While society seems to believe that one’s “influence” is directly correlated to the number of followers they have on Instagram, we chose a different (and dare I say, authentic) approach when choosing our Leading Ladies. The women featured in our summer series, The Women’s Edit, are women who are true trailblazers in our beautiful, booming city. We wanted to highlight women who, like us, are creatives seeking to add more life and love to our community. The Women’s Edit is a salute to those making their own way, setting trends we want to follow and shifting how Nashville is viewed by the outside world. This forward-thinking group of women makes us want to do more, to be better and to challenge ourselves to tackle something new.

This week’s Lady of the Moment?

Mary Lawless Lee | Founder of Happily Grey and Happily Grey Home

The Nashville Edit: First off, how do you like to start your mornings?

Mary Lawless Lee: I’m up pretty early! I love the mornings. I usually start with a hot cup of coffee, love from my pups, and a quick healthy breakfast. I also love to read in the mornings and start the day inspired – Porter Magazine is one of my go-to’s. Then I hop on emails and the work begins.

TNE: When did your love for fashion start?

ML: Young! I was tearing through magazines and searching out inspiration for my outfits in the fourth grade… not much has changed!

TNE: You’re truly one of the original influencers when it comes to fashion. How did you get your start in the fashion industry?

ML: I went to school to become a nurse because I’ve always been passionate about caring for people. Happily Grey began as a creative outlet and it grew from there.

TNE: What is it like being a fashionista in a city like Nashville? What has surprised you about having an influence in this city?

ML: It’s an unexpected home base for a fashion influencer, but I truly find most of my inspiration for Happily Grey right here! I love to travel, but coming home to Nashville is the best – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I love to travel, but coming home to Nashville is the best – I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

TNE: Most of us are transplants. Where did you grow up?

ML: I grew up in a small town in Texas called Marshall – I think that’s why I love Nashville so much! It has the spirit of a big city, but the roots of a Southern town.

TNE: You have managed to keep a consistent and classic look on all of your platforms. How has this helped your brand?

ML: I have tried hard to stay true to my style and aesthetic, and only partner with brands and companies that I truly align with. Staying genuine in a space that can seem jaded at times has always been important to me and a foundation of the brand.

TNE: If you could give your younger self some solid advice, what would it be?

ML: Trust your instincts!

TNE: How has social media influenced your career?

ML: It’s completely transformed it!  But- I started with my site, and to this day it remains the most important aspect of the business.

TNE: You have a major love for animals, and especially for your pups. How has your love for animals shaped your lifestyle?

ML: Miles & Allie RULE the house! Allie was with me when I started HG, and we consider her a real team member. I can’t imagine my life without them. They bring our family so much joy!

TNE: You and your hubby seem to travel together quite frequently. Where to next?

ML: My favorite trips are the ones we take together! Next, we are headed to Tulum for our babymoon trip! It will be a personal vacation, not work. Those are important to us to make time for!

This or That:

Road trip / European vacation

Hot Yoga / Barry’s Boot Camp

Running along the pavement / Treadmill all the way