Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 15

COURTESY LORI ALLEN

ANDY BAXTER PHOTOGRAPHY

She had breast cancer. Initially, she
" Say Yes to What's Next: How to Age
planned to keep the news and the treatwith Elegance and Class While Never Losment to herself. However, she soon
ing Your Beauty and Sass! " hit bookstores
realized that making it public could have
last July. Allen says she is very proud of the
a positive impact on others. TLC filmed
result.
Allen throughout her cancer battle, air " I cried many tears telling my stories, "
ing " Say Yes to the Cure: Lori's Fight "
she says. " It was very difficult, and I was
that October. After undergoing a double
surprised at how long it takes to do it. I
mastectomy and treatments, Allen is now
made sure it was motivational and it was
cancer-free.
in my voice. "
" I was surprised [at how tough I was]
To her surprise, Allen says her breast
because I'm a big weenie, " she says. " And I
cancer fight was the hardest story to share.
decided I wasn't going to talk about this all
" I've told it hundreds of times, " she
the time because many women go through
says. " But to see it on paper and get down
it every day. But I knew I had to share my
to the nitty-gritty of it? Kay was crying,
Lori Allen relaxes at home with her dog,
Chloe.
story, and it's inspired so many women. It
Mollie was crying, I was crying; we were
also has shown me how strong my faith is.
just a hot mess when we got to the end of
I really do think how strong my faith is got me through this. "
that chapter. "
In April 2019, Allen faced yet another challenge. During
Robin Gibbs, bridal manager at Bridals by Lori, says the
filming of " Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, " she slipped on the
book showcases who Allen is.
fabric of a wedding dress train and fell, leaving her with a
" I have never met someone who is more positive than Lori, "
broken nose, two broken wrists, two cracked ribs, a concussion
Gibbs says. " No matter what is going on in the world or in her
and two black eyes.
life, she is always smiling. She always finds the positive in the
After surgery on her nose and right wrist, which now consmallest things. She will never let you sulk in your pity parties;
tains nine pins and a metal plate, she is mostly recovered. Her
that's what I also love about her. "
wrists remain sore, but she doesn't let it bother her.
Through all of Allen's trials, co-star Durham says he had no
" I'm thankful to be here. It really humbles you when you
doubt she would come out on the other side with a smile.
have two broken wrists, " she says.
Allen's positive outlook took root early on. Born in
Not long after her birthday, Allen took on the challenge to
Chattanooga, Tenn., and raised in Fairfield, Ohio, she always
inspire and motivate women age 50 and older. Remember how
knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. Inspired by stories
she got mad when folks started asking her about retiring? She
about her aunt, June Cottingham, who owned three bridal
didn't take it sitting down.
stores in Birmingham, Ala., Allen says she " was just drawn to it. "
" I called [my daughter] Mollie and told her I wanted to
In December 1980-just two weeks after graduating from
write a book to inspire women over 50 to not give up, to live this
Columbia College in Columbia, S.C.-she opened Bridals by
life, " she says. " I want to start a movement for women over 50 to
Lori in a 1,000-square-foot space across from the store's current
inspire them to at least think about the next years of their life. "
25,000-square-foot, three-story location in Sandy Springs.
Allen and her daughter spent three days knocking out
" I get a real rush in helping a bride find the single most
chapter outlines and the book's first chapter. After she submitimportant garment she will ever wear, " Allen says. " There is a
ted the manuscript to her agent, it quickly sold to a publisher,
real connection with a gown, and you cannot just make this
and writer Kay Diehl was brought in to complete the book
connection occur. When [the bride] finds 'the one,' she will
with Allen.
stand taller, tilt her head and usually cry. We are truly making
" It all fell into place ... I
magic happen. "
wanted to [cover] things that
That magic continues as
women don't sit around and
Allen adjusts to running her
discuss, like [how] our parents
business during a pandemic.
are aging and how difficult it
Although filming for " Say Yes "
is, " she says.
is on hold, Allen isn't lacking for things to do. She has
learned to take more time for
herself by exercising, reading
Lori Allen, center, was diagnosed
devotionals and spending
with breast cancer nine years
time with her family and
ago and underwent a double
beloved dog, Chloe.
mastectomy and treatments; she
" I get up thankful I'm still
is now cancer-free. She recounthere, "
she says.
ed her medical journey in the
Karon
Warren is a freeTLC special " Say Yes to the Cure:
Lori's Fight " and in her book.
lance writer from Ellijay.
www.georgiamagazine.org

15


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Georgia Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - February 2021

Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 4
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 5
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 6
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 7
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 8
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 9
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 10
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 11
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 12
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 13
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 14
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 15
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 16
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 17
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 18
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 19
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 20
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 21
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 22
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 23
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 24
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 25
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 26
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 27
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 28
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 29
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 30
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 31
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 32
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 33
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 34
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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