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Mama Used to Say…

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My beautiful mom, Pamela B. Coleman

If you’ve got your mom on speed dial for those moments when you need advice on career, love, parenting, or just life in general, you’re not alone. Moms just seem to have a knack for giving sound advice (even when we’re not ready to hear it!) and sharing memorable words of wisdom. Just in time for mom’s special day, a few of my favorite movers and shakers share the best advice they ever received from their own mothers and mother figures. Below are the words from mom that mattered most:

Crystal Granderson-Reid of Brownstone Buddies with her mother (L) and my mother-in-law (R)

My mother raised me until the age of 18, at which point I went off to college and met my future husband, who then introduced me to his mother who 8 years later became my mother in love:). I’ve known her 19 years now and we are very close, so I had to include both of them.

Combined advice: “Keep God first and always walk with a happy heart”

Damali Elliot of Petals-N-Belles and her mother, Dahlia Akua

My mom and I are the same person, just born in different times with different dreams but we have the same heart!

A few years ago, on a very gloomy day I was having a hard time accepting myself, the choices I made and my reflection in the mirror. During a conversation with my mom, she gently told me “start honoring and keeping the promises you make to yourself, once you do, your self-esteem will radiate.

Till this day I follow and spread her words of advice  because they are powerful and true. Imagine if we never broke any of the promises we made to ourselves. Imagine where you would be and how you would feel.

T. “Bernie” Bernard of COCOACHIC Beauty and mother, Dorine Bernard

Moving to New York City alone and then electing to pursue a career field and master’s degree not as commonly charted, in tandem with entrepreneurship, were difficult decisions. And through it all, my mother’s support, prayers, repetition of solid advice and pride have been unyielding. She is one hundred percent the archetype with a staunch Jamaican, “mother knows best” disposition, always ready to share a psalm or Caribbean proverb; totally a wicked mix of charming and wise. The lasting advice that replays in my mind during times of aiding me to overcome doubt, is in a stern smile whisper, “Yes, you can.”

Raeven Western of Pushy Dreamers and her mom, Nellie Western

From a child to a young lady and now an adult, my mother has never had a dull moment in my heart. I have always admired her beauty, spirit and her strength, even through those moments growing up when I thought I had it tough with rules I didn’t understand. As an adult, I realize how lucky I was to not only have a mother whose love was immeasurable, but also a friend who was always by my side from the start.

My mother always reminds me that “every day is special. It’s up to you to make it REAL!”

Samantha Black of SammyB Designs and her mom, Michelle Parris

Whenever I had a test, or any situation I had to work hard for, mom would say “Good, better, best. Never let it rest till your good be better and your better best.”

We used to make fun of her for saying it until we realized that it worked! Not only did we memorize her saying, we would actually think of it whenever we were doing important things.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fabulous moms and mother figures in the world. We love you dearly!


As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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