It’s no secret 2020 has been a year filled with challenges and hardship, but even during difficult times, special and meaningful moments still come about. With so much negativity these days, we’re choosing to focus on the good. We followed up with women featured as 2020 FACES to see what moments they cherished most this year. Here’s what they had to say!

Country singer Tiera shares her 2020 positive moment

“2020 has honestly been a highlight year for me. I signed my first publishing deal, started hosting my own radio show on Apple Music Country, released new music and got engaged! I’m so blessed to have been able to experience all of these amazing things in the midst of the craziness of 2020.” — Country music singer Tiera | Image: Kam Studios

Katherine Mason of Sculpthouse shares her 2020 positive moment

“My favorite thing about 2020 has been witnessing the endless opportunity with e-commerce. When we were forced to shut down our brick-and-mortar locations in March, we pivoted to offer our customers an online shopping experience with our athleisure selection, and it has been such a huge and wonderful opportunity for growth. It is so exciting to see orders coming in from all over the country and to see that our brand has no boundaries online.” — Katherine Mason of SculptHouse | Image: CatMax Photography

Rachel Richards, author of Money Honey

“Ever since my husband and I met, we’ve talked about moving out West. We love mountains, hiking and the outdoors. So my favorite memory of 2020 was being in a position to finally make that dream come true. My early retirement (age 27) has given us the freedom and flexibility to follow our dreams. We finally did it: We moved from Kentucky to Colorado … in the middle of a pandemic! We are so grateful for our new home and that we get to hike all the mountains.” — Author Rachel Richards | Image: Gretchen Bell Photography

Human trafficking survivor, Lexie Smith

“In 2020, I am grateful for the choice to choose my responses, and by doing so, I always have more power and control over my circumstances than I think or feel.” — Human trafficking survivor, Lexie Smith | Image: Leila Grossman

Laura Lea Bryant of LL Balanced shares her 2020 positive moment

“My favorite positive moment of 2020 was the day I launched the Simply Balanced Meal Plans. I created them to help people who struggle to feed their families affordable, accessible and nutritious food. Seeing how the plans truly fill a need and save members’ time, money and mental energy (the most precious commodity of all) gave me an incredible sense of hope and purpose.” — Laura Lea Bryant of LL Balanced | Image: Leila Grossman

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Claire Brandon of Delta Vintage

“Despite this year being one of our toughest to date, there have been many rich moments in 2020, all of which are centered around close relationships. I’ve been lucky to have a safe, comfortable home to quarantine in with friends and family. Having your best friend move into your childhood home with you for a month before life moves on feels like lightning in a bottle in your late 20s. My creative partner from New York came home to Nashville as well, and we’ve been able to bring a few different ideas to life, which has provided a semblance of fulfillment. And, think what you will, but living with my parents and allowing them to get to know me as an adult human has been an absolute gift. I was traveling for two years leading up to quarantine, and although the transition to being anchored somewhere was a challenge at first, I’ve grown continually thankful that this city and its people made me stay put.” — Claire Brandon of Delta Vintage | Image: Leila Grossman

Vanderbilt Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee shares her 2020 positive moment

“While being named the athletic director for my alma mater was the most incredible moment, the most special part of that was attending Vanderbilt’s first athletic event of the fall season in this role. The trials and tribulations of navigating through this pandemic were all worth it to give our student-athletes the opportunity to compete, and watching them do what they love was a great feeling.” — Vanderbilt Athletic Director, Candice Storey Lee | Image: Leila Grossman

Emily McCarthy of Emily McCarthy & Co.

“My most memorable moment of 2020 [was] watching my amazing team work through a pandemic, come out of everything with soaring colors, and manage to increase sales and meet goals. It really showed me that we can do anything we set our minds to with the right attitude and positive outlook to defy the odds and make it happen. We refused to let things keep us down and made it our mission to find joy and drive in the uncertainty of this year. We launched our clothing line in retailers nationwide and have been very blessed to watch them embrace the new collections as much as we had hoped.” — Emily McCarthy of Emily McCarthy & Co. | Image: Kelli Boyd

Liz Eichholz and Lindsey Johnson of Weezie Towels share their 2020 positive moments

Liz: “2020 brought us two exciting birthdays worth celebrating! My family added a second girl to our girl gang (my second daughter, Eadie). At the same time, my other baby, Weezie, had its second anniversary — and we were blown away by the customer response to our birthday sale!”
Lindsey: “Despite its fair share of uncertainty and challenges, the past year has been one of growth, both personally and professionally. My husband and I welcomed our first daughter in March, and we were also fortunate enough to grow our Weezie fam to over 30 employees, all of whom have provided incredible support for our growing business over the past year.” — Liz Eichholz (left) and Lindsey Johnson (right) of Weezie Towels | Image: Weezie Towels

Nashville artist Chloe Tyler

“2020 … what a CRAZY YEAR! As an artist, I have to say that having to quarantine throughout 2020 was exactly what I needed. Being asked to stay at home and entertain yourself? No problem! I have spent my days in quarantine painting, drawing, tinkering and keeping my hands busy. In fact, I haven’t gone a single day in 2020 without picking up a pencil or a paintbrush. So, despite all of the chaos this year has brought, I have had a lovely time focusing on my craft and building my skills as an artist. And I hope everyone reading this has found something in 2020 that makes them feel fulfilled, too!” — Artist Chloe Tyler | Image: Leila Grossman

Marci Claude of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors’ Bureau

“My most memorable moment is not just a single moment but a collection of bright spots found throughout the year. Moments of normalcy like hiking in the Smokies with family and friends, loving on my grown-up kids and grandbaby, going to the hairdresser, seeing my co-workers upon return from furlough, and most recently, attending The Nutcracker with my mother, sisters and nieces. Moments wrapped in love and gratitude.” — Marci Claude of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors’ Bureau | Image: Contrastphoto by Genelda

Carolyn Greene and Jennifer Cope of Dorm Decor share their 2020 positive moments

Carolyn: “One thing I would not trade about 2020 is having all of my children home. I had one [who] was a senior in college and two out in the workforce. They all were home for two months for the first time in five or six years. We laughed often and realized how lucky we are to have been given this extra time together!”
Jennifer: “Early in the quarantine, 25 of my best college friends from all over the country started a weekly Zoom hour, ‘Quarantine Cocktails.’ Although we aren’t still holding a weekly remote gathering, the text thread has stayed active. It’s been so fun to reconnect, and the frequent posts have provided a constant source of amusement.” — Carolyn Greene (left) and Jennifer Cope (right) of Dorm Decor | Image: Catherine Greene

Artist Gina Hurry

“My favorite memories of 2020 have been made at home with our family and closest friends. I’d have to say I’ll always treasure the unexpected slow days and long conversations and meals together. Professionally, I’m super proud of an unexpected book project, The Beloved City, an invitation to engage the holy imagination. The book was birthed in this quiet year based on the mystery of faith in the messy, creative process of our lives and is flooded with images of dropcloths and the mess of my studio paired with promises of future hope. The messy process is beautiful. Life is hard, and I think hope is needed now more than ever.” — Artist Gina Hurry | Image: Sarah York

Rosilyn Houston of BBVA

“2020 has been an unimaginable year filled with uncertainty, anxiety, fear and even unrest. Through it all, my favorite moment this year was when my big sister called … to share the news that the results of her surgery revealed that they removed all of the cancer, and that her prognosis was excellent for a bright and healthy future from the dreadful breast cancer diagnosis!” — Rosilyn Houston of BBVA | Image: Submitted

Erika Thompson of Texas Beeworks shares her 2020 positive moment

“My favorite memory from 2020 was getting married to my best friend. We postponed our April wedding due to the pandemic, adapted to changes in plans and got married in October under a 100-year-old pecan tree on the bank of the Colorado River at our home. Everything was perfect — there was even a wild hive of bees in a log across from the tree. It was the happiest day of my life.” — Erika Thompson of Texas Beeworks | Image: Amanda Jewell Saunders

Master bourbon taster Peggy Noe Stevens shares her 2020 positive moment

“Pre-COVID shutdown, I was fortunate to be in New York and was inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame for the spirits industry. It was an incredible experience and one that I will treasure. Also, my book launched in 2020 called Which Fork Do I Use With My Bourbon?. A true silver lining in 2020!” — Master bourbon taster Peggy Noe Stevens | Image: Jolea Brown

Author and photographer Alyssa Rosenheck

“Every year comes with a few memorable moments for me; however, 2020 has been world- (and life-) changing. The highlight for me was bringing my book, The New Southern Style, into the world this year. Was it easy with a pandemic raging and racial tensions roaring? No, it was very difficult. However, I did it with grit, determination and great meaning, which made it worth it. Also, witnessing the first Madam Vice President elected into office brings a sense of hope as a woman in this country who continues to dream. Representation matters, and we matter.” — Author and photographer Alyssa Rosenheck | Image: Alyssa Rosenheck

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Megan Pinckney of Shades of Pinck

“[My] highlight of 2020 was definitely marrying the man of the dreams! Though the celebration looked completely different than I’d always imagined it would, it was a day full of love, and in many ways was better than I could have ever dreamed!” — Megan Pinckney of Shades of Pinck | Image: Lauren Jones

Lynne Tolley of Jack Daniel's

“My favorite positive and most special moment of 2020 was opening a box in the attic that turned out to be a treasure chest full of things I had never seen before. It was a collection of things that were important to my mother, who died at 98 years old in 2015. There was her baby book from 1917 with precious photos of her as a baby, the elementary school report cards for my brother and me, a daily journal of a family road trip in 1957 to New York written by Mother and Daddy (whoever was not driving wrote about the sights and stops we were making), a war ration book full of unused stamps during World War II, a high school essay I wrote as a senior where I made an A+, Daddy’s boyhood stamp collection book, a page from a 1974 Saturday Evening Post magazine featuring a photo of my cousin’s antique car parked in front of Cheekwood, and my grandmother’s 1908 college certificate from Linwood Female College in Gastonia, NC. And I am only halfway finished with reading everything! I just discovered this box a few weeks ago, and it is so amazing to our family. I advise everyone to be careful while cleaning out the attic; who knows what you will find!” — Jack Daniel’s premier whiskey taster, consultant and brand ambassador, Lynne Tolley | Image: Jack Daniel Distillery

Cecilia Pearson of Babypalooza shares her 2020 positive moment

“My favorite memory of 2020 is from the early days of the pandemic. Social distancing has been especially hard on seniors. Pre-COVID, my 81-year-old mom had a full week of days at the senior center playing poker with friends, at the knit shop with the girls, and at church making mats for the homeless. When the pandemic hit, that all went away. So for fun, while restaurants were still closed to indoor dining, we decided to order curbside and have breakfast in the Cracker Barrel parking lot. It was a beautiful day, and my mom enjoyed all the folks that would drive by and say how they wished they were out dining with her. Her smile is everything.” — Cecilia Pearson of Babypalooza | Image: Submitted

Hannah-Kate McFadden of The Candidate Pledge

“My favorite moment of 2020 was when I was able to tour the Tennessee State Capitol. As I walked through the tunnel leading to the elevators that took me to the Capitol, my heart was pumping fast with excitement! This year has been filled with so much sadness and anguish … We have all been through a lot in this tough year, and we need to look for the positive things. So, as I was in the elevator, I focused on all the hard work I put into making positive election changes. As the elevator door opened, I was awestruck by the beauty of the Capitol. When I walked onto the floor where laws are made, I knew that all the negativity and sadness of 2020 is bringing change to our country. As I stood on the floor and looked all around the room, I knew that this was just the beginning, and I had more work to accomplish.” — Founder of The Candidate Pledge, Hannah-Kate McFadden  | Image: Submitted

Actress Crystal Renee' Hayslett shares her 2020 positive moment

“My favorite positive moment in 2020 was having the time to really focus on things I’d neglected, and in that time, I also found new things that I really love to do. I’m not sure if that would have happened otherwise.” — Actress Crystal Renee’ Hayslett | Image: Kayla MaDonna

Cheers to a new year with many more special moments!

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