Owner, J Street Vintage
This year, Jefferson City Magazine recognizes 10 Ones To Watch—a group of up-and-comers who are not only high-character individuals, but who also have achieved things that have bettered the community. This group inspires through faith, drive, and dedication, and they have shown effective leadership in both their professional and personal involvements.
For Lizzie Lou Harlan, owning a local business is about a lot more than generating a return on investment — it’s about meeting people where they are, giving, and loving.
I’m a dream too big, dress too crazy, kind of girl. I want to inspire people to learn their worth and be the individual that God created them to be. Since buying J Street Vintage, I’ve fallen in love with the south side. There are many low-income families that are truly rich with love. I’ve since joined the Old Munichburg Association and love to dream big with the others who want to see our community thrive. There’s been a rollercoaster of changes in my life. It’s forced me to slow down and assess. Good times can happen without any planning or pressure. I adopted my kids 11 years ago. If I can raise them to be better because of the challenges they faced, I have reached the ultimate success. My store’s annual sales or my net worth don’t matter if I don’t have a family to enjoy it with.
I AM MOST GRATEFUL FOR…my faith! I have a testimony as big as Texas. Saved by grace through faith in a way that isn’t explainable any other way.
I’d interview my grandma Betty. I miss her every day. I would ask her to tell me the stories again of my favorite childhood memories.
BIGGEST SOCIETAL CHALLENGE:
There’s a systematic oppression that is impossible to escape without help. If we all did a little extra to combat issues of poverty, we could change the trajectory of many lives. Take the time to learn their name and hear their story. Remind them they are loved and that there is hope.
HOW TO OVERCOME CHALLENGE:
When I have to overcome something, I listen. One moment in particular really changed my mindset. We keep a food supplies box on the porch of my shop. It’s filled with everything from ChapStick to granola bars, depending on sales or what is donated. One day, someone new came and left quickly multiple times over a week. He never took anything, so I finally stepped out and assured him he could take whatever he wanted. He frowned and said there isn’t anything he can eat, giving me a huge toothless grin. He can only eat soft foods. It crushed me, but I hadn’t had the ears to hear the need. For a few dollars, he had all the beanie weenies and pudding cups he could carry. Pursuing, listening, and learning is the only way to achieve anything. It changed my outlook to always make the time to meet people where they are and learn how to help rather than being content with a blanket fix.
ON LIFE MOTTOS
I recently got a tattoo of my dad’s dinner time motto, “say when,” as he poured our milk or scooped our supper. It reminds me it’s okay to “say when” when I’m full and need to refill myself fi rst.
My mom is my greatest mentor. She’s never given up on me and amazes me with love and generosity. She gives 110% in everything she does. She’s faced adversity and when I was young, she made decisions to better our life. She also still makes me a Christmas stocking. Love you, mom!
DEFINITION OF COMMUNITY
Community is when a family pet is missing and the neighborhood searches the streets, the lost post goes viral, and we all pray to help unite them within the hour. Community is what happened here after the devastating tornado. It’s when everyone goes shopping to help a family who just took in children. A community that grows together, stays together!
MOST PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON
Most people have the desire to be good and help. We’re born with a good heart.
LEAVING A LEGACY
It’s always fun when kids visit my store. I want to be the one remembered for having a fun store over the decades and into the next generation. I want to leave a legacy of giving even when it hurt and loving even when it was hard. I want my family to remember who we are and how much we’ve overcome together.
SECRET HIDDEN TALENT
Creating a meal with random, useless ingredients.
FAVORITE THING TO DOIN YOUR FREE TIME
Board games, gardening, thrifting, and refinishing furniture