There's a reason I live in an apartment a block away from my parents–there's no wisdom like mommy wisdom. With that in mind, we asked some of our favorite lifestyle influencers to share with us the best advice they ever received from their mothers.
Founder and designer of Betsey Johnson
"My mother, the driving inspirational force behind many of my major life decisions and the namesake behind the LaPina by David Helwani brand, has always made sure to repeat one key phrase. Whether I was riding the highest of highs or experiencing a temporary rough patch, 'David,' she would start off saying, 'everything happens for a reason.' Simple words, however, when reflected upon, they would always help me gain a better perspective of whatever it was I was going through and make sure that I was appreciative for all that I was fortunate enough to be given. Thanks mom."
Founder and designer of Dauphines of New York
"Be nice to everyone and treat everyone equally."
Actor (Girls and X-Men: Days of Future Past)
"The best bit of advice my mom ever gave me was really more of a threat. She told me, in what we will call my troublemaker years, 'If I ever catch you smoking a cigarette I will cut your tongue out of your face.' While that was an exaggeration, I thank her for it all the time. She protected us at any lengths."
Social community manager at David Burke Group [and the son of celebrity chef David Burke]
"My mom is infamous for saying, 'I love you from the earth to the stars and back again, you should always be yourself and find your own voice in the world but always remember–I brought you into this earth, and I can take you out of it!'"
"'You're only as good as your last sale.' My mom is the top real estate agent for one of the biggest brokerages in the country. She treats her first sale like it's her last and her last like it's her first. Her passion and zeal never fade and she re-proves why she's the best with every client interaction. That's exactly how I treat each class, client interaction, TV appearance, etc. Another one is 'just bootstrap,' meaning, when times get tough, don't think. Just tighten your damn boots up and fight through the muck. Both are gold."
Chef, founder and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar
"Just. Be. Yourself."
"My mother has always encouraged me to trust my instincts. She is a mom, of course, so she has always offered her own two cents as well, but she also instilled in me a belief that if I have a real conviction that what I am doing is right, it's right. When I was 16, I hated high school so much that I told her I was going to figure out a way to home school myself and take classes at a local college–most mothers would have told their sons they were out of their minds, but my mom told me that if I thought I could do it and still get into college and make a life for myself, then I should do it. And here I am."
CEO of Grasshopper
"Don't burn bridges."
Co-founder of Onia
"It's better in life to say, 'I can't believe I did that,' than look back and say, 'I wish I did that.' Follow your dreams!"
"My mother's advice was, 'Listen to your father.' Daddy's advice was, 'You may not be the smartest one, that's beyond your control, but you can be the hardest working one. That's entirely within your control. And tuck in your shirt.'"
Danielle and Laura Kosann
Founders of The New Potato
"Our mom always said, 'Just do it,' and that's one of the big reasons we took the plunge and started The New Potato full time. We know it's Nike, but to us, our mom came up with it first!"
Co-founder of Zady
"My mother always says, no matter what trouble I come to her with, 'You cannot worry about what you cannot control or change, and you will feel better in the morning.' It's predictable advice, I know she will say it, but it always reassures me. Some more general advice from my mother:
- Always ask a cab driver where he or she is from and if possible respond to them in their native tongue (only she can pull this one off).
- Travel often and keep a diary and always wear sunscreen.
- Learn how to cook a few easy-to-make vegetarian international dishes (spanakopita anyone?) that freeze well; whip them out when friends pop by on a whim and you will come out smelling like roses.
- No matter how busy you are, when family calls, you pick up."
Co-founder of Zady
"My mother always says:
- Don't underestimate the importance of hand-written thank you notes.
- I once complained to my mother about feeling overwhelmed and her advice to me was: W.O.R.K.
- Never visit someone's house without a gift.
- Evaluate your clothing purchases in terms of cost per wear."
Celebrity esthetician and founder of Renee Rouleau
"My grandmother, who is about to turn 101(!), has given me great advice. A few things that stick out are not to give up easily or complain about hardships, which has translated into my drive and determination, stay active and to wear lipstick daily–something she still does even at 100. She’s made me realize it’s important to embrace all life has to offer."
Commercial advertising photographer/founder of Aydin Arjomand Photography
"Always consider your shape and coloring, your advantages and the shortcomings of your physical appearance. Go for what enhances your looks the most, regardless of the hottest trends of the time. Find your personal style, ask for professional advice if need be, but then follow it."
Founder and designer of Yoana Baraschi
“The best advice my mom gave me was, always be independent, have a profession you love and earn your own living–your man will respect you for it!”
CEO of Fashion to Figure
“Follow your passion and do what you love because someone else will always be as smart or smarter than you.”
Managing editor of Denimology
"One of the few things my mother said that I listened to (!) was, 'Always keep your skin moisturized, no matter if it's cold or hot or wet or dry. Think of your skin as being always thirsty.'"
"My Mom always told me to focus on and invest in classics. Simple, well tailored and good quality pieces that will last for years. I've taken that advice and still have and wear some clothes and shoes that I bought almost twenty years ago. Ha, now I feel old!! I think I also inherited from my mom the ability to zone in on and pluck out the few great-looking designer pieces from the sea of not great pieces in discount or warehouse/outlet stores. I thought of her recently when I somehow scored a beautiful Armani black label pinstripe pantsuit from eBay for $48, which I love madly and fits me perfectly."
"My mother never told me what to do. There were no lectures or directives. Instead, there was unending support and acceptance. It must have been hard for a mother to watch her kid make often times painful choices and follow a nontraditional path. A mother wants to protect her child. When I fell, she embraced me with open arms and heart and helped me learn from my mistakes. My parents are my biggest cheerleaders. That have taught me not through words, but through their actions what unconditional love means."
Founder and designer of Ruthie Davis
"My mother has always taught me that we need to challenge ourselves in order to grow. When I was 16, she sent me to Dominica Island during my spring break to visit my older brother, who was working in the Peace Corps at the time. While all of my friends were sunning on beaches, there I was with no creature comforts like running water, TV or electricity. It was a challenge, but one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Mom was right, as usual."
Founder and designer of Anna Coroneo
"My mother has always encouraged me to be independent, creative and to throw great dinner parties! She has also always encouraged me to travel, to meet people from all over the world, to be inspired and adventurous and instilled a very solid work ethic and to never give up. She always believes in every idea and every dream I have. She has also been a wonderful example of doing everything with style, elegance and class. My mother always says to wear sunscreen, perfume and to wear pearls, as she is convinced that they absorb your body's heat and keep you warm! I know I'm very lucky to have such a special mum, whom I love and treasure."
Co-founder of Panatea
"As far as life and fashion goes, my mom has always told me: No act of kindness is too big or too small. Be true to yourself. Grace and confidence are beautiful. Wear what looks best on you, mix high and low price points, and have fewer clothes that fit well. Keep your eye educated, so that it all becomes, most importantly, effortless. A touch of elegance never hurts too!"
Creative director of lia sophia
"My mother has always told me that it’s important 'to be true to yourself,' and that I should find what’s meaningful and important to me. She taught me to pursue my personal dreams and objectives with all my might and do it in a way that is consistent with who I am. I keep this advice close to my heart."
Marketing manager at TumericALIVE
"My mom is full of wisdom; most of them sound way better in Spanish than they do translated, but one that has stuck with me the most is, 'El flojo siempre lo hace doble,' which means the lazy always does it twice. Every time I try and take the easy way out, it backfires and her voice plays in my head. Do it right in the beginning and save the time and trouble."
Stephanie Ferreira Koutikas
Marketing director for Mehron
“My mother was raised in Paris for most of her life and she taught my sisters and I that all a woman needs is to cleanse her skin and keep it young and fresh with 'white, fragrance-free, milky moisture.' Sooooo, I don’t have a fancy skin care regimen, just Lubriderm and I have my mother’s gorgeous skin to prove that it works. It’s my ultimate beauty ritual, moisturize with Lubriderm...YES Lubriderm Daily Moisturizer.”
Tony Nominated Actress currently starring in Under My Skin at The Little Shubert Theatre
“I think the best advice my mom ever gave me was not to take things personally. I was a child actor, and because of that advice I'm actually really good at getting rejected. Handling it, that is!”
TV design personality and founder of Richter Design
“My Mom saw that I took an interest in fashion and gave me advice and the skills to back it: ‘If you want these shirts to look good, you'll have to learn how to iron them.’ Translation: ‘I'm not ironing them for you.’ Mom taught me the proper way to iron a shirt and that skill has taken me a long way. From job interviews to events to social situations, a freshly ironed shirt is a great way to make a first impression. Mom also taught me how to mend my clothing and sew on a button. Those skills have come in very handy. I recently tore a hole in the underarm of a jacket before going on set for a TV appearance, and I mended it myself. In the same vein, buttons seem to pop off at the most inconvenient times–but I don't worry, because I've got a sewing kit and I know how to use it. Those gifts keep on giving, and I'm grateful to my mom for showing me the way. Thanks, Mom!”
Founder and designer of O’Harrow Clothiers
"My mom always said, 'Try not to make any enemies or leave disagreements unresolved as you never know when you will cross paths again with people along the way."
CEO and founder of The Mother Company
"My mother taught me that when two people are arguing over a taxi, just get in. She used to say, 'First you get in the taxi and then you argue,' meaning that possession is 9/10ths of the law. Mom was–and still is–a tough cookie! But really it applies to many things in life–if there is an opportunity, try it! You can always get out of it later if it isn’t working out."
Founder and designer of WHIT
"My mother was full of good advice, one that stood out was, 'Never put anything in writing you wouldn't want on the front page of the paper.' Although, she said this to me after reading my diary."
Founder and designer of Ashlyn’d
"My mom's best advice was to be independent and that no dream is too big. She always emphasizes the importance of honesty and integrity and that without those traits, you have nothing."
Carolina Garcia Souza
Founder and designer of Souza Weich
"My mom's best advice: 'Always do your best, even if you are selling cookies or curing cancer, be the best version of yourself.'"
Founder and designer of FER accessory
“My mother is the most inspiring and optimistic person I know. She taught me how powerful the mind is and that focusing on the positives and that coming up with a simple solution for the negatives is the key to happiness and success. One of her favorite phrases in Spanish is, 'Quitatelo de la mente,' which means, 'Get it out of your mind.' Her advice to focus on the beautiful things in life is what has pushed me to be the best version of myself, both personally and as a business owner.”
Color director at eSalon
“’If you have a nice blow dry and beautiful shoes, you can go out anywhere.’ My mother always said that. She instilled in me a belief that if you have hair, you can take over the world. So I wanted to help women take over the world. My mom is a classy one. She always thinks the natural look is coming back, no matter what. That’s probably why all of my colors look very natural. It’s always in style."
Founder/designer of Samantha Wills
"My mum's best advice was to 'taste the word before they leave your lips, if they don't taste good, they shouldn't pass.' Also, her other constant advice was, 'If you find anything that fits perfectly, buy it in every color, it's an investment!'"