Who doesn’t admire a well-organized, successful woman – and secretly wonder how she keeps it all together? We asked a few of Memphis’ most go-getting women to name the one thing they always have on hand and why. The answers reflect a range of careers and interests, and reveal a common passion: top-of-list for almost everyone was their favorite lip balm! We’ve included a few for you to try, along with the practical and inspirational items that these Memphis superstars keep in their purses or bags.

Essential Items 13 Memphis Women Have in Their Bags

Fara Captain, Broker/Owner of Captain & Company Real Estate

Along with pens and a highlighter, Fara keeps headphones and an adaptor for her phone and laptop with her during the workday. “You never know when you may need to hold a virtual meeting in a coffee shop,” she says – or how loud that coffee shop will be!

Fara Captain, Broker/Owner of Captain & Company Real Estate

Fara Captain, Broker/Owner of Captain & Company Real Estate | Image: Jani Moore Photography

Carol Coletta, President and CEO of Memphis River Parks Partnership

With a good-quality notebook and pen in her bag, Carol is always prepared to take notes. In common with all the women on our list, she never leaves home without her iPhone – in her case, she uses it mostly to take candid pictures of people enjoying themselves on the riverfront.

Carol Coletta, President and CEO of Memphis River Parks Partnership

Carol Coletta, President and CEO of Memphis River Parks Partnership | Image: Yomi Arrese

Karen Lombardo Dawson, General Manager of Roadshow BMW & Roadshow MINI

“One thing you will ALWAYS find in my bag is a couple of blank thank you notes with my business cards,” Karen says. The notes are at the ready when she meets a client who offers kind words or a business partner who treats her to lunch or coffee. Karen also likes to express her gratitude when she’s experienced stellar service at a restaurant or retail store. “I love being able to hand someone a note of thanks as opposed to emailing or texting them after the fact,” she explains.

Karen Lombardo Dawson, General Manager of Roadshow BMW & Roadshow MINI

Karen Lombardo Dawson, General Manager of Roadshow BMW & Roadshow MINI | Image: Malik Sharp

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Lorrie Fisk, Co-owner of A Beautiful You Medical Spa

Lorrie not only co-owns A Beautiful You Medical Spa with her husband J.L., she is also a consultant who stresses the importance of protecting your skin from sun damage. She practices what she preaches by keeping a bottle of Elta MD Sunscreen in her bag at all times.

Lorrie Fisk, Co-owner of A Beautiful You Medical Spa

Lorrie Fisk, Co-owner of A Beautiful You Medical Spa | Image: Dylan Fisk

Leah Gafni, Director of Digital Marketing of Memphis Tourism

Leah likes to stay prepared by keeping an Anker battery pack with her in case she needs to charge her phone. “My digital team and I are always ready to produce content for MemphisTravel.com and ILoveMemphis.com,” she tells us. “You never want your phone to die before you can get that perfect photo or video.”

Must-have lip balm: Aquaphor

Leah Gafni, Director of Digital Marketing of Memphis Tourism

Leah Gafni, Director of Digital Marketing at Memphis Tourism | Image: Alex Shansky

Lisa J. Gill, Partner at Thomas & Gill

“My must-haves are very much a sign of the times and a sign that I started my career as a working mother because I have always carried hand sanitizer and wet wipes with me,” says Lisa. “I prefer sanitizer spray because I can use it on things other than hands – I will spray it on a cloth to wipe my phone.”

Favorite lip balm: Supergoop Play with SPF 30

Lisa J. Gill, Partner at Thomas & Gill

Lisa J. Gill, Partner at Thomas & Gill | Image: Steve Jones Photography

Carmeon Hamilton, Owner of Nubi Interiors

Memphis’ own “HGTV Design Star” contestant is never without her tape measure. “You never know when you’re going to stumble across the perfect piece of furniture for a client – or yourself – and there’s nothing worse than getting things home and realizing they don’t fit,” Carmeon explains.

Lip balm favorite: Kobee’s Organic Lip Balm

Carmeon Hamilton, Owner of Nubi Interiors

Carmeon Hamilton, Owner of Nubi Interiors | Image: Kim Thomas

Deb Kirinovic, Senior Director of Strategic Planning at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

A busy mom who just welcomed her third baby, Deb knows a thing or two about balancing work and family. She says she keeps the usual on hand – phone, mask, lip balm (her preferred choice is Carmex) – and a little something extra to keep the peace and quiet. “To be honest, the item that best represents me at this stage of my life is a pacifier,” she explains. “Being a working mom with three kiddos and constantly on the go, it is the most important must-have in my bag.”

Deb Kirinovic, Senior Director of Strategic Planning at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Deb Kirinovic, Senior Director of Strategic Planning at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital | Image: Deb Kirinovic

Carol Langsdon of The Langsdon Clinic

“I always keep an EPI pen,” Carol tells us. “I have unusual allergies that can be life-threatening, so I never leave home without it.” A Registered Nurse Practitioner, she has used the pen to aid someone else as well. On vacation in a remote location, a fellow traveler was stung by a wasp. Carol’s quick thinking and preparation allowed her to save a life. “It’s an important reminder to keep it on hand if you or a loved one needs it,” she adds.

Carol Langsdon of The Langsdon Clinic | Image: Instagram

Desiree Lyles Wallace, Chief Human Resources Officer of Agape Child & Family Services, Inc. & Founder and Content Creator at Mocha Divas Lifestyle

You’ll never catch Desiree without one of her favorite pens. This self-described “pen snob” is very particular about her writing instruments: “Criteria: Gel pen, purple ink, fine line, smudge-proof, and easy to grip for this lefty. You know it’s me when you see a document (professional and otherwise) written or signed in purple ink.”

Desiree Lyles Wallace, Chief Human Resources Officer of Agape Child & Family Services, Inc. & Founder and Content Creator at Mocha Divas Lifestyle

Desiree Lyles Wallace, Chief Human Resources Officer of Agape Child & Family Services, Inc. & Founder and Content Creator at Mocha Divas Lifestyle | Image: Belinda Simpson

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Judy McLellan of The JudyMac Team, Crye-Leike Realtors

A busy realtor, Judy is constantly on the go and relies on one item to keep her looking fresh and professional for her many appointments. “The one item that is always in my purse is a tube of Chanel Hydrating Lip Gloss,” she says.

Nisha Powers, President and Co-founder of Powers Hill Design

One of the sweetest items on our list is a note written by Nisha’s son Lucas that reads: I love you mom. Life is good for you. “I keep it in my purse as a reminder of God’s gift to me – my son, who is certain proof of God’s love for me and His desire for good things in my life,” she says. “When I feel life isn’t going my way, I look at this and remember that life IS good for me.”

Her go-to lip balm: Lanolips

Nisha Powers, President and Co-founder of Powers Hill Design, and her son

Nisha Powers, President and Co-founder of Powers Hill Design, and her son | Image: Nisha Powers

Deni Reilly, Co-owner of The Majestic Grille

Deni has a few items that stay in her bag, she explains: “A packet of tissues, because Memphis makes me sneeze; a handful of Hot Wheels cars, because you never know when you’ll need to entertain your 8-year-old; and a few Majestic Grille gift cards.” Deni likes to keep the gift cards on hand to give to flight attendants, teachers, and others she encounters that go above and beyond.

Go-to lip balm: Smith’s Rosebud Salve

Deni Reilly, Co-owner of The Majestic Grille

Deni Reilly, Co-owner of The Majestic Grille | Image: Justin Fox Burks

Thank you for your insight, ladies!

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