Cheryl comes from what she describes as, “a tribe of strong women!” The roots of her tribe were planted by, Fannie Bell, her 5 foot tall (on a good day) grandmother whose husband died tragically leaving her to raise 5 daughters on her own. Cheryl’s mother had 4 daughters whom she also raised on her own after their father (who was a substance abuser) decided to leave them to fend for themselves — which they did. They did what they had to do — each daughter getting jobs and “making it happen” — from their clothes to their cars. And today, as adults, they are all successful business women in their own rights. As a side note, each sister was named sequentially by alphabet — Annette, Brenda, Cheryl and Donna!
All the women in Cheryl’s family are very close — fortifying their bonds through all of life’s challenges. “Our female strength goes back for generations – put us together, and we can make anything happen. Women need women in their lives,” Cheryl says. At one point, they all shared an eight-room house. Cheryl’s grandmother, mother, 2 aunts, her 3 sisters and 2 cousins — ALL FEMALE — pulled together to buy the house in which Cheryl was raised, until each one left to get married. Even the dogs were female!
Cheryl’s mother taught her to, “be prepared, be educated, have a back-up plan and be strong!” They grew up on Hilton Head Island, running around in pigtails, bare feet, bikinis and destructed, cut-off Daisy Dukes — and, she loved it! She says the Laurie Felt Underpatch Weekender jean reminds her of her teenage years, and she has them in both washes.
Cheryl grew up with no men in her life – no father, no grandfathers – but she married young at 18, and she and her husband, Ben, raised their three beautiful children on Hilton Head. Cheryl describes herself as “a little bit of everything: mother, wife, sister, artist and friend.” She chose to be a stay-at-home mom and manage the office of their heating and air business for 30 years. Now, she and Ben are at the time in their lives when their parents need full-time care, and she has become their devoted caretaker.
But, she is also a passionate artist — specifically, she loves to paint abstract, “funky-colored” portrayals of birds and water. She also finds old, forgotten pieces of furniture and works her artistic magic to refurbish them into colorful and unique pieces. She sells them in local stores, and they sell so fast she can barely keep up with demand! “I can never keep any of my finds because they sell before I am finished!” But, she says it just thrills her heart when someone loves her art.
Cheryl is good at “blooming where she is planted.” At one point, she and her husband moved into a warehouse, but that’s okay because with art and cool furniture she made it pretty! And she’s a boho girl — she loves thumb rings and stacks of bracelets and, of course, some Laurie Felt! She says Laurie’s boyfriend jeans make her feel young, hip and on trend, and when we sent her some skinnies, she was a little hesitant. But, “WOW, who would’ve thought! They feel so great on,” she said!
Keep on being you, Cheryl! We are so grateful to have you as part of our Heartfelt Tribe.