We had the good fortune of connecting with Laresha M. Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laresha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
A Gurl & Her Brush was a concept I played with a couple months after I started to develop a consistent passion for painting. It’s seems as though out of nowhere, Art had become my creative outlet and my primary form of self-care. The beauty of creating something from nothing was addictive, satisfying and exciting. I wanted to achieve that high all the time! My Art became an internal check of my mental health and stability. The Art became more personal and with that level of vulnerability comes scrutiny I didn’t think I would ever be ready to share with the world.
Painting started as a means to heal myself from the inside out. A Gurl & Her Brush as a business was born of love, encouragement, and support from my close friends and family whom believed in my creative ability more than I did honestly. I saw A Gurl & Her Brush as a means to renew myself and my loved ones saw it as a means to heal the world one brush stroke at a time. I’m forever grateful for the support and encourage around me as it has lead to the rebirth of my whole being.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a retail leader by influence and a Artist by passion. Having been a retail professional for more than 15 years managing multi-million dollars entities in both the apparel & beauty industry, I thrive in fast paced and inevitably adaptable environments. I see my success and growth in the retail industry as a win building a solid partnership between my love of people and creativity through client service and artistry. What sets me apart as an artist is my ability to connect with people apart from the job/work. I operate from a mindset that, we are people first. Its important that I lead, nurture and acknowledge those human instincts with my team and my clients first and always. We all have a human need to belong. This understanding is supported best through my art. It’s ever changing, unbiased, and relatable. This philosophy keeps me authentic and grounded on my creative journey.
What I find challenging most is my ability to maintain balance. I do not work a typical 9-5 so I must get creative and intentional about managing my time. Easier said then done but the more I shift my thinking, the more I realize 24 hours is 24 hours. I often hear “ Work your 9-5 to fund your 5-9.” My reality is: don’t misuse the time you have wishing it looked different! The hustle is the hustle!”. I love the satisfaction received from completing a custom painting for a client whose thrilled beyond belief at the finish product just as much as I love seeing my work team exceed goals! I want the world to know my blood, sweat, tears, & fears reside in my professional & personal ability to connect creatively with world. It’s the beauty, craftsmanship, untold stories that keep me creatively fueled in my daily balance of life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love that Dallas/Fort Worth has so much to offer at any given time for any desired vibe! My must have places to visit for food would definitely include: Tex-Mex at Mi Cocina and Vegan Food House in Bishop Arts District. Some of my favorite drinks spots include Parliament in Uptown & People’s Last Stand at Mockingbird Station. Most exciting and interesting places to visit in Dallas include Dallas Arboretum! Catch a vibe any time of year as well as The Balcony Club for authentic new & old school jazz/blues music!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I believe you are only as great as the people around you. I’m forever indebted to having an undeniable tribe of friends, family, & peers whose support could not be measured. I shoutout my friend Constance for selling my very first piece at a dinner party. I shoutout my dear friends Nakia & Lola for constantly pushing me to dream, think, and act bigger than my now. I shoutout a dear friend Kristina whose constant constructive criticism made me work harder to ensure I always put my best heART forward. I shoutout my parents for their lack of understanding for my love of art but their pride in my accomplishments and happiness on this journey. I shoutout my nieces for their admiration and accountability to maintain balance. I shoutout the love of my life Adrian for riding for A Gurl & Her Brush sometimes harder than I ride for it. To the countless clients and strangers aware of my growth as an artist and interested in my next. I promise not to disappoint! You all continue to raise the bar for my artistry and my business.
Facebook: A Gurl & Her Brush
Photo Credit: Denys Meaks Photography