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Glenda Harrison


Glenda Harrison is the influencer behind the fabulous blog “So What To Twenty“. We recently met her at the B@M conference, where she was a guest speaker. We couldn’t wait to learn more about why she does what she does, where she gets her great style, and what makes her tick. Read on for her inspiring view on life.

Introduce yourself—Name, age, and occupation.

Hello, I am Glenda K. Harrison, a 50-year-old style blogger, influencer, and author.

What’s most important to you?

To live my life utilizing my own unique butterfly wings, and that I raise my sons to understand the importance of doing so in their own lives.

How did you end up blogging about style?

I have always had a great passion for fashion, and storytelling. I studied Fashion Marketing & Merchandising at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. Most of my jobs have been within the industry—Retail Management, Merchandiser, Personal Shopper, and Newspaper Style Columnist. After I became a mother, I stopped working to focus on my family, but I never lost my passion for fashion. Life happened, and I found myself taking desk jobs to help support my family. Fast forward many years, I was feeling completely unfulfilled and stifled. I became ill with stress-related vertigo and another condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia (a heart condition that causes rapid heart rate). My husband suggested I take as much time as I needed to recover and regroup. I woke up one morning and said to him, “I want to start writing again. I’m thinking of starting a fashion blog and calling it ‘So What to Twenty.'” And so, So What to Twenty was born. I came up with the name as a way to give my beloved fashion industry (that believes the age of 20 is golden) a slap in the face—to wake up, and to see that the seasoned woman is still relevant and desirable.

I do it because I cannot NOT do it. The subject is what gives me life. Having the free-form of writing about it through the internet is just the icing on the cake.

What is interesting to you about the way the internet works?

The internet brings people together, regardless of where they are. So “What to Twenty” has friends from all over the world. I find it very cool that we can instantly share our ideas.

Why do you respond to every comment on your blog?

I respond to each comment because relationships are very important to me. I want my readers to know how important they are. They take the time to read my posts, so I take the time to respond. It’s called conversation—the world seems to be getting farther away from it. I hope I’m doing my part to bring it back.

Tell us about the charity that you started and why you started it.

In 1994, my beloved mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and was given six months to live. She was a healthy, vivacious woman who ran marathons for a hobby, and had a loving personality. During her battle, I noticed people stopped coming around and calling. I get that—many people simply don’t know what to say when someone is terminally ill. However, a good friend of mine would come by and visit my mother and talk with her about everything under the sun. I learned from this experience. I also started pampering my mother with items to help her feel better during her treatments. I bought her pretty head scarves and socks, rubbed her feet with nice lotions. You know… whatever to help relieve the discomfort.

She passed away early 1995 and I was completely devastated. But with the love of my friends and husband, I kept going. Many years later, I was writing for a newspaper as a style columnist, and I thought I was living my dream. However deep within me, I had a desire I could not shake off, which was supporting women who find themselves on the same journey as my mother did.

In 2008 I launched a not-for-profit corporation called A Daughter’s Heart which partnered with hospitals to support and give women undergoing cancer treatment what we called a Love Pouch. Each pouch contained items a woman might like to make her feel special—a head scarf, hand crafted bed socks, body butter, lip balm, queasy pops, and reading materials. The slogan became ‘If you have to fight cancer…Fight it beautifully.’ We delivered the items directly to the patient’s room, and often times just sat and talked with the patient and her family. This was my way of giving back and honoring my mother’s memory.

How would you describe your personal style?

People think I’m strange when I tell them I describe my clothing as an extension of my entire life. I view my fashion choices as the cast of characters in the story called “Glenda.” If I had to put a name to it, I would best describe my personal style as “classic, with a twist of bohemian, and a touch of quirk.” It is entirely Glenda and represents my true essence.

Where do you draw your style inspiration?

Oh gosh, from so many different places: the 60’s, the Southwest where I live, other cultures—I have a great love for Cuban and Latin fashions—art, life in general. I see everything as a possibility.

Why is style ageless?

Style encompasses the entire person. You can’t put a time stamp on a person.

What do you enjoy about this particular moment in your life?

I drove a long and twisted road to get here, but my goodness, it feels so good to have finally let go of that cumbersome steering wheel. The freedom I now have to be Glenda, is like—Wow!

What do you think about aging? The good, bad, ugly…

A few years ago, I would have to say aging scared me tremendously. I feared I would grow into my senior years without having the thrill of knowing what it feels like to live according to my own standards. Now, I feel like I’m just getting started.

Love Glenda’s look? She is wearing Chico’s Open Knit Poncho, Platinum Boyfriend Jeans, Bianca Coil BraceletCassie Silver-Tone Circle Earrings, and Marla Wide-Brim Hat. Click links to shop. 

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53 Responses

      1. Angel Romano

        Greetings from Brooklyn I love your cool sense of calm confidence and style, and your kind gesture of giving back to the community.

  1. I love your blog and am so happy to see you featured in Inside Chic! Your blog speaks tome on so many levels. Thank you for inspiring me and so many others.

    1. glendakstyle

      Thank you Alicia, and you’re very welcome. Thank the wonderful people of Inside Chic for helping bring my story out.

  2. Fli

    Glenda, I love how you have found your niche in this world and you are ROCKING IT! Well done. This article, also proves that you are a superstar and folks should take notice. Thank you or the inspiration to be beautiful regardless of my size and looks. Beauty is an extension of the inside as well, not just the outer shell. Muah! Love it.

  3. Cynthia Moore

    Glenda,
    Congrats on your new venture. You do “YOU” so fantastically! Thanks so much for sharing your great sense of style!

    1. glendakstyle

      Aw, thank you Cynthia. I’ve discover – Doing “ME” is far more interesting than doing someone else.

  4. Such an excellent decision to feature Glenda Harrison of “So What to Twenty.” I am such a fan of her blog and her style. In fact, it was her posts about Chicos that actually had me wandering into a Chicos store for the first time! Bravo Glenda.

  5. I’m always inspired by Glenda and was so happy to see her featured. Love how she says that style encompasses the whole person and you can’t put a time stamp on a person. How very true, and how very Glenda. In her style and in the way she writes, you understand that Glenda knows herself well and has the confidence to share that with the rest of us.

    1. glendakstyle

      Karen, you have left me without anything to write. I have a lump in my throat. Thank you from the top and bottom of my heart.

  6. I love Glenda and I love Chico’s – so thank you! So happy for this collaboration and the interview. Glenda is an inspiration and a reminder to all, young and mature women, to stay true to ourselves and live a genuine life. That is the whole point of life, isn’t it? And the outfit is fantastic – love the poncho!

    1. glendakstyle

      Yes, Natalia, you nailed it – staying true to ourselves is the point. And the way I end each of my posts. Stay True.

  7. Mauria Debnam

    Thank you for featuring this lovely lady. I accidently ran across her blog and am now a big fan. She is a stylish,inspirational gem

  8. Cynthia Hornsby

    I feel like I discovered who I am later in life and to my surprise I like who I am and continue to become. I don’t have a specific style type but I now know I am expressing who I am on any given day. New day how do I show the world who I am and go from there. You are great! Thanks for the women of maturity showing she is beautiful.

    1. glendakstyle

      Cynthia, my story is similar to yours, except, I always knew myself, but I was stifled by letting others dictate the direction of my life. At 48 I finally decided to get off that road. Now I’m free, and I’m flying. It feels good to be Glenda, and not what others believe I should be. Keep being you. Let your light shine.

  9. Marianne

    Glenda! You are beautiful from the inside out. What a joy to hear your story and see “you” living your life congruently. Marianne

  10. Renee

    is stress induced vertigo an actual diagnosis? I’ve had vertigo 3 times and no md ever offered me a diagnosis or a reason.

  11. glendakstyle

    Hi Renee, this is the diagnoses my physician gave. He said vertigo can be the result of something else. At the time, I had a major amount of stress in my life. Now that the stress is gone, so is the vertigo.

  12. Pingback :Noteworthy Women - The Series - Glenda Harrison - It's Just Life

  13. Glenda are after my own heart. Aging and looks have always been something that has held me back. Never quite feel I am up to par. You look fabulous and stunning.You are an inspiration to me. Love Chico’s !

  14. Sheila

    Glenda, this is my first time reading InsideChic, I am so inspired by what I’ve read about you. Seldom do I hear of women willing to share the challenges of vertigo and rapid hear-beat which is exactly what I am experiencing. I’m in awe of your positive attitude and determination to live your life with such purpose, style and commitment to others. I will be following your writing in the future. Thank you for living your authentic self with stunning style.

    1. glendakstyle

      Sheila, thank you so very much for your kind words. I kept my condition under-wraps for many years. It was when I decided to speak out about it, I found there are many people out there just like us. Living my life with a purpose which extends beyond myself gives me relief. There is something very therapeutic about supporting, encouraging and helping others.

  15. Myra

    Glenda,

    You are truly an inspiration.

    I recently went through a long drawn out divorce. I have a job,, the pay is decent . However,I’m bored. I’m raising a teenage boy and I need something fulfilling and I love health, fashion and love to write. I have been wanting to blog . Any advice on how to get started?

  16. glendakstyle

    Hi Myra! I appreciate your kind words, and your willingness to reach out. I know all to well the feelings associated with being unfulfilled in a job. It can become taxing in other areas of our lives.

    For myself and many others, blogging has become a very rewarding avenue for writers. For one, when you’re committed to your community and blog, you have a sense of connectivity. I have met the most incredible people on my blogging journey. Many of the relationships are business, but many have developed into genuine friendships.

    Second, your blog can develop into a platform for other ventures. For myself, I enjoy giving back to causes associated with female empowerment and cancer. I use my voice and my brand to help causes reach their fundraising goals. Also, like myself, you may decide to become an author, or to spread your wings into freelance writing. An established blog puts a feather in your cap and helps to establish you as an expert in your field.

    With all this being said, it’s important for you to write on a subject you’re truly passionate about, where you can develop your own voice. There are so many bloggers these days, with you having a strong voice on your subjects, it’ll help raise your voice above the chatter. Be true to yourself, be sincere, and authentic – and all these qualities will shine through to your readers.

    Once you start your blog, join social networks where you can share and promote your posts. Network, network, network. Like any type of new business venture, you have to network to meet people and to get your voice heard. The only difference is your networking will be via social media. This was the tough part for me, but once I got going, it is now my favorite part.

    I hope this helped.
    Stay True,
    Glenda

  17. So wonderful! I am a random reader of emails in my Junk Folder- and ran across this article from many weeks ago! Thank you for sharing. I love the story, I can connect, I am an Oncology nurse by trade but have not been in the clinical setting for many years- but my heart goes out still to those who have experience the dread of the diagnosis. I think that your organization is doing a great service- so wonderful. Will try to follow more. I am in Texas and fifty-plus fabulous.

  18. I think Glenda’s voice is so important to us older women! Nobody likes to be minimized, and it’s fabulous that Chico’s is incorporating older models in their marketing!
    I love the fact that older women are having a moment—and hopefully it continues!! I think it’s important for the younger women to realize that if they are lucky enough—they will be older at some time. And this should be a time for celebrating—not hiding!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

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