We had the good fortune of connecting with Shemeka Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shemeka, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I think about work-life balance, what comes to mind is ensuring that regardless of what I have going on in my life, that I do not forget about myself. Here’s the thing, the world is setup to make you feel guilty about putting yourself first. I fell for that lie in my younger years but this version of me dismisses that notion wholeheartedly. I operate in a way that puts me first, mentally, physically & emotionally. I meditate, vacation as often as I can, I will carve out time for a monthly massage, I exercise, eat healthy, and I look myself in the mirror and check in with me. I allow myself to cry when I need to cry, be upset when I need to be upset, laugh when I need to laugh and play when I need to play; all these things bring me joy, and I feel free. By being free, I do not feel exhausted by life, because let’s face it, adulting sucks. My practice allows me to parent in such a way that I don’t feel exhausted by the needs of my child, I am relaxed and in a position to be an active and open listener for him, my friends and family. I am kind, please do not mistake that for weakness, I am committed without distraction to the success of my candle business and acting career and frankly, I choose to move in peace. What this also requires is setting boundaries, self discipline, commitment and resilience to be truly happy. A no remains a no and a yes remains a yes, when it is warranted. And while what I stated is easier said than done, it is not impossible; it’s a choice, a lifestyle.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
To run a business and be an actor is no easy feat. First and foremost, everything requires money. I still have a “9 to 5” , that I am beyond grateful for; it has allowed me to fund my passions and relocate without financial concern. I have worked for a company for 23 years and have been working from home for 11 years, I am a Business Consultant. I’m a mom 24/7; I do 3 jobs 5 times a week and 2 of the 3 jobs, 7 days a week. You see why I purposefully make time for me? I’m a productive woman. There is always something that needs to be done. Whether it be project work with the 9 to 5, preparation for and/or performing an acting audition/role; something with or for my son or running the daily activities of the candle business. As of right now I am a business of one, which I am looking to change, soon. Some days, I simply say ‘not today’ and focus on centering and grounding myself. A recharge of sorts. During the pandemic, my business orders were heavily scammed with individuals ordering clothing products with stolen credit cards, financial institutions filing fraud claims, and having to reimburse bank fees plus product purchases from my pocket. It was rough; this is what heavily contributed to me shutting down the dropshipping business. As far as obstacles in my acting career, building up the confidence over the years changed my entire perspective. I used to be really hard on myself and think that if I didn’t “make it” in my 20’s I would be too old for the business; until it clicked that the acting business always needs ANY age group, you can’t age out, it only ends when you stop trying. I’ve been placed on HOLD for jobs that, I believed, had an opportunity to skyrocket my career and have been released, not booked. I’ve had agents sneer their nose at me and speak as if I were less than them; I’ve worked on jobs and after the work was finished, I was never paid. I’ve been at this since 2003 so, yeah, I’ve had my share of experiences. For Be You Candles, Sept 1st, will be our 2 year anniversary, I am super proud of its progress and continued growth. The biggest challenge I’ve experienced is getting awareness and appropriate marketing of my brand; I am now partnering with a PR Consultant, Nantale Muwonge, owner of BlackgirlPR who is absolutely amazing!
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?
This is a perfect question because I actually do have a friend that visits me for about a week every summer since I’ve moved out here, she lives in Connecticut where I am originally from. Well, first, she always looks forward to my cooking, she misses that, I always make her meals of choice as a welcome. I’ve made portobello mushroom burgers, chicken alfredo, lobster and vegetables, omelets, cornish hen, spinach vegetable wraps..oh yes, I love to cook..too!. When we get together, I always ask her what she wants to do, the time she said, we can wing it; we spent a day at Laguna Beach, had beach time and shopping, took a flight over to Las Vegas to see a show and gambled and made a weekend out of it. I’d recommend doing a whale watching boat ride, taking a ferry and spending the day on Catalina Island, hanging at the Santa Monica pier, and Rise Rooftop in Anaheim is a great place for drinks, food, music and the Disneyland fireworks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this Shoutout to my son, Jackson. Jackson is 13yrs old, heading to the 8th grade and recently was inducted in the National Junior Honor Society. I am so abundantly proud of Jackson, he is such an AMAZING child. He is a genuine and kind-hearted soul, supportive, caring, responsible, and so helpful to me , his family and friends and simply the best person I have ever met. I love him beyond this world. I have told him he got the best sides from his parents and he is meant for greatness and my job is to guide and lead him by example.
In all that I do, he is my biggest fan, I could not do this without him! For my acting career; he has been my reader for auditions, for more than half his life at this point, he did act for 5years. For the candle business, he likes helping at the craft fairs, he has dubbed himself the “Supply Manager”. He often tells me “”Mom, you are so cool and you work hard” and I appreciate and love his acknowledgement. We have coined ourselves as “The Package”; the best parts of me blossomed when I was chosen to be his mom, I am honored to help him in his life’s journey.
Other: Be You Candles: www.beyoucandles.com