Look For The Dollys

Look for the dollys text on yellow bg

A few badass women with that special somethin’ 

By Chelsea DuDeVoire Careccia

We all know the ones. They’ve mastered the art of not only figuring out what they love, but honing their crafts, refining their skill sets and using their platforms as strategic tools with which to support others. They equip us with motivation to tumble out of bed (and stumble to the kitchen, and pour ourselves a cup of ambition, et cetera). They’re profoundly driven and laser-focused. They’ve got the “thing”—a nearly indescribable essence and undeniable impact that some search their whole lives for. These folks are the stuff of legacies; they’re human embodiments of the Dolly Effect. 

(Spoiler: ‘The Dolly Effect’ isn’t even a thing, but without even being a thing, we still all seem to know exactly what it is, and what it implies. Get it?) 

Someone with the Dolly Effect could’ve been in front of you in line at the coffee shop this morning. Maybe as you’re reading this, one’s scrolling on their phone across from you in a waiting room, snoring next to you on a flight or brushing shoulders with you in a subway station. Maybe you borrowed a pen from them in a lecture hall 10 years ago, or they once poured you a drink from the other side of the bar at your then-favorite neighborhood dive. 

As this is being written, some of them are filling out Scantrons at their high school desks, presenting at board meetings and giving birth to their first (and second, and third) babies. They’re enigmas— simultaneously everywhere we look and nowhere to be found. And in their own unique ways, they’re helping change the world. 

On April 8, 2015, Dolly Rebecca Parton pressed “Tweet” on a post that reads, “Find out who you are, and do it on purpose.” The following women are doing just that: living each day wholly, unabashedly and purposefully—to leave this place a little bit better than they found it. 

The Question: Dolly once said, “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader.” What do you hope your legacy is—and how do you plan to leave the world a little better than you found it? 

Lucie Fink sits on white couch with her arms around her knees. She's wearing tan sweat shirt and pants. A round white table is in the foreground with purple orchids displayed in a brown glass vase.

LUCIE FINK | @luciebfink

Lucie Fink is a video producer, lifestyle host, stop motion artist and social media personality. She has made numerous appearances on NBC’s Today Show as a millennial spokesperson, discussing a wide range of topics relevant to her generation. She previously worked at Ogilvy & Mather as an Associate Producer in their branded entertainment division before becoming a well-known face on Refinery29’s YouTube channel. There, she created and hosted the hit series “Try Living with Lucie” (TLWL). The series won two bronze Telly Awards in 2017 (Best Lifestyle Content and Best Webseries) and was nominated for a Webby Award in 2018 (Best Personality / Host). Lucie created, hosted and produced a plethora of other video formats for Refinery29. Her content has been syndicated across various platforms including Comcast, Delta’s Inflight Entertainment and Gloss TV. Lucie is a new mom and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael, and her son. 

ON LEGACY: I want to inspire others to step outside of their comfort zones, try new things, and get the most possible enjoyment out of their lives. I find that most people take themselves too seriously and don’t leave enough room for play. We are “chasing happiness” in all the wrong places, and we tend to be “in our own heads” about everything. If we take a step back, take a deep breath, and orient ourselves in the wider universe, we will realize that many of our daily stressors are not all that important and we will start to enjoy the journey of life a bit more. 

Leah Thomas site in a chair facing the camera. She wears a green dress. Behind her are different house plants such as a rubber tree, pothos, and more.

LEAH THOMAS | @greengirlleah

Leah Thomas is a celebrated environmentalist, founder of the nonprofit Intersectional Environmentalist and author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People + Planet. She has been recognized for her work in outlets like Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, CNN, ABC News and NBC, among others, and has been honored on lists including EBONY Power 100, TIME100 Next, and INSIDER’s Climate Action 30. She is based in Los Angeles, California. 

ON LEGACY: I hope my legacy is playing a role in reshaping environmental education and storytelling to center diverse stories and also joy. I hope to leave the world a little better than I found it, by raising awareness about environmental justice so hopefully environmental injustice will decrease. 

Puno Puno at a table with vases of flowers with pink satin background.

PUNO PUNO | @punodostres

Puno is the Founder of ilovecreatives (the new trade school for slashies) and Executive Creative Director of ilovecreatives Studio (a boutique design agency). You can also find her writing and directing fun videos and doing photoshoots with her cat. 

ON LEGACY: We’re in a world where you don’t have to follow one path. How you live your life is your choice and the possibilities are infinite. I think some people feel overwhelmed by it all and I hope that I can show that your ambitions for enjoying life are truly up to you—no matter how slow, comfy, zig-zaggy, multifaceted or big you want to go. At ilovecreatives, we teach trade skills for the creative of the now, but we really hope we help students build confidence that they are capable of whatever they want.

Kaylin Marcotte throwing puzzle pieces in the air.

KAYLIN MARCOTTE | @kaylinmarcotte

Kaylin is the founder and CEO of JIGGY, a direct-to-consumer jigsaw puzzle brand on a mission to modernize and elevate the humble jigsaw and support female artists around the world. Prior to launching JIGGY, Kaylin founded Village Strategies, a marketing consultancy, and was the first employee at theSkimm, running its community marketing, social media and Skimm’bassadors. Kaylin holds a BA in political science and economics from Barnard College. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time doing jigsaw puzzles (of course). 

ON LEGACY: I hope my legacy is that I brightened the world with puzzle joy, built a business my way, led with authenticity and purpose and made the path a little easier for female founders and independent artists in the future. 

With JIGGY, each puzzle features the work of a female artist, and we share profits with them. I’m proud of our impact in showing that you can build a business that’s good for you and for others. 

If I can inspire people to build their ideas, to show that even without big VC money or quitting your job and going all-in, you can start small—wherever you are and with whatever you have—to bring your uniqueness into the world, I would be proud of that legacy. 

Keala Kennelly surfing a big wave

KEALA KENNELLY | @kealakennelly

WSL Women’s Big Wave World Champion and born and raised in the beautiful Hawaiian islands, Keala is one of the best female surfers in the world and arguably the best female big wave surfer on the planet. After a successful career on WSL World Championship Tour finishing runner-up to the World Title in 2003, she left the WCT tour in 2007 to star as a season regular on the HBO tv drama series John From Cincinnati. 

After the show’s conclusion, instead of returning to the WCT competition circuit, Keala decided to chase her passion for surfing big waves. She helped establish a Women’s Big Wave Tour and was part of a committee that was responsible for getting women included in the Titans of Mavericks Big Wave Event, and winning the fight for equal pay in surfing in 2018. A true pioneer, Keala’s groundbreaking performances in some of the heaviest waves in the world have shattered glass ceilings in her sport. 

On land, Keala has another career as an international DJ, playing events all over the world. She has been in numerous award-winning documentaries including ‘She is the Ocean’ and ‘Out in the Lineup,’ a film about LGBT surfers. 

ON LEGACY: When I was growing up in Kauai and started surfing, there weren’t a lot of women surfing at the time. The perception back then was that women couldn’t surf big waves and women couldn’t surf waves of consequence, like Pipeline or Teahupo’o in Tahiti. When I attempted to surf those kinds of waves, I was met with a lot of opposition and the attitude I would get in the water was that women didn’t belong there. In professional surfing, women were only making a fraction of the prize money that the men were making. I wanted these things to change. 

I spent the next 20+ years pushing myself to surf some of the heaviest waves in the world, ensuring that women now have a place in these lineups and are treated with respect. I was part of a committee that fought for, and was able to secure, equal prize money for women in all WSL professional surfing events. Here in Hawaii, I sat with government legislatures, drafted resolutions and sat through long hearings to ensure women were no longer excluded from professional surfing events in Hawaii during the winter season on the North Shore. Last year, women got to compete in the Triple Crown of surfing for the first time in over a decade and got to compete in the Pipe Masters for the first time in history. Even though I personally haven’t gotten to benefit very much from all these amazing changes, I know that I am leaving women’s surfing in a much better place than when I started. I am extremely proud of that legacy. 

Taylor Richardson posing on white background

TAYLOR RICHARDSON | @astronautstarbright

Taylor Richardson (also known as Astronaut Starbright) is an advocate, activist, a student at Spelman College, philanthropist and speaker. She wants to be a physician, scientist and astronaut. 

Her service and advocacy work continue to have an incredible trajectory that began when she was nine and attended Space Camp in Alabama. Her first fundraiser led to her own book drive, “Taylor’s Take Flight with a Book.” The effort has collected and donated over 20,000 books within and outside of the United States. Taylor has also sponsored several full scholarships to send girls to STEM and empowerment camps across the U.S. 

ON LEGACY: As I study to become a doctor, scientist, and one of the first Black women to go to Mars, I focus on shining a light on inclusion and diversity in STEM through my advocacy and philanthropy work. The legacy I want to leave behind is to bring a sisterhood of warriors with me all the way to the stars by disrupting the status quo where girls like me have equal representation at all tables; my advocacy work is rooted in representation and giving back to my community. 

It is my hope that I not only become a successful Black woman, but a progressive human being in society. Space camp may have taught me to reach for the stars, but there are problems down here on Earth that need solving first. Ad astra! 

Jeni Britton holding ice cream cone and smiling


Jeni Britton is an American ice cream maker and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the artisan ice cream movement, she introduced a modern, ingredient-driven style of ice cream making that has been widely emulated across the world, but never duplicated. Jeni opened her first ice cream shop, Scream, in 1996, then founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002. Her first cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller and won a coveted James Beard Award in 2012. Her second cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts (2014), took ice cream to the next level with an array of incredible plated, layered and piled-high ice cream-centric desserts. As Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Jeni remains the beating heart of the company and is in charge of all creative output—from the ice cream itself to the supporting details that enhance the experience of eating it. Jeni is a 2017 Henry Crown Fellow and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business today. 

ON LEGACY: First, I am aware that whatever future I imagine is just a story I create. It’s what I do at this moment that matters. It’s easier to make decisions in the rearview mirror, but today I’ve got to balance what I know with what I believe, and make a choice. I have spent a lot of time listening to my deepest essence in order to sharpen my instinct. But it’s not perfect. And I spend time reflecting about it in order to make it better. 

I’m starting a small movement called MADESTAND. It’s about teaching kids entrepreneurship through the lens of authenticity, passion, creativity, curiosity and community. I’m trying to find more kids like me who came from struggle. They are already resourceful, resilient and empathetic—all essential entrepreneurial superhero skills—but many fall through the cracks of our educational system. I would like the legacy of this organization to be that we played a small part to help grow the next generation of confident, well-supported entrepreneurs. And the very long game is to help balance the power structure in America by helping them to hold onto their ownership and their power. 

Lily Meola posing on rocks in a desert.

LILY MEOLA | @lilymeola

Lily was born and raised on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Her love of music blossomed in the passenger’s seat of her mom’s car listening to legendary artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell and Carole King. Lily began performing around Maui in local bars and cafes at the age of 11. Mentored by super-producer Bob Rock, Lily toured with the likes of Willie Nelson, learned to write songs with Jackson Browne, performed duets with Steven Tyler, Kris Kristofferson and Sammy Hagar, and cowrote a single for Andra Day titled “Amen.” Lily spent the last few years in the studio writing and producing the bluesy, soulful pop songs that made up her debut release. 

ON LEGACY: I want my songwriting to be my legacy, I want the listener to feel heard. I hope I can leave this planet with more smiles.