Each Monday, we shine a light on an amazing woman who makes an impact on Louisville and beyond. We call this our “FACES” series, because these women are the “faces” of positive change in our community and throughout the South. In every interview, we ask them to give us the words of wisdom that have changed their lives, and their answers are always inspiring. Here is each woman’s response to the question: What is your best piece of advice, and if applicable, who is it from?

We hope you glean a bit of wisdom from these inspiring words. We sure did!

The Best Advice from Our 2019 FACES

Gladys Lopez

Gladys Lopez: Tell your own story — do not let anyone speak for you. Image: Gretchen Bell

Jessica Honegger: One piece of advice that’s changed me on this crazy journey came from brilliant author and thinker Andy Crouch, who talks about the importance of having rhythms for your life and holding yourself to them. That includes not just having rhythms for working and being productive, but for rest, too. I’m a future-oriented person, so it’s hard for me to make space for rest. I am always thinking ahead to the next thing I could be doing. But by committing to a life rhythm that includes space for rest and holding myself to it, I’m able to remember better that life is not all about the hustle. And, ultimately, that rest is going to allow me to keep going for the long haul.

Shandy Boyd Smith

Shandy Boyd Smith: People need to become more self-aware. The more self-aware you are, the more you — the authentic you — can show up in the world. And not this façade or what you see on Facebook … that’s not real. If everybody did their part with that, I think the world would be a better place, because then they would be focused on their goals and their purpose in the world. I think we would have a happier world. Image: Gretchen Bell

Marsha Weinstein

Marsha Weinstein: Be brave, and go for your dream. Be courageous. Be fearless. Just go for it. No regrets. Just do it. And always be a part of a good team.

Mollie Mulloy Creason, founder of Well & Wonder Artist Collective

Mollie Mulloy Creason: It’s important to surround yourself with good people to learn from who you can lean on. Being kind and authentic can take you farther. Image: Gretchen Bell

Laura Schwab, President Aston Martin The Americas with the DB11 | Image: Aston Martin The Americas

Laura Schwab: It was advice that my mom gave me; it’s about never compromising who you are. Obviously, I work in a sort of male-dominated industry, but I don’t wear the corporate suit always. I probably don’t have the corporate haircut. I never compromise who I am, how I speak or my approach. I laugh a lot — I have fun with it. Stay true to yourself. I have, and I guess it’s served me alright. Image: Aston Martin the Americas

Keisha Deonarine

Keisha Deonarine: Have a voice, and don’t be scared to use it. Based on the current climate, I think it’s important that you use your voice and not be scared of the turmoil or repercussions. Image: Gretchen Bell

Kallen Blair: Too many people have given me amazing advice! I am incredibly grateful for the people who have been placed in my life. This is not a piece of advice, but a mentor of mine recently sent me a message and signed it, “Wishing you bravery and abandon today.” I wrote that out and put it on my wall. What if we all lived in “bravery and abandon” every day? I think it’s a lovely thought.
Alie B. Gorrie: My acting teacher in the city happens to work a lot with Simon Sinek, author of the book Start With Why. She spreads his message to us constantly: It’s not about WHAT you do, but WHY you do it. I am always coming back to my “why?”. Because if we aren’t living every day based on our own personal “why,” then what’s all this for?

Amy Shir

Amy Shir: Pay attention to what brings you joy, and go do more of that. For me, what brings me joy is being of service and doing mission-related work because I get to model the kind of person I want my kids to be in the world. Image: Gretchen Bell

Visit Horse Country

Anne Sabatino Hardy: Don’t take my advice! Image: Gretchen Bell

Kathleen Driskell

Kathleen Driskell: I think people should follow their creativity. I think human beings are made to make things. I don’t care if it’s chili or tinted windows or whatever, but I just think we were just made to create things. I wish more people were involved in the practice of writing because it’s a way to explore your humanity. I mean some of the most beautiful things we have are diaries and journals, so it doesn’t have to be poetry. I’m not a believer, but I think creativity is evidence of the divine. Image: Gretchen Bell

Stacy Brown (aka “Chicken Salad Chick”): The best piece of advice I have ever received came from my mother. She told me to never fear change. Depend on it. When things are going well, do not take them for granted, because things will change. When things are going badly, do not let that paralyze you because things will change. Image: Emily Jane

Soha Saiyed FACE of Louisville

Soha Saiyed: There’s no such thing as a work-life balance. Once you recognize that you don’t have to be perfect at everything, you can just accept it. There’s no way to give 100 percent of yourself to everything. Image: Gretchen Bell

Jean Schumm Operation Parent Louisville

Jean Schumm: Embrace your role as a parent, and protect your children. Try not to be their friend — they have lots of friends, but they only have two parents. Image: Gretchen Bell

Sarah Contardo, Vice President of Sales & Strategy for Churchill Downs

Sarah Contardo: My dad once said to me that you don’t really know a job until you’ve done it for two years. You need to stick with it to learn the job. Another piece of advice is that other people’s perception is their reality. If their perception of you is that you’re awesome, then their reality is that you’re awesome. But, if they perceive that you aren’t doing your job and slacking off, then that’s their reality and that’s how they see it. Image: Gretchen Bell

Debbie Roberson

Debbie Roberson: What’s important to me is to find something you can be passionate about. That’s been key for me. Passion keeps you inspired, even when there are stressful or difficult times. When you have a passion for something, you’re able to press through. Image: Gretchen Bell

Rose Marie Swift: “Less is more.” I love that. Image: Leila Grossman

Karen Jennifer Lawrence Louisville

Karen Lawrence: Live your life in a meaningful way. When you’re gone, what are you going to be remembered for? I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. Image: Gretchen Bell

Denise Sears Louisville

Denise Sears: My best advice is from my dad. I worked for him briefly and remember going into his office one time [to talk about something], and I didn’t have all the facts. I was trying to gloss over it, and he said, “Don’t talk about what you don’t know. Go back and learn it. You need to focus on what you know, not on what you don’t know.” Image: Gretchen Bell

alli webb drybar

Alli Webb of Drybar: I have always had a tendency to react and respond immediately. I have learned the benefit of thinking things through before we make any decisions or react impulsively, and as founders, we want to react to everything and manage everything immediately. Business moves so fast especially in the entrepreneurial stages, and it’s so important to pause and look at the big picture and overall goals of what you are trying to achieve. Image: Submitted

abbie springer cirque louis

Abbie Springer: Get quiet and listen to what your soul says, and if you can do that, you’ll never be wrong. If you listen to worldly chatter over and over again, you’re ignoring what your truth is, and you’ll never feel peace. Image: Gretchen Bell

Deborah Benberry Williams

Deborah Benberry Williams: Never suffer in silence. I think, as females, we often don’t want to bring things to the table, so we tend to keep it inside and let it stir instead of having a conversation about it and letting someone know how they made you feel. Image: Gretchen Bell

charnette batey as eliza hamilton

Charnette Batey: The best advice anyone gave me is to use every experience and opportunity to grow and to learn. And I really do that. Everything I go through I think, “What is the universe trying to teach me?” Image: Submitted

Dr. Frances Tunnell Carter: Women can be catty if we want to be, and you know what I mean by catty. But try to be human about everything. Try to work alongside each other — women and men, and be your own person. Show respect for each other. Show love for each other. Just be good to one another. Image: Eric & Jamie Gay of Eric & Jamie Photography

sally bird dot

Sally Bird: Be the joy that you seek. Image: Gretchen Bell

Kristy Holsopple Louisville

Kristy Holsopple: I had a boss who once told me, “Don’t ask someone to do something that you aren’t willing to do yourself.” It’s a good lesson to follow. He was always one who would lead by example. Image: Gretchen Bell

laura faces

Laura Chauvin: My mom would say in her New England accent, “Come on dahlin’ — just put your best foot forward.” This didn’t mean to just throw myself randomly toward a goal, but to take stock of what I needed to do to give something my best. Image: Gretchen Bell

Gwen Mooney: My advice to people is to work on your travel bucket list, don’t procrastinate and put that off. Also, put your affairs in order before your death occurs, because it can really give your loved ones a lot of peace of mind if you really think ahead. Image: Gretchen Bell

Carrie Morey of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: Treat people how you want to be treated. My father has told me that from as early as I can remember. Image: Kim Graham of Kim Graham Photography

Priscilla Presley and Elegant Southern Style Weekend

Priscilla Presley: Listen. And think before reacting. Image: Provided

bailey mazik

Bailey Mazik: The best advice I’ve gotten comes from my dad, and it’s: “Be a thermostat, not a thermometer. Control yourself and control the situation as much as you can — don’t let the situation control you.” Image: Gretchen Bell

Laura Shine: I’ve never stayed in a job I didn’t like. Consider how many hours we put into our jobs, and life’s just too damn short. Follow your passion. If you put all your time into doing what you really want, you will be successful eventually, especially if you don’t define success as just how much money you make. Don’t do that. That’s not success, it’s quantity. Image: Gretchen Bell

amanda cornish

Amanda Cornish: Own your truth. It’s a huge life lesson on so many levels. The more you own it, the more you will gravitate to where you’re supposed to be in life. Image: Gretchen Bell

Ooh La Lemon

Hailey Hertzman and Katie Vonder Haar:
Hailey: I definitely say go for it (start a business). It’s a lot of work, but well worth it. I would also say to always sell products that you’re passionate about.
Katie: If you want to start a business, I would say make a business plan. It’s a lot harder to start something if you don’t know how you’re going to start it. You need to figure out where you’re going to get the money to start it, what you’re going to call it, where it’s going to be — just creating a realistic plan for what the business is going to be. Image: Jessa Mayhew

Renée Hicks

Renée Hicks: To not be afraid to be myself. That there is a place in this world for me and all my crazy ideas. I can definitely see that now through Book Girl Magic. Image: Catrina Maxwell of CatMax Photography

Lauren Stanfield

Laura Stanfield: My parents have always told me, “Be yourself and don’t let anybody change that.” Their voices are always in the back of my head, and I always try to stay true to myself — whether I’m with people or with thoughts that I have. You’re not always going to make everybody happy, and not everybody’s going to like you, but if you stay true to who you are, the right people and the right things are going to fall into place. Image: Jessa Mayhew

Tanya Tucker continues to impact the women of country music.

Tanya Tucker: Like I said, get out there and perform everywhere you can. You never know who’s listening or paying attention. Image: Danny Clinch

Pardis Stitt at Bottega Café's bar

Pardis Stitt: Be compassionate. Image: Eric and Jamie Gay of Eric & Jamie Photography

Erin Meiman- Actors Theatre Louisville

Erin Meiman: My favorite is “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good,” meaning that wanting everything to always be perfect can sometimes be paralyzing. It’s a reminder to me to try something and not be afraid that it won’t come out exactly right. Image: Gretchen Bell

Granny Rich- FACES

Granny Rich: Be caring and loving and look at everything in a positive way, instead of looking for the bad in everybody and everything. We sometimes think things are the end of the world, but it’s not. The world keeps turning, and good things keep happening. Image: Leila Grossman

Geri G- holistic skincare expert

Geri Giagnorio of Geri G. Beauty: One thing I wish everyone knew about their skin is that over-exfoliating agitates and ages the skin prematurely. It’s one of the first things everyone goes to with any skin symptom, but it often causes more damage. Image: Leila Grossman

Alexis Williamson Louisville Zoo

Alexis Williamson: Never be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. If there’s something you’re passionate about, there are always people out there who are willing to help you. Image: Jessa Mayhew

Elaine Sterling- FACES

Elaine Sterling: Do what scares you. Image: Catrina Maxwell of CatMax Photography

Farris Benko: Be yourself and don’t let anybody hold you back! Image: Gray Benko

Mercedes Cotchery

Mercedes Cotchery: I was at a banquet and the keynote speaker was saying how she needs to make sure that she takes time to fill her own cup. In an effort to be her best self, in all the different areas where she’s going to be, she needs to take the time to fill herself up every morning. It’s so that as she goes about her day, and she’s pouring a little bit of herself out, she’s got something to give. Image: Piper Warlick Photography

Annie Cobetto Ashbourne Farms

Annie Cobetto: “Never underestimate the power of positive thinking,” and “Read The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy.” Both pieces of advice were from my dear friend Justin Levenson. Image: Jessa Mayhew

A HUGE thank you to all of these incredible women and their wealth of advice!


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