Sharie Conard - Woman to Watch Class of 2014




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Sharie Conard is the owner of Studio One, a boutique dedicated to “Women Supporting Women.” Studio One specializes in caring for the physical and emotional health of women during and following cancer treatments. They work with women to supply hair and breast prosthesis. Studio One is also a partner with Hello Gorgeous!, working to surprise women undergoing cancer treatments with a head-to-toe makeover and surprise reveal party. 

Loving women
“We are women supporting women here at Studio1,” explains Sharie. “When you hear the words you have cancer, at that point you hear nothing else. Shock sets in and you are trying to clarify all you have heard so far. The next step [for women] is to tell their story because they all have one. In God’s word it says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. With this said we have the opportunity to hear each woman’s story from her heart—each unique in its own way, feelings all over the place, choices she has to make almost immediately and treatment starts tomorrow. Ladies feeling overwhelmed just need someone to hear their story, this helps them hear and put things in perspective. Women are wonderful and their stories are all unique not one is ever the same. Loving my job is loving people, what could be better than that?”
 
A career that chose her
Sharie graduated from Cosmetology College in Port Huron Michigan in 1986. She is certified in Hair Replacement by New Concepts Hair Goods, Inc. and American Board Certified in Orthotics and Prosthetics and Mastectomy Fittings. Her studio is also an American Board Certified Facility.  
 
Sharie believes that she didn’t choose her career—it chose her. “I always wanted to be a cosmetologist as long as I can remember. Helping women with real issues in life seemed to find me wherever I was. In this case it was hair loss due to accidents, alopecia or medically-related. Traveling to New York, for the cutting edge of technology to bring back for my clients expanded in more ways than I could ever imagine. Each time, I grew into another area of need for women of today. With twenty-four years of owning my own business behind me, each year still brings on new challenges as well as new goals.”
 
“Many years ago, I had a friend who passed away from bone cancer,” Sharie explains. “Cheryl and I did everything together. We raised our children together, exercised together, did everything that you would do with a friend. After Cheryl became sick, I called her up one day and asked if I could come do her hair. She replied to me, "Sharie, I don't have any hair!" As a result, she stopped going anywhere, choosing instead to remain in the privacy of her house. And she did so until the day that she died. It was then that my heart took over. It told me that no one should ever endure that. It made me change my business from a full service hair salon, to a special needs boutique offering custom-fitted medical wigs and a full line of apparel for Mastectomy, Lumpectomy, Reconstruction and Lymphedema patients. As much as it breaks my heart knowing what Cheryl went through in her last days, I am encouraged in knowing that today, there is that "special place" for women like her and that none of them will ever have to endure what she did.”
 
A Family Business
“As a business owner, I've learned that if you want your business to run smoothly when you are not there, then you need to duplicate yourself,” Sharie comments. “Since we are a family owned business and I have all three of my daughters (and even a granddaughter) working with me, that is exactly what has happened. The process of teaching, training, mentoring and releasing them has been very rewarding. Now, watching them serve the community with the same love and passion that I have makes me a very proud mother as well as business owner.”
 
And part of the team is Sharie herself, who goes above and beyond to ensure that all of the women she works with receive the very best. “Sharie goes above and beyond regular business hours and never has a negative thing to say about anyone. She always tries to see the best in everyone. She volunteers her time whenever and wherever asked. Even if she didn't have time, she would make time. She is just the best,” says Brenda Leja. 
 
The reason that Sharie works so hard? She knows the impact that her work is making on women. “When the ladies we help come in to tell us that all their tests are negative and they are cancer free...we all cry and celebrate together,” Sharie says. “They then say, ‘I just had to tell someone the good news and since you have been walking this journey with me I knew you'd want to know.’”
 
Sharie’s oldest daughter, Lori, is the store manager at Studio I. She also has a son, Michael, who is 35 and her youngest daughter, Trisha, 33, serves as the store’s assistant manager. Sharie and her husband also have 12 wonderful grandchildren ranging from 3-year-old twins up to the oldest at 16. Sharie has been married to her husband Michael for 37 wonderful years and the couple resides in Bridgman, MI. 
 
Not Just a Pretty Face
Sharie boasts an impressive array of achievements, both in her personal and professional life. In 1998, Sharie was crowned Mrs. Southwest Michigan, a title that opened the door to her ministry as a Gospel singer and motivational speaker. “There are a lot of hurting people out there,” Sharie says. “When I am asked to speak or sing, I understand what an honor it is to be able to inspire others at their time of need. As a Gospel singer, I realize that a song feeds the soul. My very first recorded album was titled ‘Reaching Others With Love.’ It was dedicated to any individuals whose lives have been touched by cancer in any way.” Sharie is also a part of The Women's Task Force - Secret Sisters Society, Hello Gorgeous! and the USAGEM (United States Association of Gospel Entertainers and Musicians) in Nashville, TN, which voted her Female Gospel Vocalist of the Year in both 2005 and 2006. 
 

Sassy Facts About Sharie:

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Just sitting and doing nothing (with my coffee and French Vanilla creamer).
 
What did you want to be as a child growing up?
A hairdresser, helping people look good and feel better about themselves.
 
Favorite book?
The one that holds all of the answers – The Bible!
 
Favorite scented candle?
Sandlewood - Myrrh
 
Favorite dessert?
Key Lime Pie
 
Name 5 things in your purse right now:
Lip gloss, lip liner, phone, wallet and keys.
 
What does success mean to you?
Being able to be true to who I am, having a husband who loves and supports me, being able to work with a family that I love and being able to make a difference in the lives we touch and the communities we serve.
 
What’s your best secret to “having it all?”
Balancing time. There is actually time for everything, you just need to balance it. Since you can't retrieve time, then there is no time to waste.
 
Favorite form of stress relief?
Family is a gift from God, so spending the weekend with all of my grandchildren—swimming in the pool, cooking, tea parties, walking or biking. They grow way too fast! This is my family and they are my stress relief.
 
How do you stay organized?
I stay organized by staying ahead of the game. Prior preparation is the key.
 
What’s your go-to in-office style?
Always some sort of a heel, tastefully simple and with all of the accessories.
 
Favorite weekend style?
Jeans, soft fleece and cuddling with my husband.
 
Favorite beauty product?
Nerium - six steps in one bottle!
 
What do you think makes up a Sassy woman?
Confidence, personality and being a woman of excellence.
 
What’s your #1 secret to success?
Success comes from trying and failing and getting back up again.
 
Best business advice you have ever receive?
A very dear friend once told me, "Always follow your heart, for your heart will never betray you".
 
What’s your best advice for women in business?
There are two ways to live. You can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle. If you choose the latter, then you will always be appreciative of the things that God has blessed you with.
 
Describe your typical workday:
I start my day by thanking God for giving me the opportunity to breathe one more day. Then I'm off to the shop, checking on appointments, emails, doing some promotional marketing, placing or checking on orders and shipments and occasional meetings. After the last client has left for the day, it's home to get into my workout clothes for a walk to the beach and back with a friend. I end my workday by thanking God for my blessed day and for all of the people He allowed me to help.
 
If you were a Sassy shoe, what would you be and why?
A stiletto of any kind. It's an awesome ice breaker! 

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