Our favorite story each and every year is our recap of the SB FACES and the amazing advice these inspiring women live by. As we wind up the last week of the year and prepare to head boldly into 2016, let us reflect on these resonant words of wisdom from some of the most inspiring women around the South.

Faces Collage

The Best Advice From Nashville FACES 2015

Laura Nevin of Harvest Wine Market

Laura Nevins, founder and owner, Harvest Wine Market
What is a valuable piece of advice you have been given?
It’s not so much a piece of advice, but an example of living. Our wonderful friend, Terry White of The English Garden, is an extraordinary example of sincerely living every day. He’ll always find some part of the day to make special, and in doing so, makes life so much more fun and beautiful for those of us lucky enough to be his friends.

Audra Lafayette makes some of the finest soup in town!

Aundra Lafayette, aka Nashville’s Soup Lady and professional dancer 
What is a valuable piece of advice you have been given? 
The most important lesson I have learned is to be consistent, in spite of what is going on. Keep the clients happy, and keep them coming back.

Elizabeth Lindsey , St. Thomas gastroenterologist,

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey, gastroenterologist, St. Thomas Medical Partners 
Is there a quote or piece of advice you’ve relied on that you can share with our readers? 
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I believe that in order to be truly successful in any career, not just medicine, and in any relationship, you must have empathy.

Paige Hill of WKRN at her desk

Paige Hill, reporter, WKRN “News 2 This Morning” 
Is there a mantra or piece of advice that you try to live by? 
Everything happens for a reason!

Acclaimed singer and songwriter Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, attributes her longevity to good, old-fashioned hard work.
I was raised — by both my parents, but particularly my dad — with this very strong, pertinent work ethic and the idea that if you work really hard, good things would happen; you move in the direction you are meant to go by virtue of your hard work.


Julia Baker of Page Duke Landscape Architects

Julia Baker, partner, PAGE|DUKE Landscape Architects 
What advice do you have for women interested in business? 
Listen. Listen more than you talk. I think as women, we tend to feel we need to say one more statement, one more little point of explanation. But a lot of times, it’s a lot more effective to listen to the other person completely before you start talking.

Dawn Davenport of WKRN

Dawn Davenport, co-anchor, WKRN “News 2 This Morning” 
What’s the best piece of advice ever given to you? 
“With courage greater than your fear, jump into the unknown and you will fly!” Don’t be afraid to fail. If you don’t try to go after something you’re passionate about, personally or professionally, you will never know what you’re capable of.

Teresa Ofman, Peacock Alley

Teresa Ofman, design consultant, Peacock Alley 
What advice do you have to impart to our readers? 
I read a quote recently and I can’t recite it verbatim, but the gist of it was that often the worst of times turn into the best. Just when you think you’ve lost it all, you find something new to get excited about.

Jen Cole, executive director, Metro Arts

Jen Cole, executive director, Metro Arts Commission 
What is some of the best advice you’ve ever had that you use now? 
Oh, I’m known to say a few of these! “Always have your big girl pants ready,” “Can’t stop crazy” and “There is always time to iron.”

Julee Jones, Pilates Place

Julee Jones, owner, The Pilates Place 
What is the best piece of advice you have received and who gave it to you? 
I trained under Romana Kryzanowska, who was a student of Joseph Pilates, and she told me I would have to teach for five years before I would really learn Pilates. There is so much to learn, and I have to remind myself [of] that each time I am working with a brand new body and person; people change with each visit.

Trish Townsend, stylist, Townsend Style

Trish Townsend, stylist and boutique owner, Townsend Style 
Did you have a mentor early in your career? 
My Nashville “Ganny” taught me how to sew (I am really good with a needle), and my Texas Grandma Jane taught me how to craft and be creatively resourceful. … If something breaks or doesn’t work out like you thought it would, you can’t crumble. You have to rethink it and make something else even better happen.

Christie Andrews of Learning Matters Inc.

Christie Andrews, co-founder, Learning Matters Inc. 
What would you say to a parent who has been told that their child is struggling in the classroom? 
They need to be told that it will be okay, they need to know that there is help, and that we will walk the journey with them.

Hoda Kotb of The Today Show.

Hoda Kotb, co-host, NBC’s “Today” show | Image : Peter Kramer/NBC 
As a breast cancer survivor, what would you offer as advice to another woman struggling with similar challenges?  
I think as a breast cancer patient, you have to surround yourself with people who lift you up … people who inspire you. You realize how strong you are when you go through something. One day I got the four words: “You can’t scare me.” Suddenly you become empowered and emboldened because you have overcome something that could have stopped you in your tracks.

Miss Daisy King

Daisy King, owner, Miss Daisy’s Kitchen 
What is the best piece of advice you have been given over the years? 
My late father-in-law shared with me when I first opened Miss Daisy’s Tearoom some long-term advice: He said, “Always focus on your own business and give it 100 percent plus and not worry about the competition.”

Jaynee Day of Second Harvest Food Bank

Jaynee Day, CEO and president, Nashville’s Second Harvest Food Bank 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you? 
My father always told me, “Listen. When you are having a conversation with someone, listen to what they are saying. Don’t always be thinking about the next thing you are going to say, but really listen carefully.” This is something I have tried to do in my career as I have approached issues, challenges and just everyday life.

Jen Hatmaker, author and speaker

Jen Hatmaker, writer, blogger, speaker 
Who are your mentors and what advice do you treasure? 
Luci Swindoll tells and texts me this message constantly: “Just be you.” I cannot tell you how liberating it is. I want to tattoo that on my forehead.

Ashley Hylbert at White Avenue Studio

Ashley Hylbert, professional photographer 
Do you have any mantras that you lean on? 
More than one! Walk through the fear, don’t take it personally, let it go, breathe, trust your gut and good enough, isn’t (but sometimes it’s ok). These are things I say to myself all the time and to my kids!

Donna Wynn, collegiate athlete, coach and trainer

Donna Brown-Wynn, co-founder, Franklin Fieldhouse
Who are some women you admire, and why? 
I admired my mother, because she always believed in my dreams. She knew how much I loved playing [basketball] and how passionate I was then, and still am, about the game. She said, “If it’s what you love doing, keep working hard, even on days when you want to take time off.” She also made me practice with the neighborhood boys!

Macey Benton

Macey Benton, senior account executive, Sheridan Public Relations 
What is the best piece of advice you have been given? 
My mom’s mantra growing up was “Wherever you are, be all there” (a Jim Elliot quote). Being present in all situations is easier said than done, but it’s an idea that still sticks with me, especially in the relational aspects of life.

Cathy Burge, LuLu Lemon

Cathy Burge, research and development department, lululemon 
What is a valuable piece of advice you have been given? 
When faced with an important decision, my husband always asks, “What would you do if you were not afraid?” I roll my eyes and then roll up my sleeves!

Sarah Olsen and Sally Horvis of S Carter Designs

Sally Hovis and Sarah Olsen, creators and owners, S. Carter Designs 
Is there a quote or piece of advice that you have relied on? 
Sally: Treat people as you would like to be treated. My father always told me to treat the garbage man like I would treat the president. It has served me well. 
Sarah: The sky’s the limit. I’m really learning that hard work has its benefits and can be fun at the same time.

Shawna Thompson

Shawna Thompson, singer, Thompson Square 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you? 
That would definitely be from my [late] dad. When I first moved to Nashville, I was scared to death and was 18 years old … He just always told me, “Just be yourself, and if they like you, they like you, and if they don’t, they don’t.”

Lennon and Maisy Stella

Lennon and Maisy Stella, singers and actresses, ABC’s hit TV show “Nashville” 
What is the best piece of advice you have been given, and who gave it to you? 
Lennon: Hayden (Panettiere, who plays singer Juliette Barnes on “Nashville”) always told me to be true to yourself … She told us if this is something we want to do, we just have to go for it.

Wendy Whelan

Wendy Whelan, professional ballerina | Image: Alix Mattingly/The Kentucky Center 
Who are your mentors, and what advice do you treasure? 
I have a lot of mentors from my past in ballet and some more present-day mentors, like Risa Steinberg and my teacher, Zvi Gotheiner, who now give me guidance as I move forward in this different style of more contemporary and modern dance. Mostly what I hear from them is to breathe and keep my body soft and supple, more open and free.

Elizabeth Risner

Elizabeth Risner, defense attorney 
What is the best piece of advice you have been given over the years? 
Best piece of advice? Be prepared.

Sherry Franklin

Sherry Franklin, director of hotel sales, The Renaissance Hotel Nashville 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 
As a child, I was an introvert and always thought everyone was laughing at me. When I was about 8 or 9, my mom said, “I’m not going to be around forever to defend you. So you have to learn to defend yourself. Stand up for yourself.” I still use this in work today.

Genma Homes

Genma Holmes, co-owner, Holmes Pest Control 
Do you have any advice that you lean on? 
I share this often, “Let no one’s ‘no’ determine your destiny in life.” I don’t allow anyone’s ‘no’ to determine my steps on my journey.

Val Cole

Val Cole, owner, Daniel Cole Collection Cosmetics 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
From my mom: “You can have it all, just not at the same time”‘ I hate to admit that she was right. From my grandmother: “Be careful what you wish for, for surely you will have it”‘ For freelancers: “When one door closes, a window opens.”

Kim Leggett of City Farmhouse

Kim Leggett, freelance interior stylist, City Farmhouse 
What is the best piece of advice you have been given over the years? 
All my life, I’ve received guidance from my spirit within, and it’s never failed me — not once. When I’ve had an idea, a feeling of the need for change, a new direction or a strong desire within me, I go with that guidance, willingly and unafraid.

Jill Burgin

Jill Burgin, vice mayor of Brentwood 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and from whom? 
Once as a child, I asked my dad to help me with an art project, and during that process he kept using one word that still resonates with me: Restraint. You have to know when to stop fooling with something and let it be finished, and I have carried that with me in many aspects of my life.

Java Hemmat

Java Hemmat, founder, Hummus Chick 
Do you have a quote or saying that you rely on? 
Believing in extraordinary events. Whatever your goal is, put the plan in place to reach the goals. For example, speaking English. I dreamed of speaking it effortlessly. I kept trying, and one day I could!

DeeAnn Hodge

DeeAnn Hodge, founder, Camp Wonderfully Made 
What is one good piece of advice you have been given? ‏
The best I have been given is from my dad and mom (David and Carolyn Booth). When I was faced with the growth of Camp Wonderfully Made, they advised me to recognize that my gift is working directly with the girls and to never let it grow to a point where I wasn’t doing what I love most.

Shannon Hunt

Shannon Hunt, CEO, Nashville Public Education Foundation 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
Don’t mistake kindness for weakness. I don’t think you have to be the loudest or meanest to be strong. People who rule by fear have always struck me as lacking in confidence.

Britt Robertson

Britt Robertson, actress, Tomorrowland | Image: Disney 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and who gave it to you?
George Clooney gave me some great advice. He has said this to me before, but he reiterated, “Make the most of your opportunities. This is a movie that could mean something for you and your career. Take advantage of the opportunities as they are given to you.”

Renee Bates

Renee Bates, executive director, Greenways for Nashville 
Who do you consider your mentors and what have they taught you? 
One is Shain Dennison, Metro Greenways and Open Space director, who taught me about good communications and navigating government.

Deann Herbert

Deann Herbert, owner and creator, Fine Art by Deann 
What advice would you give a young, aspiring artist? 
Realize your strengths, and maximize them.

Angie Harmon

Angie Harmon, actress and jewelry designer, Red Earth Jewelry 
Is there a quote or piece of advice that you have relied on? 
I really try to apply, “If you are not pretty on the inside, you are not pretty on the outside.” And to always wait on God. It’ll be worth the wait.

Mridu Parikh

Mridu Parikh, founder, Life Is Organized 
Will you share a saying that you’ve relied on? 
I have a poster that says, “Take Pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you’ll go.” I read it every day!

Alicia Helm

Alicia Helm, owner, Spruce boutique
What is the best piece of advice you received when starting your business? 
It is all about people management. The difficult part is not seeking out pretty things to sell; it is more about managing relationships and expectations. Out of the gate, management was not my best skill. Time and experience have helped immensely.

Amy McBride

Amy McBride, storyteller, blogger, part-time interior decorator 
Can you share one piece of advice that has seen you through the good and bad times? 
Live in the moment, and take in whatever is happening at that time. I try to find joy in the present. You can’t change yesterday, and worrying about tomorrow doesn’t add time to your life (Matthew 6:27).

Carrie Weir

Carrie Ferguson Weir, deputy director of communications for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services 
What is a piece of advice that you have leaned on throughout the years? 
Let go, let God … it saves me from myself.

Melissa Trevathan

Melissa Trevathan, executive director, Daystar Counseling Ministries 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 
Being 66, I’ve had all kinds of advice for many years, the first coming from my grandmother, who simply pointed her finger and said, “Behave yourself.”

Shannan Hatch

Shannan Hatch, senior director of writer/publisher relations, SESAC 
If you could offer a piece of advice to your 20-year-old self, what would it be? 
Don’t try to grow up so fast! I feel like I tried to rush life and make things happen faster than they should when I was younger. Now I just want life to slow down so I can enjoy every minute of it!

Rhonda Brown

Rhonda Brown, girls basketball coach, Brentwood Academy 
Do you have a motto or saying that you have leaned on or you are known to say? 
My dad has been my biggest supporter. He always said don’t worry what people say you can’t do … just work hard to get where you want to go. So I did.

Emily Giffin

Emily Giffin, author, Something Borrowed 
What are some basic words of wisdom you can offer based on your professional experience? 
I would simply say that you shouldn’t be afraid to take a risk for something you really want. As Mark Twain says in my all-time favorite quote: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

Amy Everhart

Amy Everhart, mom and lawyer, Everhart Law Firm 
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 
When my dad was in the hospital before he died, he told me how he was with his own dad shortly before he died, and his dad said how quickly his life had passed: “Poof!” I know my dad felt the same. It reminds me of that Kenny Chesney song, “Don’t Blink,” and that has become my mantra.

Debbi Fields

Debbi Fields, founder and creator, Mrs. Fields Cookies
Who have been your mentors, and what advice do you cling to most? 
I like to surround myself with positive people. I didn’t have a mentor, but I admired the inspiration of Zig Ziglar and Mary Kay Ash. I believe that an enthusiastic attitude, filled with integrity and determination to work hard, can lead you to places unimagined.

Smith Sinrod

Smith Sinrod, apparel designer, by SMITH
What’s been your most treasured advice you’ve received? 
Never give up. My dad regularly told my sisters and me this, encouraging us to be strong, no matter what. Even though it’s pretty straightforward, it’s pretty indicative of how my career has gone the past couple of years. I’ve had challenging times along the way, but they all lead to growth.

Catherine Wyatt Morley

Catherine Wyatt-Morley, founder, W.O.M.E.N.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned in life? 
Live with purpose. Without purpose, we literally perish.

Maryann and Luci of Align Wellness Studio

Luci Crow and Mary Ann Stuart, owners, ALIGN Wellness Studio 
Do you have a little nugget for women, something that they can do every day that will make them feel better and live healthier? 
Luci: Start your day off with a positive action that you can dwell on even if the plans for the day go astray.
Mary Ann: Do something you are passionate about! Be the best you can at any given moment, and love yourself for it.

Shelley Horton

Shelley Horton, owner, Spring Hill Florist
How do you juggle owning your own business with wife/mom life? 
I believe you have to take each day as it comes and focus on the good and “little” things.

Lara Casey

Lara Casey, creator, Southern Weddings magazine 
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” This quote from author Susan Jeffers was shared with me by a mentor many years ago. This doesn’t mean throw everything to the wind and haphazardly dive in; it means stop, be still, feel whatever you are feeling and then take action.

Anneliese Barron

Anneliese Barron, state director, Tennessee chapter of Best Buddies 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 
Wayne Gretzky’s famous quote: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

Janet Miller

Janet Miller, CEO and market leader, Colliers International’s Nashville office 
What is a valuable piece of advice you have been given? 
Get very good at being you if you want to be successful at life. That is something that my 86-year-old mom told me, and I carry it with me every day.

Derri Smith

Derri Smith, executive director, End Slavery Tennessee 
What piece of advice has helped you navigate this life? 
Winston Churchill said it well: “Never, never, never give up.” It helps me, in the midst of setbacks and obstacles, to remember that no one’s story is finished as long as they are alive.

Dr. Taz Bhatia

Dr. Taz Bhatia, author, TV guest, founder, The Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine 
If you could only give one recommendation for reducing or preventing stress, what would that be? 
Schedule your relaxation time! I do. I try to have at least two to three hours of downtime per week — I will get acupuncture, massage or just relax.

Here’s to living an inspired life in 2016. Happy New Year!


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