transform by building their self-esteem via the fashion industry. Some of the parents come back and tell me that since their child modeled they have never been the same. It takes their confidence to a new level.

MJai: Did you see the need to start MiChanel because plus sized children needed representation?

It was something that was started to provide a creative place for children in general on the south side of town. Specifically in Stockbridge, there are limited resources for children in this area that live outside of the downtown area. They have the same ambitions and desires.
MJai: Was that a childhood aspiration of yours – to always be involved in the industry?

I think because the Goodwill and Salvation Army were my mother’s best friend, I personally never had the best in fashion. So I always wanted to be able to wear nice things. So my wanting to be in the industry was somewhat of a rebellion against my childhood. I remember going to school with my Converses on and getting picked on. So I thought that when I grew up I would eventually buy whatever I wanted.
I believe that this particular generation feels entitled to get all the new things and be fashionable. It should be something that you have to earn.

MJai: Even though yours are providing something for you? A way of life that they did not have?

I believe kids should be rewarded for their good deeds, not spoiled.

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