Tell us about yourself
My name is Taylor Morrison. I was born and raised in the Chicago area, went to Nashville for college, and moved back to Chicago to live in the city. I guess I'm attracted to cities with great food and even better people. I like to say that I live at the intersection of creative and analytic. My tendency is to flex my skillset to be what a group needs in the moment. If I were to some myself up, I'd say that I listen to an inordinate amount of podcasts each week. I'm OCD about certain things and could care less about others. My husband is graciously helping me become a neater person. And I find few things more energizing that talking to people about their dreams.
What do you do? What do you love about what you do?
Full-time, I'm the Vice President of Operations at a company called LulaFit. I love my work because I've basically gotten to create my dream job. It's part building relationships, part strategy, part building processes, and part doing whatever else comes up in a given day. No day is the same, and I need that.
Outside of LulaFit, I own a company called Jubilant, which is dedicated to helping people and organizations build brands worth celebrating. I like to look at brands really wholistically and work with clients to create an integrated brand experience that's tangible at every customer touchpoint. I love the work I do because I get to either a) help people make their dreams a reality or b) turn their dreams into something better than they could have imagined. I've a wide variety of clients across industries, and I really enjoy learning over the course of each project.
Who are some women that inspire you in your life and work?
So many! I'm surrounded by strong women. First of all, my mom. She has taught me to be both strong and soft and to get stuff done. I'm also really inspired by Zim Ugochukwu, the founder of Travel Noire, she's built an amazing company and company culture where people have space to do meaningful work as they simultaneously live a meaningful life. She lives with intention, which is something I am learning to do. I could spend the rest of the interview listing the women that inspire me.
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about living a life of meaning and creating space for others to do the same. That means they need to have rights and be treated with dignity. I'm passionate about radical mercy and true justice.
What's the best advice you've received?
My aunt told me that hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. That advice has never left me. I am the first to say that I'm not the most talented a lot of things, but I'm always pushing myself to work harder.
What is your advice girls and women everywhere?
You are enough. You are qualified enough. You are beautiful enough. You are interesting enough. Stop doubting and start going after what you want.
Are there challenges you've faced specifically because you're a woman / woman of colour? If so how did you overcome them?
I've spent most of my life in predominantly white communities, and, for a long time, I felt like I wasn't beautiful. I didn't fit the standards of beauty that I was surrounded with at school and the media. I wanted to wear a lot of makeup and lose my curves and wear a weave to better fit the mold. Over time, I started embracing my natural beauty. That's when I started to really love what I look like. I want more women of color to know that they don't need to change themselves in order to be beautiful.
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
I'm trying to be more open to where life takes me, so I haven't set any hard and fast goals. In five years, I'd like to be more of the person I was created to be. That probably means that I'll be writing more frequently and on the path to doing my side projects on a more full-time basis.
How do the results of the US election affect you?
Election season was really emotional. I wrote a piece on the Forth Chicago website that I'm really proud of. It sums up my thoughts better than I could here.
After the US election, what do you want to emphasise and focus on?
Since the election, I've been weary. I think it's important for people of color to give themselves space to practice self-care. I also think it's important to find your space to create change. For me, it's through writing and through conversation. We as Americans have a lot of work to do if we really want a country where people are free.
Taylor Morrision is the Vice President of Operations at Lulafit, and the owner of Jubilant, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations build brands worth celebrating. You can follow along on instagram @taylorelysemorrison