We had the good fortune of connecting with Latoya Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Latoya, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m originally from a small town called Malden, Mo. it’s in the Bootheel of Missouri. I come from a loving 2 parent household with a twist due to my father’s disability. My father took care of the home which he kept immaculate after suffering a massive stroke, and he was a great handyman and provider, and my mother was the one who worked outside the home. She was a school teacher and she worked a second job as the deli/bakery manager in a store in my hometown for years. I had an older sister who is my best friend that went off to college at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and I watched her grow into a phenomenal role model for me as well. She is an established school teacher in St. Louis. I knew that teaching isn’t what I wanted to do but I’ve always had a compassion for helping others. A family friend was my high schools nurse and I was her Aide my senior year. She always told me I’d never be unemployed in the healthcare field and I took my love of science and people and ran with it. I’m the type of person that doesn’t meet a stranger.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Traveling Medical Technologist. I have my Degree in healthcare administration, I am a certified Life coach, as well as a mobile hookah business owner. I have always had a passion for chemistry and science but I never liked paperwork that comes along with some healthcare professions. In the lab I am the first line of defense for doctors searching for answers. I process all lab work including tissue, blood, urine, feces and give them answers that they need to provide care. It’s not an easy job but someone has to do it. My focus in healthcare administration and also being a life coach gives me extensive insight on how to handle all types of situations from the lab, as well as everyday life situations. I am a socialite and enjoy live music and lounges as well so that’s how I jumped in the hookah business. Hookah is used in social settings and gatherings and was originally invented in India to purify smoke as health concerns grew over the use of tobacco. I decided to cater to people who may not necessarily like gathering at hookah lounges and bring the hookah experience to them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m pretty simple but I’m a foodie. I usually base travel spots off of restaurants they have to offer and social spots. I would start with my favorite bagel spot which is Bagel Meister in Douglasville, Ga. They have the best smoked Lox and egg Asiago bagel. It’s a family owned business and I’ve been going there for years. My restaurant go to’s in the city are Milk & Honey, ABC (Atlanta Breakfast Club) TWO urban Licks, and Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks. I love live music and local artists so sometimes I scout social media to see if there’s a band performing at St. James Live, Whiskey Mistress or Savoy Bistro. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to all of the successful women who came before me that at times may not have seen a light at the end of the tunnel and wanted to give up. Trust me, I’ve been there. I always tell people that all you see is where I am now but a lot of people never know what you’ve gone through to get where you are, I had to learn the hard way that no one is going to take care of me like ME. I will continue to strive to be the best ME I can be. My children and grandson are watching.