Mother Knows Best

May 10 2017

by Whitney Long

The Southern Coterie blog: "Mother Knows Best" by Whitney Long (photo: Ashley Schoenith of Heirloomed Collection)
photo: Ashley Schoenith of Heirloomed

MOTHERS… the original mentors.  This word gets thrown around a lot in our creative fields as we are looking to be inspired by, be held accountable to, and communicate with someone having similar interests and strengths. Someone to help us navigate the waters.  Guess who, more than likely, has been doing that for years and years?  Yep… mother, mom, momma, mama as they offered great advice, or valuable pearls of wisdom, through the years.

Here’s what some #tscsummit alums had to say in honor of Mother’s Day:


Brooke Bell –

Through example, and never by “preaching,” my mother has taught me how to be a strong woman, to be graceful, and to always wear lipstick… well, maybe a little preaching about the lipstick. As an only child, she’s my mother, sister, and best friend all wrapped in one.


I am positive my mom had plenty of wise words for me, but what I really remember the most, was her just being there.  She always knew when I needed an ear and was always the one my friends came to as well.  She loved that role of being mama to the other girls.  And of course, she always fed us well….I definitely learned from her that food is a love language!

Rachel Camfield –

My mom is one of the kindest and most giving souls I know. Growing up, one of my most favorite things she embodied was if you’re going to start something, finish it to the best of your ability. She showed me that success in the tiny things equaled big results. The way she lives out her work ethic and level of integrity are woven into the way I exist today and are also the reasons why I experience the sweet feeling of success the way I do.

Catherine Cheney –

My mother and I look very similar–same hair, smile, eyes, mannerisms–and we’re always hearing, “Has anyone told you that you could be twins?” It’s fun! And while I love our physical similarities, her advice on inner beauty is what I treasure most: Seek God first, and your heart will desire true love, peace, and joy.



My mother’s advice was to, “always follow your own creative path.  Buy pieces you like that reflect your travel and taste.  Don’t be afraid to make bold statements and never follow the cookie-cutter pattern.  Never be afraid to use the good stuff.”  We used the good silver every day.  Enjoying the good things in life was her mantra.  She lived it until the end.


I would say that my mom’s most sage advise to me came through modeling how to live your life as your most authentic self. Don’t change who you are to make other people comfortable.  Also, my mom is always telling me to monitor and adjust. Essentially, don’t allow circumstances to ruffle my feathers and steal my peace.


My Mother Spoke In Casserole

Have faith but for goodness sake don’t parade it around were the thoughts of my Methodist mother.  She never believed in being a Pharisee showing off your good works for all to see. She spoke in casserole and quietly did so much for so many, and, she never needed a day or statue in her honor. Through her good acts, she passed along the lesson of looking for an opportunity to serve others quietly.

Embrace and Celebrate Our Differences.

Growing up in the late 70s and 80s, this was a solid breath of reason for me and is still today as I see people tearing apart others for differences as small as school and political party choice and as important as skin color, race, religion and sexual orientation. It may sound ridiculous today but we were never allowed to consider have a Confederate Flag in our home for the unfathomable pain it represented. Growing up in a small Southern town, we did not have many people of Jewish faith or Asian birth. My mother was annoyed one day trying to reach a Japanese family by phone and asked this lady “why on earth is your phone unlisted,” an exotic concept back then. She was floored, hurt and disgusted that it was due to anonymous phone calls of hate and quickly passed this lesson on.

Greatest Gesture of Affection Is How You Treat My Children

I think mothers around the world feel this into the depths of their bones. One of the greatest gestures of affection for a woman is how you treat her children. On a day when the town was celebrating a magnamious moment of my father’s generosity, my mother turned to me and said “I’d much prefer he do something for our children.” This doesn’t diminish the importance of the moment for my father but made me understand the simplicity and depth of a mother’s love.

Michiel Perry –  

My mother always taught me to not be afraid to voice my opinion and to respect that others will have an opinion as well. She also let me know that just because you disagree doesn’t mean you can’t get along. I try to take that advice in my personal and professional life, from my previous life in politics to my current life of planning a big photo shoot or a dinner party, this advice always stays with me.

Erin Phillips –

My grandmother, “Nana”, had a large hand in raising me and has many, many nuggets of wisdom she’s shared throughout the years (especially being a proponent of always saying “I Love You”). Lately though one is sticking out more than the others as I start my own business and move into the “terrible twos” with my daughter – pictured with me and Nana in the attached photo. It’s one that I admit I heard more often than I would have liked as a teenager… “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.” 



My mother, aka Gigi, is the picture of dedication and work ethic. Always kind and respectful, she leads by example and follows the golden rule…Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  “Be optimistic and follow your dreams. Don’t let adversity stand in your way.” She walks every day and enjoys every bite she takes…especially chocolate. I really should try to be more like my mom.

Winslett Watson –

Mom has given me so much wonderful advice and words of wisdom during my life, but what comes to mind first and what I truly treasure the most is her example. She is warm and welcoming and doesn’t know a stranger. Her best friends are like sisters and her sisters are her best friends. She cherishes her tribe and they cherish her. She has a good attitude no matter the circumstance, believes in family first, and is giving to the community. When I grow up I want to be just like her!

Elizabeth White

 My mom taught me the importance of being kind to others, having a good sense of humor, how to throw a good dinner party, and brought my sisters and I up to be strong independent women.


Whitney Long View More Blog Posts from this Author

Whitney Long is co-founder of The Southern C and The Southern C Summit. Mama x 4, wife x 1. Entrepreneur, thinker, doer, writer, researcher, believer. Enjoys working alongside creative entrepreneurs to build community while supporting established and upcoming brands. Hobbies include travel, reading, bike rides and clever craft cocktails.

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