Lori Allen, star of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta,” shared how her Christian faith has played a role in both her professional and personal life and why she decided to write a book to encourage women to say yes to what’s next.
Allen’s book, Say Yes to What’s Next: How to Age with Elegance and Class While Never Losing Your Beauty and Sass, encourages readers to say yes to what God has planned next for them, regardless of their age. The 60-year-old TV star and owner of one of America’s biggest bridal shops, goes beyond the beauty and gowns to use her life and experiences to help others.
Allen is also a breast cancer survivor and recently experienced a devastating fall where she broke a number of bones while filming her hit reality series. She recently told The Christian Post that she wants the world, and women in particular, to know that while life gets hard and crazy, yielding to God and His leading can inspire anyone to do what they have in their hearts.
Say Yes to What’s Next, which will be released on Tuesday, will include a guide at the end of each chapter, titled, “What’s Next Girlfriend’s” and will feature tips on self-care, health, and wardrobe.
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian’s Post interview with Allen where she opens up about her faith, this season of her life, and why women of all ages have to move forward in life and say yes to what’s next.
CP: How has everything been for you and your bridal business during these times?
Allen: We were able to reopen on May 1, and during this time we’ve had to create our new normal, for the time being anyway. I think all of us are asking ourselves what is our new normal right now? We had all these guidelines we had to follow such as the sneeze screens around the desk. Everyone has to wear masks because we get a little closer to people than the 6 feet distance — you’re coming in and out of gowns, you’re putting veils on them. Shopping for bridal is very emotional, we touch people, we hug them, we’re sharing a journey with them.
It’s very difficult to do behind this little mask. All the employees wear them, all the customers wear them. We’re doing the temperature check when you walk in the door. But you know what? For the most part, people have been great about this because they understand that this is our normal right now. They understand that we’re trying to protect our employees. And I’m a breast cancer survivor, so I’ve really got a compromised immune system. So I have to be careful also. So we have to do a lot of crazy things right now that I never in a million years thought we would have to do.
CP: What a time to release the book. Nobody even knows what’s next, so it’s great that your book addresses one’s willingness to say yes to the process wherever it leads. Can you talk about your new book and what readers can expect?
Allen: I think the title is so appropriate for now because even though life is crazy, we all have to have our faith and our hope and our belief in God. We have to move forward and we have to say yes to what’s next. I just think it’s so important now.
Especially for women, this book is geared to women and women of all ages. Women that, just sit and reflect and think, “We’ve had all this time off. We’ve all been quarantined at home. Are we happy? Are we fulfilled? Are we giving so much that we’re just not getting anything back or taking time for ourselves? Do we have hope in our future? And do we love our lives?”
For years I have been guiding women, this is my 40th year in bridal, 40 years in December. I started right out of college and I’m actually a business major and I started a small store, which is actually right across the street from me now. I talked about how really nothing has been handed to me. I’m a very hard worker, and I give 110% to whatever I do. Now, do I have a passion for what I do? Absolutely. I don’t do it unless I want to do it and unless I love what I’m doing, and you’ve got to wake up every day and get up for your day with joy. I think we all need to look forward to our day, and to look forward to what’s next. So that kind of propelled me into the book.
CP: Women, in particular, do get caught up with being the caregivers and the nurtures. It’s not easy to always do what you’re passionate about because of the risk. Can you speak to that?
Allen: You have to follow your heart. I’m not saying go out and quit your job, but maybe start something on the side, explore other interests. You need to see what sings in your heart, what makes you happy. I see so many women, my daughter has young children, my daughter-in-law, they’re giving, giving, giving, and I’m like, “You need to take time for you because at the end of the day, you need to be happy. You’ll be a much better mother. You’ll be a much better employee and employer and a much better person, more caregiving if you’re happy with yourself.”
CP: Your book touches on faith and how to say yes to what God has next for you. Can you share your own faith journey and how that plays a role in the passion and the drive that you have?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law