Carliana Harris is the epitome of hard work, determination and resilience. She moved to the US with her mother and four siblings from Puerto Rico to establish a new life. Times were not always easy, but Carliana overcame any and all obstacles to make sure that her dreams came true. Now a content coordinator for CNN, this mom of two is a trailblazer who is breaking molds, inspiring Hispanic women to go after their dreams. Read on to learn more about this boss strong babe, continuing the legacy her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother set forth.
You have such an interesting background. Please share with us a little bit about you.
It's safe to say that my background is quite interesting. In many ways, I am like all the strong women in my family who came before me. Their legacy lives on in me. This legacy is one of empathy, hard work, determination, and being an absolute badass. I was born and raised in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. After my mother suffered domestic violence, she moved my four siblings and me to the United States. We had many challenging days because we didn't know the language or culture here, but those challenges helped us become stronger and more resilient. According to statistics, around 20% of Hispanic children in Georgia do not escape poverty. I was not “supposed” to be where I am today based on those ratios, but little did the world know I was here to break molds. When I realized that I was not a product of my circumstances, but a product of my decisions. I began to explore what it was that I wanted. After a deep postpartum depression with my first child that lasted about 4 years, I made sure to get myself back. I returned to college at the age of 27 and became more involved in my community. All of that led me to obtain a job with a local Hispanic media, “Se Habla Espanol en Jax”. I became the first Hispanic sideline reporter for TICO Sports, covering the Jaguars. I have created several women empowerment events for the Latina community, including expos, networking events, galas, and workshops. Here I am. It was time for me to leave Jacksonville, FL for bigger dreams in Atlanta, GA. Currently, I work as a content coordinator for CNN. CNN was always a dream for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect this country Puerto Rican girl to reach this height and I’m still climbing.
Being a mom to two, how do you find the balance between work and family?
I get this question a lot and let me start by saying that the process is a hard one. Not an impossible one, but a hard one. I have an almost 13-year-old son and a 6-year-old diva. Finding that balance was very difficult at first. It was very overwhelming. Establishing boundaries between my work and home life was something I had to establish. As a mother, I ensure that nothing gets in the way of my family life and my mental health, since if I am not well, neither are my children.
To date, what would you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Despite how cliche it sounds, my children are my greatest accomplishments. Knowing that I'm raising two amazing human beings who will move mountains, I know that their future will be brighter. My children are my small contribution to leaving the world a better place.
What is the one piece of advice/lesson you hope to instill in your kids?
The task of raising children in this generation is so challenging. My children need to remember that they are capable of anything they put their minds to. They are whatever they believe themselves to be. There is no dream too big or too small, their mom is a product of that.
What is one fact that most wouldn’t know about you?
I hate to admit it, but my guilty pleasure is reality TV.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?
There are several things I enjoy doing when I'm not at work. My favorite is trying new gastronomy and wine tasting. I have given myself the title of gastronomist, and oenophile. I also enjoy hiking and spending time with my kiddos making memories.
How would you describe your personal style?
Fashion is so much fun. Wearing garments that express who I am and how I feel every day is important to me. My personal style combines elegant chic with sexiness. It's so first lady-ish, but with a little peek-a-boo. My style always creates some eye traffic.
Who’s your celebrity-style crush?
I’m in love with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Her minimalist style always appears sophisticated yet sexy. There is something beautiful about effortless beauty that I appreciate.
What’s your go-to outfit when you’re pressed for time?
It doesn't take me long to put on a jumpsuit. Their versatility makes them very useful. Whether I'm wearing cute heels or comfy sneakers, I can dress them up or down.
What’s your fashion or beauty indulgence?
Skincare products are kind of my obsession. Anything that makes my face look youthful and fresh, I will purchase. I’m really into rose hip oil these days.
Which shoe brand and style do you love most?
As someone who has worn high heels since the age of fifteen, I've had the opportunity to wear some pretty amazing shoes over the years. I now focus a lot on comfort and Christian Siriano heels are very comfortable, but they are also very stylish, which is very important for us working women.
What is it that you like about Protect My Shoes?
Taking care of our most precious shoes has never been easier with Protect My Shoes. Their practicality is matched by their stylishness. Fashion meets function with these stuffers.
What’s your dream travel destination?
There are so many places to explore, but I would like to visit Ireland. Their landscapes have been described as beautiful in books and articles I've read. Fairytale-like.
Which cocktail best describes you?
I am definitely a margarita. Sweet and adventurous. =)
If you could have dinner with three special guests, who would they be?
My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The most mighty ladies I know.
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