We had the good fortune of connecting with Sheree Swann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sheree, how do you think about risk?
What would my life be without risk? That’s a question I can ponder on and smile at… In a sense, one can equate risk taking with something being challenging because things can be deemed to yield unsafe, unstable and/or unsure results, right? I think back years ago to when I was back home in Connecticut. Although, it was a thriving and exciting time for me, I upped and left due to wanting more… I simply felt there was something more in store for me. Spirit said, “Go!” I didn’t have a job waiting but I was so ready for Atlanta. I found myself in this brand new city having to start all the way over building up clientele and such, but I had to honor the readiness. It was hard but it was so worth it. That’s the beauty of taking risks: You don’t know what’s on the other side until you get through…. The same applies for when I left a job I was working here in Atlanta. I was there for six years. They kept promoting me until that last promotion – the lateral one. It was timely because I was already feeling like it was time to bet on myself, for real, but was fearful of not having that steady paycheck every two weeks! I was already doing photography on side and had just dived in to teaching myself how to sew – which is when I birthed my handcrafted business ReeFresh By Ree. When I tell you it was HARD, IT. WAS. HARD!!! But, I never gave up. Doing this has been the most beautiful struggle ever and the opportunities, amazing. I even leveled up on my business and formed another LLC. What I know is, all of the skills I’ve acquired from my previous places of employment, helped prepare me for this journey – it’s been a spiritual one, for sure. I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself and faith, for that matter! The risks have been rewarding!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m so excited about my latest endeavor which is an online boutique. It’s a brand that focuses on designs based on art, culture and individuality. It’s also the next phase/step up from the handcrafted accessories line I have. I feel that ReeFresh By Ree has helped get me ready for Wild Seed Butik. I was apprehensive about not making every single item myself because it was rewarding to me, you know? But I knew if I wanted to scale, having my designs manufactured would ultimately be the way to go. It was hard to switch my mindframe but as time progressed and when COVID hit, I realized I was ready. I’m mostly used to being behind the scenes but I’m still learning to not be afraid to put myself out there. Although my friends would disagree, LOL, I’m quiet by nature – an introvert, if you will; and I don’t ask anybody for anything. So with that, closed mouths don’t get fed! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are people ready and willing to support more than we even know at times. I just want people to follow their bliss! I started all of my business ventures (photography/video editing, sewing handcrafted accessories and creating designs for apparel because I was tired of clocking in and putting in work to build someone else’s business/dream and not having/making time to do what brought me joy. I felt wholeheartedly that my passions and skills could be the way that I support myself and I still do. Period!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
2020 had me very still. I was quiet and off of social media, more so in a meditative way. During this time, I birthed Wild Seed Butik, an online shop: it was super late nights and early mornings, designing the clothing and doing the website… A whole lot of frustration and a whole lot of blissful excitement! My fiance’, Nate Barnes, was there through it all: He’s become my model, he keeps me encouraged, spreads the word, came through and invested and is quick on his feet to rework plans and make things happen when they just didn’t seem to pan out on my end. He’s super supportive and has been a true blessing. My twin sister, Sheron Swann, has been someone that I can run ideas by. She’d help green light designs and would be honest if I was going overboard. I appreciate her words of encouragement, investments and spreading the word, as well. It means so much to me… Just the same with my mother, Lois: She believes in what I’m doing. I’m just so grateful! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Village Market ATL! Before there was a Village Market, Founder, Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon, held an entrepreneur master class series at the Grounds Coffee Shop in Atlanta. It was a monthly series that had a panel of entrepreneurs of many different areas of expertise talk about business – their business, their journey, support, taking action, etc. It was great! The room was filled with budding entrepreneurs and those exploring the idea. This was so timely because it was happening right around when I left that job that offered the lateral promotion. Well, after the master classes, The Village Market was created. From the second market on, I vended and was able to get my handcrafted goods on public display and talk to customers about my business. That was the best feeling ever! I’ve learned a lot from those markets and the workshops they hold for business owners. The opportunities have been so amazing and the work that Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon is doing for the community has been nothing short of that! The experience has been priceless… I wholeheartedly Give Thanks! Beyond that, I definitely have a creative and dope tribe – watching them work and create inspires me on a daily basis.