We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalissa Harrison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kalissa, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was always family based. I noticed that no one in my family owned their own business, or even had an example to witness. My foster mother, cooked for the church, her and my brother started a BBQ business that didn’t go anywhere. I wanted my siblings to be able to even find their way and figure out what they want to do which being able to work with me in any field they wanted to try out. Have the support, the resources and the experience to make a choice and not end up working for anyone else but themselves.
That also got me thinking about the lack of resources, that we have in our community. How we don’t really know the first steps in starting a business, how to expand on our ideas, and how to invest back into our community. While circulating the black dollar. We are one of the only communities that don’t, that rather shop elsewhere than within our own community. Two of the most heard reasons being, “the lack of professionalism” and “the lack of availability”. So with that, I began my journey of assisting in any way my ideas, talents, education and network could.
Everyday I’m investing in my visions by investing in my clients, investing in my community, researching, learning, exploring, rebranding and whatever else it takes to see what I’ve seen this and many other businesses will be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve learned to display my creativity throughout every venture that I’ve built, from the marketing material, to the events that I put together, even in bringing my clients vision into focus. It allows me so many outlets. When it came to my physical art, I’ve painted written poetry, working on a book to express my lyricism. I’ve hand crafted my own merchandise for another business that I have, Goddess Empire.
It has taken a lot of hard work, focus, discipline and integrity and no it was not at all easy, but very well worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
They would need to see the best parts of what makes Atlanta, Atlanta.
Their first day here, we’d keep it easy, maybe grab brunch at The Real Milk & Honey or Escobar Restaurant & Tapa, then iBougie Salon & Spa for a little pampering for a little relaxation, afterwards home to shower, change and dinner maybe Rocs Southern Cuisine.
Day 2: We’d probably visit, Little 5 Points and they try out Hattie B’s, the West End area to shop at the black owned stores that way. Later that evening, attending Ten ATL for some live entertainment.
Day 3: they would defiantly have to experience smoothies from Morrish Medicine then spend most of the day sitting at Cascade Nature Preserve then maybe a night of dancing at MLQ Concourse.
Day 4: Grab brunch and their amazing coffee and Basil Lemonade from My Coffee Shop, before heading to The Black Hair Experience, then grab drinks at Brownstone ATL.
Day 5: We’d have to visit The Bando for their amazing wings and 80’s museum and sit at Grant Park for some fresh air and socializing a bit, go home change and check out The Love Below or The Vibrations ATL for one of their nights of poetry, music and entertainment.
Day 6: Urban Grind would be our first stop, before checking out Hammond House Museum for more art and great energy. Depending on the time of year of course, I’m taking them to Bonfire ATL.
Day 7: Would be a relaxing day before their travel back home, visit Slutty Vegan and probably contradicted that with a bakery visit to either Buttersweet Bakery or Sweet Treats.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My spiritual mentor, Bah’Dori Oyanna of Holistic Healers & Creatives Collective Lauren J, friend, colleague. Lyricist, Producer, and Founder of Melanated Agency
Genesis High, a dear friend and colleague Founder of Write Moods, Writer, Poet, Web designer, Lyricist
Roq thee Barber, friend and partner, phenomenal barber and musician
BunHi Baby, friend, Performer, Kink Educator
Onyx,, friend and Loc’tician
Jakia, founder and cater of Jakkenese
…this list could end up being longer than my interview lol
Books, goodness there are so many
“The Mastery of Love”, Don Miguel Ruiz
“The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”, Deepak Chopra
Udemy, I’ve found so many course I’ve explored and that I have sitting waiting for me to dive into
Most importantly, my foster mother, Bobbie Jean West, without her I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. Without her I would have the everyday ambition to keep going, even when its not baring the fruit I intended. She made me realize that these are seeds that I am planting and I need to water them everyday. The hard work will pay off. I love you Mom!
My sister Olivia, you have stirred me into the path of my creativity, beginning a long time ago with poetry. You have always been my biggest supporter and inspiration. I love you
My siblings, Susie, Latisha, Joseph, Xavier, everything I based my businesses on have been with you in mind, to provide whatever I can to help create the life and world you all deserve. I love you all.