Beauty and Fashion

365 Project, Day 355

Cleveland PhotographerNikon D7000, ISO 560, 85.0mm, f/8.0, 1/60 sec

With 10 days left in the year, and 10 days left in this project I thought I’d bring your attention once again to an incredible artisan, Red Strype of Ufilme Art, and his hand crafted jewelry.

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365 Project, Day 246

Cleveland PhotographerNikon D7000, ISO 100, 85.0mm, f/2.4, 1/60 sec

Old shoes, in many ways are like old friends.  Is there ever a good time, and a pleasant way to say “goodbye”?

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365 Project, Day 151

Nikon D7000, ISO100, 85.0mm, f/2.4, 1/90 sec

One of the benefits, (or drawbacks) of having a partner who’s a photog is that inevitably you’ll be asked to help with a concept.  Sometimes the photog’s significant other will be asked to assist behind the camera, other times in front.  It’s the in front of the camera that is demanding for most people, monumental for those who are camera shy.  That’s why one of the ultimate expressions of love and trust is to stand in front and say, “work your magic”!

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Elle Morris

Executive, mother and the new wave of volunteer
Elle Morris, a beauty inside and out

 

Volunteer, executive, mother and self admitted JUNKIE!  For most people this would be the recipe for disaster, or at least a Lifetime movie.  In this case the self admitted BEAUTY JUNKIE finds her “habit” has led her to her profession, passion and a multitude of benefits.

“Beauty is what I love and I love what I do.”  Elle states with ease of someone who just had a fix.

In reality the Vice President and General Manager of Beauty for LPK, Elle Morris is a straight-laced, teetotaler who’s only known vices are her love for beauty, fashion and 1980’s.  Together with Edward Richardson, her husband of more than 10 years they  raise their two children in a quiet bedroom community outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.  When not at home you can find Ms. Morris leading the Beauty Division of LPK, a company that has been described as “one of the largest and most influential branding agencies on the planet.”  If that weren’t enough, Elle serves on the Board of Directors for Elementz: The Hip Hop Youth Arts Center, and participates in the non-profits’ fundraising efforts.

“Really, it’s all a natural fit.  I love my family, I love my job and while I might look like a little white girl from Connecticut, I’ve been down with Hip Hop since it started back in the 80’s.” she says while giving me a look that she obviously saves for the highest level of dismissal.

Not from the Mayflower Society
Don't judge this book by it's cover

At first glance this Manhattan born, Fairfield, Connecticut raised Wheaton College educated woman looks like she would be more at home in a meeting of The Mayflower Society than a hip hop concert.  Her fair skin, red hair and green eyes are attractive but  hard to imagine in a sea of 1980’s B-Boys and Fly Girls.  As the old adage says, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, Elle is much more complex than she appears.

“My grandmother was from Cuba, (my mother’s mother).  My mother was raised internationally, her father was a diplomat, so I always had a curiosity about other cultures.  Anyone like me….. I had no interest in.”

Elle Morris become one of the leaders in beauty marketing
Elle always with an eye towards beauty

While in college the desire to learn about others motivated Elle to join the Union of Black Students primarily because there was no club for Latinas.  Later she became a founding member of the Latin American Students Organization, (LASO) but maintained a multi-ethnic circle of friends.  Together they went to step shows, were fans of the first wave of hip hop artist and frequented local concerts.

Elle’s multi-ethnic circle also shared a common interest in beauty, exchanging their different skin care and hair regimens.  Her desire to learn about other cultures ultimately became her profession, understanding women’s beauty needs and requirements.  She now regularly travels throughout, Brazil, China, Japan, India, Singapore, Europe and North America to further her understanding of the differences and similarities in being a woman in various cultures.  The acquisition and use of that knowledge is key to the marketing of beauty products in the varying regions around the world.

Stop pay attention and listen
Elle Introducing Yana Baby at an Elementz Showcase Event

Being the complex woman that she is, work and home alone will not satisfy Elle.  She has chosen to use her strategic marketing muscle  she’s developed over the years to give back to her community.  Her love of early hip hop music and culture brought her to Elementz: The Hip Hop Youth Arts Center in Cincinnati’s economically deprived Over-the-Rhine community. As a mother she also feels a heightened responsibility to reduce the racially divided Cincinnati, making it a positive place for her children to grow up.

“Younger people may not know that hip hop started as a positive movement and it has devolved over time.  What I love about Elementz is that it’s positive and goes back to the original culture of hip hop which is uplifting.  Elementz focuses on rebuilding the original message of hip hop.”

Elle’s pride in Elementz is strong and points out that through the music and culture that she shared with her circle friends and that started her down her professional path, is now making a difference to Cincinnati’s at risk youth.  If she had a magic wand she would wave it to make Elementz financially strong and independence so they could help more of the young people that need alternatives.  In the mean time she continues to flex her marketing muscle to further the good works of Elementz.

One of Elle favorite quotes is “Beauty is as Beauty does.” meaning that what someone does is the true gauge of how beautiful a person really is.  Elle is the complete embodiment of beauty.

The sky is the limit for Elle Morris
Mother, executive, hip hop volunteer
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