We had the good fortune of connecting with Shari Holly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shari, how do you think about risk?
I’ve always been a risk taker by nature. I believe risks are not only necessary in this life, but can be incredibly rewarding. If you think about it, our lives are made up of small risks we take everyday; every time we leave the house, when we start a new job or project, new relationships, start a business, those are all risks we take not knowing the outcome. Risks are so uncomfortable, but I believe that discomfort is where you find the growth. I don’t ever want to be stagnant or simply complacent. That’s not enough for me. Tasking risks has shown me new parts of the world, have open doors for me professionally, has shown me things about myself and my capabilities that I otherwise would’ve never learned. I think a lot of people look at fear and taking a risk as two separate things–that in order to take risks, we have to be completely courageous and without fear, and that just isn’t true. You will and should feel the fear, but feel it, and do it anyway. If you’re waiting for there to be no fear, then you’ll be waiting forever. I’m from Detroit. Risk taking is the reason I am in LA. I have a career than I genuinely love. Risk taking is the reason for that. I have a close-knit family that I moved away from to a city I had NEVER been to before. I had never been to LA a day in my life before moving here back in 2011, but I took the risk and did what I needed to do; uncomfortable, afraid and all. I also took a big risk leaving a job some years back confident in my decision, but having zero clue what my next step was. I remember meeting a woman named Kerstin Emhoff in a meeting several months prior and reached out to her to see if I could help her build a project she was looking to launch, and here we are 4 year later with Pipelines! I couldn’t even believe she remembered me ha! It really boils down to perspective. It’s everything. Fear/ Fear of failure will never be the reason I don’t take a risk. Failure is an absolute part of success. We shouldn’t fear it. How do you grow without failing? Without being in situations that are risky and uncomfortable? What do you learn? How do you discover what you’re capable of by playing it safe? Choosing if you want a life of discovery and growth, or a life of routine and complacency is entirely up to you.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As I mentioned, I head Operations for Pipelines which is a mobile app that connects underrepresented talent to job and training opportunities in tech, entertainment, and creative industries. The app also connects companies to a vast pool of underrepresented talent. What sets us apart from others is that we have a 360 approach to issue of lack of representation in these industries for marginalized groups. We tackle the issue at its root: lack of access, inclusion, and education/development/training. A lot of platforms focus primarily on connecting talent with jobs (which is obviously critical), but so is the education, the training, and the development opportunity as well. We provide it all. We work with talent (GenZ and Millenial) to break the barriers of entry into these industries by providing them with a tool to connect directly with companies and companies with talent.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Joshua Tree 100%. It’s literally my favorite place here in CA (…and maybe on Earth). It’s so nice to truly get away and go to the middle of nowhere to relax. My favorite things to do in JT are to rent an airbnb (with a nice desertscape view, and if there’s a hot tub, hammock, and fire pit…even better. I enjoy cooking, so stocking up on groceries is a must, Champagne and smore’s (separately) are my guilty pleasures but a must in Joshua Tree. As far as activities, walking JT National park, doing a soundbath at the Integratron, and honestly just a whole lot of RELAXING would be the move. I don’t know if the energy vortex thing is real out there, but you definitely feel a sense of calm and peace being there. Something I don’t take for granted. One thing Covid has taught me to do is to slow down relax more and this is definitely my fave place to do it. Also, none of my best friends live here so I would have to add an LA beach somewhere in there 🙂 Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
God. My parents. Brenda Perryman (R.I.P.). Katerina Zacharia. God is the absolute head of my life. I am so grateful to him for this life, my gifts, his favor, his love, and answered prayers. I am beyond blessed. My parents have always been supportive in more ways than I thought parents could be. They pour into me, pray for me, they inspire me, and are truly God-given, beautiful humans. They are my biggest cheerleaders. I’m so proud to call them mine. I love them more than anything. Brenda Perryman was my drama teacher all of high school-turned mentor. 20 years of love and true mentorship. She helped me find my voice, my creativity, showed me what it truly meant to be fearless and walk in my truth and power. She passed last year and I will forever honor her legacy. She was a true pioneer. Katerina was my boss at my first ever D&I job and she became an incredible mentor/ Shari-advocate even after we both left the company. She is modest, but she is one of the most badass, honest, humble, intelligent people that I know and I get to have her as lifelong mentor. She understands me. Shows me tough love and is responsible for my career in D&I 100%. She opened doors for me when no one else would and challenged me. A beautiful revolutionary. I can’t thank her enough.
Instagram: @shariislive and @pipelinespro