Style, Love and the Intentional Pursuit of Happiness
With dark brunette hair and glistening wide eyes, Laurie Graham King is strikingly beautiful, and unapologetically “living her best life” as the viral saying now goes. A woman of strength and intention, her inner confidence is one that’s just as alluring as it is inviting, and one of the many underlying currents for her multiple waves of success.
Ask anyone from her prior Plano days whether the now celebrated stylist had fashion written in her future, and the answer – surprisingly — would have been no. “If you would have seen a picture of me graduating high school and said, ‘This girl is going to be your future stylist’, everyone would have said that she’s not going to make five steps that way in her life – that’s crazy,” Laurie says.
Crazy is surely the new black, as the Texas native scaled new heights to chat fashion on national television, style celebrity red carpet appearances, consult with top designers, and make a difference in hundreds of people’s lives.
Notwithstanding any of her dazzling achievements, Laurie has a big heart, with an even larger closet, an incredibly fresh marriage, with dreams and a future as big as Texas.
You graduated with a Broadcast News degree from the University of Texas (go Longhorns!) and eventually left Corporate America to start your own styling business for professional men and women. Tell me about your entrance into the world of fashion.
“One of the things that I noticed in Corporate America was the impact that your image has on the way that people perceive you and your ability to close board deals, to get a job, and to also have an advantage in dating, the workplace or life in general. The essence of what I do is to help people with self-love, and it just so happens to be through the vehicle of fashion. However many crows feet I have – that’s how many clients I’ve had! I’ve worked with every single body type you can imagine from schoolteachers who have saved up their money for a styling session to CEO’s to celebrities. The fun of all of this is really giving people permission to shine their light brightly.”
You’ve been in the game 15 years, with 11 of those years in Los Angeles as a highly sought after fashion guru. What’s been the most gratifying experience of this journey so far?
“The things that have had the biggest impact on me are the people and the individual experiences that I have with them. But one in particular was a woman in L.A. who had taken my brochure and put it on her vision board. She said that after she was 12 months sober, that she was going to reward herself by calling me for a fashion makeover. She had recently gone through a divorce, and one of the reasons for the divorce was because she was drinking too much. She did a whole resurgence and a year later she hired me and showed me my brochure and just cried. It was a really heartfelt moment.”
And also heartfelt would be meeting your husband of two years, Chris King, along the way. How did you two meet?
“Everything I do in life is intentional. After 11 years in Los Angeles, with no personal life, working seven days a week, owning my own home, having my own car, and with a long client list, I wanted to scale back and share life with someone. Nobody goes to their grave getting an award or patting themselves on the back dying lonely saying ‘I have more clients than anybody.’ I had a seed planted in my heart that ‘Oh my God, I think my husband is back in Dallas. So I moved back to Dallas and it took a whole year to transfer and to get more clients. I went on Match.com and my husband Chris was my second date. I still hadn’t even unpacked my moving boxes yet and he told me on our first date that this was going to be my last first kiss and by God, he held true to his promise.”
Is it everything you could have hoped it could be?
Totally. On January 1, 2014, I was in Aspen. I went to the top of Ajax Mountain on the gondola in blue jeans and a sweater and I sat down with a journal. I wrote down the kind of man that I wanted. I didn’t care about height or eye color. My definition of sexy was someone who had integrity, who was monogamy-minded, who thinks that being in a relationship and being married is more freeing in life, and that the partnership will elevate him to a higher plane of success and happiness. I specifically said that I particularly wanted to be with a man who had already been married and is divorced, because he knows exactly what it takes to be in a marriage; and preferably he already has children because you can tell a lot about a man by the kind of dad he is. I got the exact man that I dreamed of in Chris.
Now you’re a stepmom to two teenage daughters and living in Frisco. Is there really time for anything else?
I love being in Frisco. My favorite thing about Frisco is the suburban sense of community, and now that we have the Dallas Cowboys headquarters in Frisco and FedEx and Toyota — there’s so much more commerce, and now we’ve got all the retail and restaurants to go to at The Star. There are healthy food options and upscale places to go and better hotels so it’s really an exciting time. We don’t have to go south of 635 anymore.
And besides your obvious need for shopping and retail, you also take pride in giving back to the Frisco community as well.
“This will be my third year helping with Friscovania. This event is another perfect example of how the people of Frisco and the residents of Dallas come together. It’s the largest family-friendly Halloween event in Dallas being held on October 27th at Toyota Stadium, and 100% of the proceeds this year goes to the Boys and Girls Club of Collin County. The entire event has something for everybody — face painting, games, a haunted carnival, a costume contest, and a virtual reality section that will now be in the new National Soccer Hall of Fame area this year at the stadium.
And there’s a really killer, wicked fashion show. I’ve been to fashion week about 10 times in my life and I’ve seen every single top designer. Hands down without hesitation, the Friscovania fashion show is the most impressive one I’ve ever seen. I’m like a 12-year-old little girl when I watch it. I just sit there with my eyes wide open, clapping up and down – it is so impressive. I don’t know how they do it.
From fashion to marriage to Frisco to philanthropy, what’s next for you in the future?
“Definitely more television. I really enjoy taking all of the research and all of the experience from working with so many people in fashion and in lifestyle. I want a platform where I can reach a larger audience and really empower them to become a better version of themselves.”