We had the good fortune of connecting with ShaGraila Hammond and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi ShaGraila, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
I spent a good chunk of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t. I tried to be better than I actually thought I was. I tried to look like someone else.I tried to talk like someone else. I tried to be who my parents or friends wanted me to be. I tried everything but myself. Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out how to apologize to myself sufficiently. I thought happiness was in being someone else. I’ve learned that happiness is within me. The simplest things bring me joy. I’m happy when the weather is just right or when my favorite song comes on in my playlist. I’m happy pouring myself a glass of water or wine. Mostly, I am happiest when I get to do things I love.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Almost 6 years ago, I launched my first business and a lot has changed since then. Not only has the name changed, but I’ve also seen a mission and job title change. In the beginning, I created an event-based service for black teen girls who wanted to see more representation of themselves within the community. Two years later, that shed its skin and developed into an event planning business. While operating as an event planner, I planned weddings, galas, festivals, and more. Now, entering year 6, I am shedding more skin with my new business venture. ShaGraila LeAnn & CO is a brand and marketing consultant company. I’ve done more wrong and made more mistakes in the past five years than one should have, but I honestly regret nothing. I learned that who you are personally slips over into who are professionally, and as a 22-year-old who had no idea who she was, my personal self followed me into my professional world at every turn. I had to learn my pivot is not a pause. A pivot does not mean I failed. ShaGraila LeAnn is me, and she’s finally doing what she loves. It just took some time to get here.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am from Augusta and most people think Augusta is a small town. Although it does look like a small town, there are a lot of hidden gems. First, I’d suggest they book a cute Airbnb in downtown Augusta. Secondly, I’d say grab drinks at Craft and Vine, the best place to be on a Friday night. Saturday is all about the market on the river. There, they can get fresh flowers, produce, and goodies from local businesses. Next, they can get lunch at my favorite restaurant, Pineapple Ink Tavern. After they rest and relax, the next stop can be Top Golf. Then, they can’t forgot to stop by Studio Neighborhood Bar for late night fun. These are some of my favorite things to do in Augusta.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Last year was absolutely crazy. I found inspiration in the most unlikely places and people. The “Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks is the book that made me sit with myself. “Fear is excitement without the breath.” Here’s what this intriguing statement means: the very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it.” That passage alone stopped me in my tracks and had me rethink my life and what I was doing. I realized then that I was moving in fear, holding my breath, afraid to move forward. If I didn’t read “The Big Leap,” I’d still be holding myself back today.

Website: shagrailaleann.co

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shagraila/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shagraila-leann-a8a4641b9/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShaGraila

Other: mygabc.org 1millioncups.com/augusta

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