A Day in the Life of Lenna Turner, Owner of TopHalf Boutique and Opera Singer with the Atlanta Opera Chorus
SFL: What was your thought process as you opened the TopHalf Boutique?
I was at that place where you start to think to yourself, “How am I making a difference? How do I want to spend my time? How can I give back?” I decided that my love of fashion, style and the arts, my experience in business and my desire to empower, uplift and support women and girls initiatives was how I wanted to spend my time and TopHalf was born.
SFL: How did you get into opera?
I was in the beginning of a divorce and I wanted to concentrate on being a better me. I moved into town, got a trainer and started on a path that included being healthy and fit. I was doing pretty well in my corporate job and moved downtown to the snazzy Georgian Terrace before it turned to a hotel! But I love, love, love music! Ask anybody who knows me and they will say the same. I called the Atlanta Opera (just cold called) and told them I was looking for a voice teacher. They gave me several recommendations. I visited the studio of Sandra Crawford and started studying with her. I credit her to this day with getting me on the path to classical and operatic music, along with my last voice teacher, Betty Colson, who was an incredibly talented and all around wonderful person. I wanted to sing more of this music so Sandra invited me to come sing in the choir at her church. The Choirmaster was the infamous Walter Huff, who was at the time Associate Conductor of Atlanta Opera and chorus master for the Atlanta Opera Chorus.
After I started voice lessons and coachings, I was invited to sing my first major work (Mozart’s Requiem) with the Atlanta Opera Chorus and was totally in love with the art form. I was so fascinated and mortified at the same time to be around all of these talented people. I literally thought I was going to pass out at rehearsal, but I persevered! Over the last 15 years, I’ve always worked my corporate job by day and opera and choir rehearsals by night and weekends. The love of one fuels the energy for the other and the pay from one allows me to sustain and get training for the other—LOL!
Lenna Turner’s Typical Day in October of This Year
Building TopHalf and studying for her first German Opera “The Flying Dutchman”
+ Wake up. Check online store for orders to fill; check with current vendors and manufacturers on new and best seller items, reorder items that are selling well and almost out. Wait for California vendors to wake up and get in the store because of the time difference.
+ Put on the recording of “Dutchman” in my ear while at the computer. At lunch, look at German words and repeat, repeat, repeat.
+ Follow up and final place for holiday trunk show, calls, site visits etc.
+ Work on email/marketing design for THB Holiday Trunk Show
+ Tag new items with price tags and log merchandise into Store app
+ Call accountant
+ Listen to more German
+ End of day post office run (I’m the owner, marketing manager and head of inventory and distribution, etc.)
+ German/Dutchman CD in the car
+ After about 5 p.m., grab something to eat
+ Head to opera chorus rehearsal or show (if opera has opened; Dutchman ran Nov 3-12) 7:00 – 10:00/11:00
+ Home end of day/night 12:00 or 1:00 a.m., wind down…headphones on in bed practice on opera chorus material (in this case, the German; it was hard)
+ Great opening night!
+ Great Holiday Trunk Show!
+ As of December, a new contract assignment: Compensation Project Manager. I’m still a budding entrepreneur and multiple streams of income feels good! LOL!
About the Owner
TopHalf Boutique was started by Lenna Turner in 2016. With over 20 years in Corporate America in various roles from analyst to VP to Sr Consultant, 15 years in fashion and arts as a model, classical singer/musician and lover of fashion, she decided to blend her corporate/business and artistic experience with her desire and passion for style and fashion. Visit TopHalfBoutique.com for more information.