Sheila G., 27
Precious Heart Designs
Most hated stereotype: Among the many that bother me, the one that irritates me the most is when a black person is classified as “acting or talking” white.
A journalist, proper grammar comes naturally to Sheila.
So when people suggest the way she talks goes against the characteristics of her race, she doesn’t understand.
“I have been told many times that I “talk” white or “act” white,” she said. “I think this is so ridiculous because I have never “acted” like a certain race. I act like myself.”
A common, usually derogatory, comment in the black community, Sheila sees it as a hindrance.
“I think this stereotype hurts us as a race for several reasons, most of all because if a black person is speaking properly, why can’t that mean they are educated?”
A proud Kansas State University alumna, Sheila was once told by a coworker that she was the “whitest black girl” she knew.
Proud of her black and Filipino background and firm in her faith, Sheila doesn’t live her life to fit into any of society’s boxes. With the support and encouragement of her husband, she left her job at an East Coast newspaper to start her own business crafting jewelry.
“When I found my passion creating jewelry with purpose and inspiring others, I felt like I really started living,” she said. “There was no right or wrong. My only task was to create beauty. And the beauty is in the process of creating something from my heart.”
Sheila started Precious Heart Designs in 2012, while on maternity leave with her first son. The message behind each piece she makes is rooted in the bible.
Precious Heart designs have graced the wrists and necks of celebrities including R&B singers Chrisette Michelle and Raheem Devaughn as well as Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin.
Back in Kansas and working in public relations, Sheila continues to grow her business and spread her faith. In her community she speaks about and encourages entrepreneurship. If she could, she’d work more to support young girls who want to own their own business and teach them that they can do anything they put their mind to.
“They don’t have to be a statistic and overcome by their circumstances or environment.”
Describe a story about a time/event in your life that you believe most defines you:
When I decided to quit my first job as a newspaper reporter after college graduation. It took a lot of guts to quit a job when I didn’t have another job lined up. It also changed the course of the career I had worked so hard for and thought was my passion. After starting a family I didn’t want my life to be controlled by the news and my career. I reached a turning point in my life and I had made up in my mind that I was going to work for myself and pursue my passions.
A person once asked me what did I like to do besides writing and reporting. What were my hobbies? I had no real answer. When I found my passion creating jewelry with purpose and inspiring others, I felt like I really started living. There was no right or wrong. My only task was to create beauty. And the beauty is in the process of creating something from my heart. It was icing on the cake that other people actually liked what I created. I love the freedom of creating. There’s no source that was going to leave a crazy message on my voicemail, no cringing about what assignment my editor would hand to me next or what tragedy that might be announced on the police scanner.
What makes you happy?
Living life without regrets.