Living with the intention to never compromise my commitment to approaching every situation in life and business with grace is something I’ve realized will never be a perfectly balanced act. There are discouraging times I feel like ruthlessness is the only way to get what I want, but my moral compass never allows me to stoop to certain levels. My Mama always said, “you catch more flies with honey.” Being gracious and ladylike doesn’t mean you’re a push over. It means you succeed despite people’s incorrect assumptions that you cannot maintain your femininity while climbing the ladder to success. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found 4″ heels give me something to dig in with on that daily climb! My established personal style and need for things “to be pretty” while I work isn’t a hindrance — it’s the foundation by which my brand and business succeed! My aesthetic has made me the success I am today. We’ve all heard that saying, “bless your heart,” right? Southern women know it has a myriad of meanings; you know instinctively what sort of blessing is being bestowed based on the tone, inflection, attitude and expression of the woman who just said it. She didn’t raise her voice, use course language, become aggressive or argumentative, did she? Every hair was in place, and her nails perfectly manicured. Yet, you know exactly what she meant by those 3 words. They could have felt like the hug of an angel or the most dire threat to your life and everything you hold dear!