Sherry Pollex is busy. She’s vice president of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, which she and longtime boyfriend Truex started in 2007 to raise money and awareness for initiatives specific to ovarian and childhood cancers. She’s also owner of Lavender Boutique in Mooresville, which she opened in 2007 after educating herself by Googling “How to open my own boutique.” Born in Brighton, Michigan, Pollex, 37, is a graduate of Florida State, where she studied small business entrepreneurship in sports marketing. For her 37th birthday Pollex launched SherryStrong.org, an educational resource where women can learn about ovarian cancer. Pollex is a stage 3C ovarian cancer survivor.
Q. When do you first remember caring about your clothes?
A. When I got into the whole NASCAR scene and I noticed the other drivers’ wives were dressing up. We were going to a lot of charity events for sponsors, so I started to care a little more about my appearance. Also, other people started noticing my appearance, which made me pay more attention.
Q. Did your mom influence your style?
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A. In middle school and high school she didn’t want me to wear short shorts and mini-skirts. My mom has great style. She’s 72 and she is still fashionable and fun, and it rubs off on my customers.
Q. What does style mean to you?
A. It means feeling good about yourself and what you are wearing, and being comfortable, too. I’m always on the go. I don’t ever want to be that person who is walking around in 5-inch heels and looks uncomfortable.
Q. What would surprise people about your style choices?
A. My clothes are super casual and more affordable than people might think. In the summertime I run around in jean shorts and a tank top, and in the winter I’ll wear a skinny sweater and knee-high boots. Most of what I wear is under $100.
Q. What’s the most fun event that requires you to dress up?
A. The NASCAR Sprint Cup banquet in Las Vegas. We walk a red carpet and I wear an evening gown. The whole week I am there I have to have 10 different outfits for 10 different events. I have a stylist, Kristin Heinrich, that helps us get ready because it is too many outfits for me to get together.
Q. What’s a dress you love?
A. I have a Herve Leger that I wore to the Speedway Children’s Charity Ball. It is black and nude lace.
Q. How do you put together an outfit?
A. I get inspiration from Pinterest. Kristin helps me a little bit with that, too. She’ll come over and put outfits together and then take a picture of them with my phone.
Q. What’s a fashion mistake many make?
A. Wearing jeans that are too tight.
Q. What thing do you wear everyday?
A. My necklace and bracelets. It adds something to a plain outfit; if you throw on a necklace and bracelet it looks like you tried.
Q. I would trade closets with …
A. Jessica Alba. She is so classic and always looks comfortable and put together. She seems comfy but stylish every day. I also like Blake Lively’s style.
Q. Do you wear boots?
A. I wear a lot of comfy Frye leather boots. Dolce Vita makes boots that are comfortable, stylish and affordable; what more could you want? I wear Stuart Weitzman tall, suede, knee-high boots.
Q. Do you favor certain colors?
A. I like neutrals. In my closet you’ll mostly see tans, blacks, and a hint of teal because it is the color of ovarian cancer.
Q. What are two staples in your wardrobe?
A. Comfy heels. The most comfortable pair I have in my closet are Cole Haan. And a good pair of jeans. I have a lot of denim. AG, Hudson, or Citizens of Humanity are my favorites.
Q. What’s an item you thought would never work for you but does?
A. A fedora. Now they are in style. When I was going through chemotherapy, my go-to thing was to wear a hat every day.
Q. What does your hair say about you?
A. My whole life I had long blonde hair. As normal women we get attached to our hairstyle. When I got sick I went through this moment: You don’t care if you have hair, you’re just glad to be alive. Now I love it. I think it is cute and sassy and it takes me five minutes to get ready.
Q. Tell me about your purses.
A. I carry a Givenchy cross-body bag. It is taupe. When I want to carry a big bag I carry a Celine Phantom bag. I have one that’s gray suede and I have a crocodile multicolor one.
Q. What out-of-the-ordinary things are in your purse?
A. I always have food, usually a Lärabar or veggies and hummus. And my hard card; it’s actually called a NASCAR Sprint Cup credential.
Q. What are your essential beauty products?
A. I don’t use chemicals on my skin. I use Eminence Organic facial products. I use Jane Iredale makeup. They do a mineral makeup powder, eyeliner and eye powder.
Q. What scent do you wear?
A. The only thing I put on my skin is coconut oil.
Q. Where do you shop?
A. In Charlotte I shop at KK Bloom, Boem Boutique and Nordstrom.
Q. I never splurge on …
A. Jewelry. All my jewelry is cheap costume jewelry.
Q. I always splurge on …
A. A good purse. I keep my purses forever. I change them out all the time but I still have all of them.
Q. What’s a favorite on your iPod?
A. Always Jack Johnson.
Q. I don’t have fun when …
A. I’m hungry.
Q. What’s your favorite thing to make for a party?
A. I don’t, I cater it.
Q. What’s your favorite comfort food?
A. Before diagnosis it would have been pizza. But I don’t have a comfort food now because my diet is so strict.
Q. Do you have a favorite restaurant?
A. We go to Fork in Cornelius. It is about the only place we go out to eat. It is farm to table; good, clean organic food.
Q. What’s your favorite weekend destination?
A. I’m at a racetrack every weekend. But if I had to choose, the Exumas in the Bahamas is by far our favorite place to vacation.
Q. What’s a great piece of advice you’ve received?
A. To be a master of your circumstance, and not a victim of it. For me it is taking my diagnosis and doing something great with it, rather than feeling sorry for myself for having cancer. That’s what I do, I travel around the country and do speaking engagements and attend events to raise awareness for ovarian cancer.
Q. What inspires you?
A. My cancer kids at Levine. They wake up happy every day, even though they have pediatric cancer. How can that not inspire you to want to be better person, and to want to make the best of each day?