S1:E13 - Sharon Phoenix is In The Studio With Calamity Jane
In The Studio with Calamity Jane is a show highlighting the incredible people of Las Vegas!
Sharon had a dream of opening a Christian bookstore and cafe, and her dream led her out of banking, into becoming an entrepreneur. Her mission is inspiring people and giving back to the community.
If you're an amazing person in Las Vegas (or know one), fill out the guest application for a chance to be In the Studio with Calamity Jane!
Hello, welcome to another episode of In The Studio With Calamity Jane. My name is Jodi, also known as Calamity Jane.
Our purpose with this series is to take an amazing woman from Las Vegas and give them the spotlight for a moment.
Joining me today is Sharon Phoenix with Divine Inspirations Home Decor and Gifts. Welcome to the show Sharon.
[Sharon]: Thank you so much for having me.
Tell us a little bit about about your business.
Divine Inspiration Home Decor and Gifts was created by a dream of mine. When I first started my business, I really wanted a Christian bookstore with a cafe. So it was a way of giving back, and also inspiring women to enjoy life.
I have experienced a lot of trauma, just like most people have. And showing, and talking to women that have been through a domestic violence, or any of those bad things, a way that you, too, can come out. And inspiring them and encouraging them has always been something that I felt was my mission.
With Divine Inspiration, it was a way to also offer those beautiful home decor and gift items that also reminded women how amazing you are, the courageous woman that is dealing with cancer, cancer survivor. And it just really uplifted them, and I really love it.
How did you come to get started with this?
I started because I used to work for a local bank here doing merchant services. I would go out to local business owners, and they had home-based businesses. They were accepting credit card services, and so I was the one that would go out, set it up, and train the owners and their staff.
I started meeting a lot of people that had these home based businesses, and I was like, well how did you do this? How do you do something like this? And a lot of them [would] be giving so much information on it.
My mom and I have a balloon business and we've been doing it for a few years. But I also have this full time job. And I was like, I would really like to find out more about that. And by being with the bank, I was also involved with the Chamber of Commerce. So I was also having that opportunity to get out and meet people.
After the bank decided that they were going to outsource the department, I didn't have that job anymore. Went to another one, it didn't work, and so I went to the Chamber and said okay, what is this about starting your own business? Can you help me?
What do you feel makes you successful?
Well you know, successful is looked at in many different ways by people. It could be money, it could be status.
With me, I feel more successful if I've been able to make a difference, and touch some lives that are around me. I am also a counselor for the family court. So giving back to the community.
I love doing and being able to offer, again, that inspiration to people. So I look at success for me, it's being able to know that I've made a difference. Of course, money, monetary is good, and that does come along with it. But it's still building those relationships and I love building relationships.
What one piece of advice would you give to somebody who is maybe grappling with issues with sex/gender identity?
Well, one thing is research. Because even though we have a passion for something, you want to make sure that it is something that you can make a business out of it, and make a difference. And a lot of people that have a passion do not realize that they can turn that passion into a business, that's what it's about.
So I would let them know to do their research, don't be afraid to step out and learn more. I do a lot of workshops and webinars, and learn about the business, so you can be the best at it.
And now, the famous questionnaire that was asked for 26 years by the great Bernard Pivot and made famous on In The Actors Studio:
What is your favorite word?
Probably "persistence". Because I believe that you never give up on what your dreams are and what you're doing. You just keep going at it. And in time, it will reveal itself, and then we learn from being persistent and not giving up.
What is your least favorite word?
"Can't". I hate that word, can't. Because with anything, it's worth trying. A lot of times we feel can't do this here.
I had a situation a few years ago, that kind of set me back, and I found myself going, "oh my god I can't do this". And oh no, you gotta figure out how you can do it. Another way, look at other options. But I don't like can't.
What turns you on creatively, emotionally, or spiritually?
Creatively, I have a creative mind. So I love making things and putting things together. I do flower arrangements, I'm working on my own line of soy candles that hopefully, I can have those distributed soon. It's the fact of trying to find good packaging is where I'm at right now.
But I love creating things, I wish I was an artist, where I could draw, but that part wasn't it. I have family that does do that, and they're like, "but you have the creative side". So I like that.
What turns you off?
Rude, obnoxious people. Because it doesn't cost to be kind. And I don't understand why there's so much anger and stuff, and people are just so rude and nasty for no reason. It's like, you don't even know me, you probably would like me if you get to meet me. But you know, that's the way it goes. I don't like rude people.
What is your favorite curse word?
That's a good one, because I can't say I really have a favorite one. I try to not use them, but lately my daughter has stressed the fact that mommy has gained a potty mouth. So I guess, damn, and shit, keep coming out. And when others come out I get angry, because I don't want to go there. I'll be like, okay, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that. But my daughter says, yeah, you're getting a potty mouth now, I don't know what's going on. <laughter>
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of waterfall. My dream is to try to get to Niagara Falls. Because I really like the sound, it's relaxing. That's my favorite along with good jazz music.
What sound or noise do you hate?
I hate it when people crack their knuckles, it drives me crazy, for whatever reason it just does. And I have people around me that do it.
Popping their knuckles or popping gum, drives me crazy.
What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
My dream profession would be tour guide. I really like traveling anyway, even though I haven't been a whole lot of places. But I think it just would be great to give people a tour of places and let them know the history about it. And what's behind it, and be able to see just different places all over the world, because there's some amazing places that we'll probably never see in our lifetime. But if I had that, I would really enjoy that.
[Jodi] Where would your first tour be?
I want to go to Greece. My husband's brother lives there, and he's an opera singer, and so I'm just like I want to go. I want to experience that, so hopefully one day.
What profession would you not like to do, like ever?
I did call center for awhile, and I never want to ever, ever do that again, I don't like just being stuck at a desk with your phones. I like mingling with people, I like relationships. And just being there on the phone, I know you have to learn how to smile through the phone. I can do all that good stuff, but I like moving around. I don't like standing still that long.
If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
That's something I think about often. I want him to say, "Well done young lady. Throughout all this stuff that we threw at you, you did good, you didn't throw in the towel."
I kept going, this too shall pass, this too shall pass. It will get better, you believe, you have faith and trust, He knows what he has for us. So I want to hear "well done".
[Jodi]: Thank you for being on the show today, Sharon.
[Sharon]: Thank you so much for inviting me.
Thank you for watching! Join us for the next edition of In the Studio with Calamity Jane, where we put another amazing person from Las Vegas in the spotlight.
Gender Justice Nevada contact information: http://genderjusticenv.org (702) 425-7288 Facebook : Donate