Jill Harlan is the co-founder of “That’s What She Said,” a show at Krannert Center on July 19 that highlights women’s personal, unheard stories. The mission of the organization is simple: exchange stories. She is also the founder of the International Breast Milk Project, a non-profit organization that has provided over 75,000 bottles of safe donor human milk to infants in need in South Africa and around the world. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and was the named the ABC World News “Person of the Week” for her social entrepreneurism. Harlan is an honors graduate of Truman State University, where she played college soccer. She loves frozen Butterfingers, books that are really self help books but sound like something smarter, and the start-up phase of anything. Harlan lives in Champaign with her two girls, three dogs, and two cats.
See why we think Jill Harlan is a Chambana Mom to Know.
Q: For those who aren’t familiar, what is “That’s What She Said” and why are you putting together a second show in less than 12 months?
Harlan: Our goal is to have a show once a year in Champaign, where it all began. We sold out in one weekend in October last year, so we thought we give the summer a try.
Q: What was the genesis of “TWSS”?
Harlan: We started the show because we wanted to turn the spotlight on people that we found fascinating. We were inspired by TED + Saturday Night Live. And we thought, we can do that, right? I mean, why not? Doesn’t Champaign-Urbana need something like that? We wanted to create something that people would look forward to all year.
Q: You told me the essence of That’s What She Said is women exchanging stories. Why is this important to you?
Harlan: Listening to stories is how I learn about the world. I can’t process things in any other way. Stories help me absorb life.
Q: What can people expect who attend TWSS this year? (Want to attend? tickets are available through Krannert Center).
Harlan: People who attend the show can expect to use the tissues Christie Clinic will be providing to them and also to pee in their pants a little laughing.
Q: What have you learned about yourself through building this event and riding the wave of its success?
Harlan: I have learned how little I actually know about anything, including myself. I guess I don’t feel like I am riding a wave of success…Maybe more like doggie paddling to stay above water?
Q: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
Harlan: I can’t watch the end of movies 90 percent of the time. Last night I stopped Life of Pi with 30 minutes left because I was afraid the Tiger was going to die and I didn’t want to cry. I don’t want to see a sad ending. I feel it too deeply and it sticks with me for too long. I will be thinking about it for weeks and then probably start a Tiger rescue organization or something.
Q: What does an ideal summer day in C-U with your family look like?
Harlan: Ideal summer day would have a little bit of normal and a little bit of risk. Like yeah, I am going to not just go to the pool today, but maybe I will go off the diving board…or at least bet (She Said co-founder) Kerry Rossow and sit back and enjoy.
Chambanamoms.com is proud to be a sponsor of That’s What She Said. Tickets are available through Krannert Center.
Do you want to go to That’s What She Said for free? Nominate a local mom to be featured as a Chambana mom to know today by telling us WHY you think we should tell her story. Moms to Know featured in the next few weeks will receive complimentary tickets to That’s What She Said on July 19.