Search
  • Giselle Smith

FAB FEMALE PROFESSIONALS: Local Favorites

Updated: Apr 10

Day 3 Gives a look inside the lives of Local Favorites. You may already know these women, but the feature gives a look at the "why" behind their businesses and how they entered their fields. Just a recap: We featured 72 Fabulous Female Professionals from all over Hardin County. This is a Q&A-style feature. Each of the ladies answered up to 10 questions about her business or profession, giving insight as to what it means to be a female professional in the area. Featured in print is one answer from each lady, but the full questionnaires are available on our blog, RIGHT HERE. Photos by another local fav, Elaina Janes Photography.


Keeley Willis, Vibe Coffee Shop

What made you decide to run a coffee shop, and how did you get started in your profession?

I’ve always had strong leadership skills, and when we first opened, Elizabethtown severely lacked coffee shops and a place for people to come and hang out. We thought it would be an excellent addition to Elizabethtown. I spent a year working in a cafe to better understand how to run a business and then started developing my own recipes and procedures to implement at Vibe.

How did you get started in your profession?

I spent a year working in a cafe to better understand how to run a business and then started developing my own recipes and procedures to implement at Vibe.

How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

I started working at a barista at sixteen and started running Vibe during my senior year of high school, so about six years now.

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

We make most of our flavored syrups in house, using all-natural ingredients. I think what sets apart too is just our workplace environment. Everyone has such a deep love and respect for one another— it’s a very positive environment.

What do you love most about your job? I love the connections I make with people.

How does your job help local ladies?

I think being female-owned, and female-operated helps inspire women. If you hustle, you can make it happen.

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Be a boss. But most of all, be you.


https://www.vibecoffeeshop.com/

https://www.facebook.com/vibecoffee/

https://www.instagram.com/vibecoffeeshop/


Michelle Harmon, FamilY Fun Cafe & Ice Cream


Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Well, I don’t think I chose to be an entrepreneur. I believe that the way I was created and those things I did naturally in my personal life, friends' lives, and in my own community led me down this God-given path.

How did you get started in your profession? Well, my husband already owned a computer business, at that time, for a little over ten years. I joined him and worked as a business owner/tech for five years. After this, I was a homeschooling mom and personal trainer at a local gym. I guess I was always a creative person and liked to do things differently. So, when my husband presented the idea of opening an ice cream parlor on a piece of property that we owned, I agreed. I fell in love with the idea of owning an ice cream shop and did a ton of research. I did not know anything about ice cream. All I knew is that I couldn't run the ice cream business the ordinary way. How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? I will be celebrating four years of being in business of May 2020. We follow this with a big community celebration in June called “Family Day.” What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out? My business is different in that I have our ice cream parlor in a 1938 house. We serve ice cream that is from an award-winning, 104-year-old, family-owned company that makes the ice cream perfect every time. I provide monthly “limited time” specialty dishes to compliment the ice cream, BUT the ice cream speaks for itself. This allows me to focus on delivering family-centered and kid-friendly activities and events at my parlor. I want to provide opportunities for family, friends, sports groups, and community organizations to connect and create memories through fun activities. We have conversation sticks, board games, monthly ice cream socials, and horse and pony rides. We have a game yard on an acre of land. The game yard has a playground, jumbo games and summer movie nights, and more. We provide this at the parlor, or we rent out our ice cream carts and games. What do you love most about your job?

I love that I get to be creative and see how this business can impact families in this community. Are there any unique challenges you have faced as a female business owner? How do you overcome those? The fact that I am a woman is sometimes an issue, and being a black woman is even more of an issue. My husband, who is white, usually gets addressed as the owner. It is frustrating, but I do like to see that look that comes across a person’s face when they realize I am the actual owner of the business. How does your job help local ladies? I have been a mom: A birth-mother to six, a stepmother to five, a homeschooling parent, a foster parent, a single mom, a grandmother, a military mom, a homeless mom, a non-traditional student mom, a survivor of physical and sexual abuse, a business owner and a stay at home mom. I believe my role in my business help the local moms because I have been there and done that. I provide a place for moms like me to connect with other moms and not feel like they are alone in this parenting world. Early on in my business because of so many inquires, I stared a mom group called Hardin County Moms so that other moms can do meetups at the parlor or other locations in a safe environment. If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Be true to themselves. To clearly define their priorities/morals/standard and to make day to day decisions based on these things. Do not let others change what you believe in and what is best for you, your family, and your business. Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days, when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” — Jeremiah 29:11-13


https://www.familyfuncafeandicecream.com

https://www.facebook.com/familyfuncafeandicecream/

https://www.instagram.com/familyfuncafeandicecream/


Tiffany Hurley, Pawsh Pet Salon

What made you decide to become a business owner?

My husband and I thought having five kids and a dog wasn't enough. So we decided to liven it up a little bit. All joking aside, owner a small business in my hometown has always been a dream of mine and will allow me to make more connections in the community. What sets your business apart from others like it in the area?

Pawsh is the premier grooming location in Hardin County. We offer the most personal care for each client and their owner. The staff share a love of dogs and are well-versed in the different grooming styles for each breed.

What do you love most about your job?

This is a new challenge/learning experience.

Are there any unique challenges you have faced as a female in the grooming industry? How do you overcome those?

The grooming business is already female-dominated; however, it usually male-owned. Being a female owner allows me to support my staff in ways they might not encounter with a male owner.

How does your job help local ladies?

We help local women by providing a clean and professional atmosphere for people to bring in their fur-babies, knowing they are being left with the most top-notch groomers in the area. These ladies care for our clients as if they were their own.

If you a mother with children living at home, how do you balance work and motherhood? If you have adult children and worked while they were growing up, give one piece of advice for working mothers now. Being able to show my children how hard work and dedication can lead to success means so much to me. As a child of parents who both owned small businesses here in Elizabethtown, it is an opportunity to demonstrate to my children what hard work and dedication can build. As a mother of four girls, I provide them with the tools to empower their ambition for their future.

http://www.petspawsh.com/

https://www.facebook.com/petspawsh/


Kendall Ratchford


How did you decide to go into marketing and sales and get started in your profession? 

I was in the right place at the right time. I had prepared myself by taking upward steps through different jobs and volunteer opportunities. Then, I was given the opportunity to run my own business. 


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? 

Four years. 


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out? 

Not being from the region stands out from time to time, but I feel like coming from and still having ties to Kentucky’s bigger cities has been an advantage to me. It has helped me keep up with marketing trends and how other areas in the state are growing.


What do you love most about your job? 

I LOVE networking and connecting people. I enjoy helping ladies connect with others to help propel them in their businesses and personal development.


How does your job help local ladies? 

I enjoy helping ladies connect with others to help propel them in their businesses and personal development. 


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? 

Focus and care about your client’s needs. They are the #1 priority over any commission check or sales quota. If you genuinely care about your people, you will have all the success in the world! 


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?   

I try to live by the quote, “Do everything with so much love in your heart that you wouldn't want to do it any other way” by Yogi Desai.


https://www.facebook.com/kendall.ratchford

https://www.instagram.com/kendallratchford/


Jennifer Meyers & Trisha Caudill, WQXE 98.3 Quicksie


What made you decide to become a radio personality?

Jennifer: When in college, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get into radio or tv broadcasting. Until I had to be a tv newscaster in a class project. My newscast delivery was going great until the end when I messed up by saying, “I’m Jennifer Update with the latest news...” I was “Jennifer Update” the rest of the semester and decided, um, I think I want to do radio!  

Trisha: I was transitioning from being a stay-at-home mom, which was a phenomenal job. My kiddos were both in school, and I was offered the opportunity to work in radio. I took it and haven’t turned back!


How did you get started in your profession?

Jennifer: I got my first job in radio after graduating from Eastern Kentucky University with a broadcasting degree in 1985. I was on the air as “Jennifer Foxx” for about ten years at different stations in Kentucky. I switched from on-air to sales in 1995.  


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

Jennifer: 31 Years at WQXE, 35 years in radio total. 

Trisha: Nine years for the company. Did the morning show for our sister station, 94.3 The Wolf, for seven and a half years, then moved to Quicksie’s morning show in September 2019.


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

Jennifer: Quicksie 98.3 stands out because of our focus on our community. We combine that with the best music mix, local news and weather, and local personalities! 

Trisha: We are here to entertain, but it doesn’t stop there! What’s important to you is important to us! We partner with the community to help get the word about what’s going on.


What do you love most about your job?

Jennifer: I love getting to work with a lot of different people and help them grow their business and gain exposure for their business through radio advertising. I love the creative side of my work, especially writing and producing commercials!  

Trisha: The fun, creative work we do. The topics we talk about can take on a life of their own, and once something is said, there’s no going back, which can be hilarious! I always say you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube – when it’s out, that’s it. Another thing I love is getting to know our community and incorporating it into our show.


Are there any special challenges you have faced as a female in the radio industry? How do you overcome those?

Jennifer: When I worked at Quicksie in the early ’90s, I was only one of a few female program directors in the state of Kentucky. I switched from the programming/on-air side to marketing/sales around 1995.


How does your job help local ladies?

Jennifer: We create exposure for men and women, local businesses, big or small.  


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Jennifer: Keep swimming!  

Trisha: Your voice represents who you are, so choose your words wisely.


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

Jennifer: I have three quotes on small pieces of paper taped to my computer. Here is one: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have” – Thomas Jefferson 

Trisha: "Life is too short not to laugh." Unknown


http://www.wqxe.com

https://www.facebook.com/quicksie983

https://www.instagram.com/quicksie983/


Trina Colyer, Kelly Bauer & Jodie Thompson,94.3 The WOLF


What made you decide to go into radio?

Trina:I knew I wanted to do something in media, so I got into radio, and after years of doing administrative jobs, I decided that sales would be an exciting new challenge.

Jodie: I fell into the job accidentally. I was a barber for many years and was just burnt out. My stepdad had a segment on a talk radio station that was hiring someone to answer phones and file papers. I applied, got the job, and the rest is history.


How did you get started in your profession?

Trina: My first radio job was as Traffic Director (scheduling commercials and billing), and I fell in love with the industry immediately.  


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

Kelly: Sixteen Years

Trina:  I’ve been in radio for 29 years, working in Louisville, Lexington, and Elizabethtown. I’ve been with The Wolf for five years. 

Jodie: Going on 19 years.


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

Kelly: Radio is ENTERTAINMENT! We are here to serve our community and help our community grow

Trina: The longevity of our staff is unusual in an industry that generally has a high turnover rate-- I’m the most recent hire in our sales department, and I’ve been here five years. The caliber of people here is what drew me to come here. 

Jodie: With a lot of businesses, client interaction can be limited. We get the opportunity to hang out with listeners in their house, car, work, lake, etc. I hope that listeners can laugh and have a good time with us. 


What do you love most about your job?

Kelly: Helping businesses grow and overcome obstacles

Trina: The great people I get to work with and the creative process of coming up with ideas and writing commercials. The BEST day is getting positive feedback from an advertiser that the campaign we put together for them got the response they were hoping for…knowing that we made a positive impact on their business is so rewarding.

Jodie: Meeting listeners. It’s so awesome to go out and have people talk to you about things we discuss on the air.


How does your job help local ladies? 

Trina: Many of the clients I’ve worked with are female-owned businesses.  


Are there any special challenges you have faced as a female in the radio industry? How do you overcome those?

Jodie: There have always been a lot of males in radio. I think that has changed over the years. I was lucky enough to have leaders who mentored me and helped teach me all aspects of radio.  


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Kelly: Be persistent, stay strong, and, most importantly, have FUN! 

Trina: Stay focused on the advertiser. Be a good listener and ask the right questions so that you can create commercials that will be effective.   

Jodie: Learn everything you can.  


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

Kelly: "To be content with mediocrity is a tragedy." Unknown

Trina: "Know what you’re doing. Know you know what you’re doing. Be known for what you know." —Chris Lytle (Author & Sales Trainer)


https://wolf943.com

https://www.facebook.com/94.3TheWolf/

https://www.instagram.com/thewolf943/


Dawn Rizer, Amazin' Glazin' Donuts


What made you decide to go into the donut business?

I’ve always had a sweet tooth and always loved to bake.


How did you get started in your profession?

Actually, my husband started the business five years before we met, so I “married into” the business. 


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

I’ve been doing administrative work and social media marketing for the company for about 4-5 years. 


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

Amazin' Glazin' Donuts has always given back to the community (donating to Warm Blessings, WJCR food bank, first responders, local schools, local charities, etc.). I think what makes our business stand out is that we are family-oriented & always strive to offer the best customer service!


What do you love most about your job?

I love to share donuts with local businesses and friends!


How does your job help local ladies?

I try to network and make connections with other female business owners, and help support other local businesses.


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

“Donut give up!” Being a businesswoman can be a struggle, but if you surround yourself with a good support group, then they will help you when you struggle.


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work? 

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah

”God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.” Mother Teresa


https://www.facebook.com/amazinglazindonuts/

https://www.instagram.com/amazinglazinky/


Sarah Vaughn, Beth Pyles & Priscilla Scarbrough, The Historic State Theater & The City of Elizabethtown


Sarah Vaughn, City of Elizabethtown Events Program Manager Why did you want to go into Local Events? I’ve always been involved in events and love the logistics and the planning stages! I would much rather plan an event and execute it than to go to one!

How did you get started in your profession? I’ve been doing some type of event planning since I was a little girl with my parents. After college, I went into non-profit work and started with fundraising events. I had been doing wedding coordinating as well for several years before going to work for the City as the Events Coordinator.

How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? Going on nine years!

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out? We’re the only local Theater in our town. And being able to work in events that all support our community is bar none!


Are there any unique challenges you have faced as a female in the Local Events industry? How do you overcome those? It’s always a challenge dealing with men who aren’t that excited about dealing with a female in a leadership role. During events, you have to take charge, tell people no, and that’s difficult to do to men in the older generation who are not always used to the fact that roles of women have changed quite a bit over the last 30 years. When you’re as young as someone’s daughter or granddaughter telling them they can or cannot do something, it doesn’t always go over well. This isn’t every man, of course, but I’ve definitely encountered a few over the years.

How does your job help local ladies? I think it’s always helpful having women in leadership roles, and women in position with City government in leadership roles for young women to hopefully look up to one day. I’ve been in the position to create and implement policy changes, ordinances changes, work with so many aspects of our City government above and beyond event planning that will benefit everyone for years to come. So being a part of anything like that helps everyone, even if they don’t know.

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? Always get a seat at the table. Even if you’re not sure if you should, act as you should, and most people will give you the respect that you deserve. Even if all you’re there for is to clean the toilets, a clean toilet is still very important. I’ve cleaned a ton of toilets over the years and will continue to clean more.

Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work? “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader. Sell ice cream.” Steve Jobs Beth Pyles, Historic State Theater Operations Manager What do you love most about your job? The Historic State Theater is always hopping- that’s what I love most! I love sharing this building with the community – from entertainment like movies and concerts to hosting wedding receptions and community meetings and events, we are so blessed to have a complex like this in Elizabethtown. If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? I think this would pertain to any line of work: Be nice to people. In my experience, people remember you for how you treat them when you are doing business with them. It really doesn’t take much extra effort or time or cost anything to be nice. Priscilla Scarborough, Historic States Theater Administrative Assistant Events Department

What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out? The State Theater is an iconic “Elizabethtown”. Originally built in 1942, The State has been an integral part of the downtown Elizabethtown landscape for generations, with many happy memories made within its walls. As our community continues to grow and expand, our Events Department promotes bonding and unity through a wide variety of family events throughout the year that are beyond compare.


What do you love most about your job?

Though our jobs are sometimes hectic, I cherish our office comradery. We truly believe in empowering and uplifting one another as not only co-workers but as friends. We all love seeing the joyful smiles and excitement on the faces of event-goers. That makes my heart happy.


https://thestate270.org

https://www.instagram.com/thestate270/

https://www.facebook.com/thestate270/


Hiral Patel, Axe Play Elizabethtown


Why did your family decide to open Axe Play in Elizabethtown?

My family and I wanted to bring something fun to the people of Hardin County. 


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job?

We opened Axe Play in June 2019.  


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out?

We aim to bring people together with a thrilling but safe environment. 


What do you love most about your job?

It brings me so much joy to be able to help my family, friends, and the Axe Play team to achieve their goals and giving back to the community. 


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

If there is an idea you believe in, make it your goal and work towards accomplishing it 


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

"If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe." 

—Abraham Lincoln

https://www.axeplayetown.com

https://www.facebook.com/axeplayetown/

https://www.instagram.com/axeplayetown/


Jessica Russo, Janna Clark & Krysta Winstead, Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau


How did you get started in your career in tourism?

Janna: I began at Host Communications in Lexington, Kentucky, 20 years ago, working with the travel industry and event planning. I became the Executive Director of Etown Tourism in spring 2019.

Jessica: I didn’t necessarily set out to work in building operations, having previously worked in HR, but my skillset seemed to fit the needs of the position, and I enjoy the work. Every day is as the Operations Manager is entirely different and poses new challenges that I enjoy working through.  I had been working in Louisville while living in Etown for a couple of years. The position I’m currently in opened up, and I saw it as an exciting opportunity to work with people, do good in the community I live in, and challenge myself to continue growing professionally.

Krysta: I decided to become the Communications Director because I love being creative and using different outlets to get a message across. I studied Mass Communications with an emphasis in public relations and journalism in college. I have always been fascinated by marketing and social media, so it seemed like the perfect fit. I knew it was something I would enjoy doing long-term.  


How many years have you been in business/worked at your job? 

Janna: I began in spring 2019.

Jessica: I have been with Etown Tourism for almost four years.

Krysta: I have been with Etown tourism for a little over a year.


What sets your business apart from others like it in the area? How does it stand out? 

Janna: Tourism is so unique. It connects every person, family, organization, business, and visitor to the love of our town. 

Jessica: The level of service our guest services team provides our meeting clients definitely sets us apart. We also have a newly updated building that is perfect for business meetings and trainings.

Krysta: I get the privilege to show others how wonderful Elizabethtown is and to show people why they should come here. 


What do you love most about your job? 

Janna: I love that tourism strengthens the connection between community and travel. 

Jessica: My favorite thing about my job is hands-down the incredible team that I work with. We are so connected and care about each other, both professionally and personally. What could be better than an office full of women building each other up while working towards their dreams?

Krysta: I love that none of my days are the same. I am continually working on something new or planning ahead for a new project. 


How does your job help local ladies?

Janna: Improving Etown makes it a fabulous place to start a business, bring together families, explore the area, and have hometown pride.

Krysta: We promote attractions and businesses in Elizabethtown, and there are several women-owned businesses in Etown. 


(Jessica) Are there any unique challenges you have faced as a female in the building operations industry? How do you overcome those?

The contractors I work with are predominantly male and fall into several different professions – roofers, plumbers, HVAC, electricians, etc. It is essential to do your research, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something, and most importantly, only work with the people who treat you with dignity and respect.


If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be? 

Janna: Find your people. Mentors are valuable. 

Jessica: Relationship-building is a pivotal part of what I do, whether it is with clients or contractors. If you have a good rapport with someone, they will be far more likely to work with you rather than against you when issues arise.

Krysta: To never stop learning. There are always new tools to learn, whether it be in social media, web design, or marketing in general. Be open to suggestions from others, and go with your gut. 


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work?

Janna: "Build a place where people want to live, and you build a place where people want to visit." – Maura Gast 

Jessica: “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Krysta: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” - Eleanor Roosevelt Jann


https://www.touretown.com

https://www.facebook.com/TourEtown/

https://www.instagram.com/TourEtown/



Lori Smith & Serena Erizer, Herb & Olive Market ANd Wine Bar


What made you decide to become a business owner?

The desire to bring products and businesses to our community that you would find in a big city.

How did you get started in your profession?

We began as a buying club, which met in our garage once per week. After two years, we moved to an office building and then to our downtown location. We have been operating for 12 years and have continued to evolve into new concepts that we feel our town would love to have.

What do you love most about your job?

Talking with my customers.

How does your job help local ladies?

We provide a place to share, educate, and find relief from everyday stress.

If you had one piece of advice for women entering your line of work, what would it be?

Be ready to eat, drink, and breathe your business.


Is there a quote that makes you feel empowered or pertains to your line of work? "Just be awesome." Michael Erizer (Serena's husband)


https://www.herbandolivemarket.com

https://www.facebook.com/herbandolivemarket/

https://www.instagram.com/herbandolivemarket/


Thanks so much for reading along. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful women in our community. Show your support of local ladie sby givinf them a follow on social media. Tag us when visiting their businesses and use the hashtag #elizabethtownlifestyle. If you don't already, check us out on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings with Elizabethtown Lifestyle and local community events.


We will be back tomorrow with more Fabulous Female Professionals We hope you can read along then!


Best,



0 views

© 2020 by Elizabethtown Lifestyle Magazine

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon