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Meet Kareth Harley of Poise Ann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kareth Harley.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After graduating from Howard University, I was offered my first full-time position in corporate America and soon realized that the transition from college student to working professional would not only require a change in social environment but a shift in wardrobe as well. After scouring endless stores and sites, I couldn’t find anything that would inspire my inner “Olivia Pope” at work without having me look like one of the “Golden Girls” at happy hour.

As the weeks carried on and I acclimated to my new lifestyle, I realized I was not the only one in the “power-suit” rut.

My friends and I would make plans, hoping to revive ourselves after a long day of work; however, none of us wanted to be seen out and about with our peers in the same dull clothing that we had worn for work. We wanted to feel confident. We wanted to feel powerful. We wanted to be able to go from work to social events feeling on the outside like the gladiators we felt we were on the inside was that too much to ask?

I didn’t think it was.

I instantly saw the need for apparel that can transition us from professional to social scenes. I began to research the industry, plan, and save. I accepted this was a new field for me, so I let the world become my classroom and with every observation, every encounter, I was able to create something that I am extremely passionate about. Because of this genuine passion and subsequent intention and purpose in what I’m creating, Poise Ann has been steadily growing into a brand that I’m truly proud of.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, but I learned quickly it’s not the end of the road unless you fail to make a turn. After I launched Poise Ann in August 2018, I had a timeline of things I wanted to see come to fruition by the end year. I noticed I consistently gave myself unrealistic goals, didn’t equip myself with enough resources to meet these goals nor did I give myself enough credit for the goals that were accomplished. From this, I’ve learned to let go of deadlines and to not act out of compulsiveness. By doing this, I was able to come out of a place of fear, doubt, and anxiety and make decisions and learn rooted in faith, confidence, and balance. Although I organize and prepare, life presents me with opportunities that are best for me in a given moment. I receive and accept it. I’m enjoying the process and give myself gratitude along the way.

The best piece of advice I’ve received is “entrepreneurship is the best personal development”. To me, this means, my business is a reflection of me. When things are misaligned in my personal life, it’s bound to show up in my business. I had to develop my own rhythm including being organized, making health a priority, surrounding myself with positive-thinking people, managing finances, and setting boundaries. This hasn’t been a smooth journey but when chaos comes – as it always does – I understand how to get back into my own rhythm.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Poise Ann is an online clothing store for young women professionals, creatives, and entrepreneurs that enables us to transition our purpose from work to social scenes. Poise Ann was inspired by the concept of having inner our purpose come through everything we do and being true to every moment of life. Often times people get stuck in a 9-5 mindset and that’s dangerous to our innate talents. We should be fashionably available for every opportunity that presents itself. I wanted to create a clothing store so we can be prepared to create our own realities.

Many clothing stores are disconnected with what young women want to wear to work and the evolving industries that we’re in. When I select clothes for Poise Ann, I keep in mind a varying professional range. I think of the entrepreneurs, media personalities, consultants, teachers, lawyers, makeup artists, etc.

Since Poise Ann launched in August 2018, we’ve already done pop-ups in the Shops at Buckhead and Westside Provisions here in Atlanta. Those were goals I was only hoping of long term but this confirms that when I genuinely show up without expecting reward, opportunities will always present themselves.

What were you like growing up?
As a child, I was a combination of several things but the first thing that comes to mind is very imaginative. I was always keeping myself busy with the outdoors, books, friends, and activities. I was never bored. It was never a burden to ask me to go anywhere or do anything. I was full of excitement even for the smallest, most routine thing. I was somewhat a nerd. I was fascinated with every subject and consistently on honor roll. However, I had balance because I loved the arts. I painted, played the piano, and took acting classes which is funny looking back because I come off reserved to people I first met.

Because of these things, I’m very adaptable to different environments which introduced me to friends from all walks of life and opportunities of a lifetime. This is something I admire about myself the most. I started playing soccer in elementary school. This made me value a team mentality and is present in how I carry myself today. Life is more fulfilling when we support each other along the way and I’m thankful for everyone I’ve met along my journey.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photographer (Personal Photo): Amber Dudley @amberxregina; Photographer (Remaining Photos): Kaye McCoy @cookayemonster

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