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Celeste Krenz

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Professional Perspectives From Nashville Fempreneurs

MUSIC CITY City Lifestyle Asked Local Business Women Three Key Questions

Marcie Van Mol

One of Marcie Van Mol’s favorite quotes that helps and comforts her during difficult times is from Fred Rogers (better known as Mister Rogers on television): “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

As a Nashville native and co-owner of Anzie Blue, recently renamed AB, Marcie says business owners must focus on culture “first and foremost,” because teams “need to respect one another and support growth as a team.” She and her husband, Derek, AB co-owner, modeled this concept and business approach by recently reopening AB from its former Hillsboro Village restaurant status into a community space “designed by locals, for locals” for live music and events, one that “welcomes everyone.”

Marcie says she wants to find balance between work and personal life. “I’ll be 50 years old this year, and I'm hoping this is the year it will finally come to fruition.”


Doylene (DeeDee) Knapper

Becoming a first-time business owner at age 62 of Radianté Spa Nashville was truly an eye-opening and challenging experience, admits Dee Knapper. She says one of the first obstacles to overcome for the operation was the COVID-19 closure and the aftermath in the first six months after opening her spa.

“The thing that has kept me going through hard times has been remembering why I love what I do. Being able to help someone find the confidence to wear shorts or a bathing suit or that sleeveless dress for the wedding for the first time in years is such a rewarding accomplishment,” she says. “What I do helps people feel better about themselves. And a confident woman (or man) is a Powerful Woman (or Man). I love connecting personally with my clients so I can’t give up when things are hard.”

In today’s world of ‘Big Business,’ Dee says she thinks the art of maintaining the personal touch so clients are validated and know they’re appreciated has gotten lost to corporate mentality and chain businesses. “In my opinion, in any business, connecting personally with clients and maintaining a servant attitude will set your business apart from others. Being a successful business is not all about the bottom line. For me, it’s about being a business that leaves a positive impact on its customers,” she adds.

Dee’s current, personal goals remain focused toward her dream for her business. “I’m building my Dream and that’s very personal to me,” she explains.  

“At this point in my life, I can pour myself into making it happen, and that’s what I’m doing. My Dream for Radianté Spa is to grow a full-service, multilocation, personal care spa that people come to because they trust in the name Radianté. They know that Radianté holds their best interest above all else, and they feel good just walking through the door,” Dee adds.

“I work hard at developing trust with my clients. I believe it will pay off in the end.”



Owner of Bennett Galleries since 2019, Elizabeth Perkins assures her unshakeable Christian faith gets her through tribulations. “We just lived through a horrific nightmare with our neighbors down the street at The Covenant School, and it was our faith we leaned on,” she explains.

Elements of her faith, such as patience, kindness, grace and mercy, she says, help propel her each day.

Her first tip for company improvement is to keep the atmosphere “light-hearted and inviting." She reminds us that smiling is an integral part of solid customer service, and says "keeping proper perspective" also helps. “And I think companies need consistency to do good jobs.”

Elizabeth’s personal goals are to be creative with learning pottery, do more volunteer work and travel more.

Check out the gallery’s upcoming Spring Artist Showcase at 2104 Crestmoor Road on May 20 from 6-8 p.m., featuring artists John Hyche, Saul Gray-Hildenbrand and Greg Decker.


Leslie Embry

Businesses need great teams to survive tough times, assures Leslie Embry, founder/owner of The Blowout Co. of Nashville. “The pandemic was rough on my industry, but I was blessed to have a dedicated team who stuck by me and our mission through it all. My faith and family also carry me through times when I struggle,” she says.

Leslie believes several steps can be taken to improve companies. “You should work ‘on’ your business, not ‘in’ your business. Culture is also important, as in creating one you'd want to be a part of every day,” she asserts. “Accountability and transparency also are important, and asking for help when you need it.”

She adds business teams also should have systems in place that are easy to follow. “I’m not saying I’m the best at any of these, but they make for a great environment.”

Regarding Leslie’s objectives for her life's next chapter, she says she’s attempting to better focus on her health and wellness. She admits, “I’ve let the stress of the past few years get to me, and affect my sleep especially. I need to make sure I’m working out and putting my health first.”

The Gulch: 615.244.8243
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Allie Williamson

To persevere through tough times, founder of Southern Domestic Diva Allie Williamson says she pauses to remember what she’s created is tangible. “Knowing no one can take away what I’ve built helps me stay motivated and grounded. I actively keep my head in the Word of God and give myself positive affirmations, paired with the knowledge I can always depend on my team and family.”

Companies can improve by ensuring positive cultures are established through their teams and clientele, reminds Allie. “In addition, staying consistent and not becoming complacent, are also important to keeping your business environment efficient. Lastly, make sure you share your story, because people want to hear it! Everyone's story is different, and it helps to speak to who you are and your business' values.”

In her personal life, Allie says she’s working on becoming more balanced and aware, using yoga and meditation as a consistent morning routine. “I’ve had many pivotal moments in my life slip by because I was too anxious to enjoy them in the moment. I want to leave anxiety behind and focus on the present,” she asserts.


Celeste Krenz

As CEO of The Urban Juicer in Nashville, Celeste Krenz says the company perseveres because she and her staff honestly believe in providing healthy food that’s both accessible and affordable. “My biggest asset is our Urban Juicer team. Trusting our team on a professional and personal level every day keeps things tight. When things get tough, we stick together.”

“Companies are literally people in action, and authentically valuing our team makes us stronger,” she adds.

To improve, she suggests being clear with growth objectives and not growing too fast. She adds it’s about living an excellent company culture, from top down and bottom up. “Being relentless in watching and proactively controlling expenses is an obvious path to success, but so hard for small companies that may be understaffed administratively.”

“Lastly, but equally as important, pay attention to needs of your customers and keep the concept fresh, relevant, creative,” she asserts.

Celeste says she’s now paying attention to her health and fitness, and wants to live a quality life with balance and purpose. “My focus for the past two years has been finding time for a consistent exercise regimen, making time for travel and getting back to nature. It reminds us of how really small we are in the best way.”


Each woman showcased in this feature responded to three questions:

  1. How do you persevere through tough times?
  2. What are your tips for improving a company?
  3. What do you want to next achieve on a personal level?
  • Marcie Van Mol / Photo by Mary Craven Photography
  • Elizabeth Perkins / Photo by Melanie Davis
  • Allie Williamson / Photo by Kelly Dunn
  • Leslie Embry
  • Celeste Krenz
  • Doylene (DeeDee) Knapper / Photo by James Williams