The Women I Admire Most 

March is Women’s History Month, a time to reflect and celebrate the plethora of women in history who have made our place in society possible. As a woman, daughter, mother, and business owner, I am constantly thankful for all the women who have come before me, who stood up for our rights and fought for our freedom to contribute and thrive in today’s world.

From the Suffragettes to Gloria Steinem, there is a long list of strong women who made it possible for me to have equal rights, and to run a successful business. The list of women in history who have had a significant impact on my life is long and noteworthy, but I’d like to reflect on today’s women both in the public eye and behind the scenes whom I truly admire.

 

#1) Oprah Winfrey – Oprah shattered the glass ceiling for women in television before building her empire, and she paved the way for women like me to demand the same treatment and respect in the entertainment industry. I have been an Oprah fan since the very beginning when she brought her journalistic integrity to the forefront with The Oprah Winfrey Show. It’s so hard for me to choose one aspect of Oprah that I admire most; I am inspired by her creativity and motivation, and her generosity knows no bounds. I marvel at her zest for life, and the fact that she is able to balance her ambition while also knowing when to slow down and just enjoy all that she has worked so hard to accomplish. Oprah has championed so many causes over the years, but with The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, she’s ensuring the success of women for years to come!

 

#2) Reese Witherspoon – I love strong, sassy, Southern women and Reese Witherspoon has taken her celebrity to new heights. Looking for a healthy dose of women’s empowerment? Binge her Shine On with Reese series on Netflix to watch her get real and tackle some of today’s most pressing issues with America’s leading women. Reese’s positivity is also infectious, using her new production company Hello Sunshine and her book club to bring women’s stories into the forefront. Adding to her lengthy list of accolades is also a fashion designer, and y’all know that I’m a big fan of her fashion and home brand Draper James. Forget everything you might have thought about Reese Witherspoon when it comes to making a global impact on today’s woman, Reese is definitely the one to watch.

 

#3) Jill Binkley – As a breast cancer survivor, I care deeply about women’s health issues. Jill Binkley is the founder of TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, an Atlanta based non-profit healthcare organization where I received my post-op rehab. TurningPoint had an incredible impact on my life, helping me both physically and emotionally recover from my bout with breast cancer. Because of women like Jill, breast cancer sufferers and survivors are provided with a safe haven to heal from the physical and emotional scars of our cancer battles.

 

#4) Megan, Flo, and Robin (pictured above) – Inspiring women don’t just appear on the big screen and in magazines, they’re real women we interact with on a daily basis. My amazing team of floor managers at Bridals by Lori is working moms who keep my store running like a well-oiled machine while busy raising a family. I know how hard it is to be a mom while working full time, it’s definitely not easy, with each phase of motherhood bringing their own sets of challenges. Megan has a new baby at home, Flo has a little girl in elementary school, and Robin’s boys are finishing high school and getting ready to start college. With everything that they have going on at home, I’m constantly amazed at their professionalism at the salon. These women bring 100% to their careers every single day and I couldn’t be prouder!

 

#5) My mom, Jean – I’ve saved the best for last! I am the woman I am today because of my mom, Jean. A true Southern Belle, my mom has been my greatest supporter since I was a child. She has instilled in me my deep faith in God and my love of family. I learned from her the importance of being kind and generous, and to always keep calm under stress and pressure. The original fashionista, my mom is beautiful both inside and out, clad in her pearls and Chanel flats, a bright genuine smile on her face, and a complement at her lips. From the first time that she encouraged me to go out and live my dreams, to the long hours she spent helping make my store a success, my love and appreciation for my mom is everlasting.

Which women do you admire most? Celebrate Women’s History Month with me and share your stories in the comments!

Until next time,

Lori Allen

Pre-Order Lori’s DEBUT Book: Say Yes to What’s Next!

My debut book Say Yes to What's Next is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will ship on July 14, 2020!  Great Mother's Day gift!  So get started building out your summer reading list and order today. 

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Prayers & A Whiskey

It was a challenge when Arkansas police officer and our feature bride, Jessica Seewald, brought her bridal entourage including celebrity sister-in-law Jessa Duggar Seewald to the salon to shop for her dream wedding gown. But you know I absolutely love a challenge! Jessica was hoping to replace her blue uniform with a more figure flattering and slightly revealing mermaid cut couture gown, while her entourage was hell bent on hiding the curves and the cleavage in a more modest gown. After trying on a number of gorgeous options, Jessica started wondering if what she envisioned would work for her. We see this all the time, brides come into the salon with a vision of what they think they want, and then discover that it just might not work after all. With a little help from our floor manager Robin, and a phone call with Mom, Jessica said yes to a stunning A-line Matthew Christopher designer gown that fit Jessica’s figure perfectly.   

Meanwhile, we sent Monte downstairs to help Ashlen on the bridesmaids floor with our bride, Dominique, but he kept bailing on me! Domonique’s Maid-of-Honor and twin sister Monique thought she was running the plays on the dresses for the bridal party, but we quickly discovered which one was really calling the shots. It took a couple of tries but we were finally able to find a maid of honor gown that let Monique shine a bit brighter than the rest of the bridal party.