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Rising Stars: Meet Sharmika Payne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharmika Payne. 

Hi Sharmika, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
What bought me to where I am now… I am a 38-year-old Mother of 3 Comedians and Entrepreneur who was born and raised in Detroit, MI therefore; I was made for this! I started my entertainment journey with DPS. In the 3rd grade when I joined band at Loving Elementary School in Detroit. I learned to play the clarinet under the instruction of Mr. Grasty. I was also a talented dancer in which I was a part of dance groups in and outside of school. Me and my cousins had a dance group where we performed in all types of community and family events including our own Haynes Family Reunion! 

I then attended Spain Middle school which is a performing arts middle school. I continued my Music instruction under the world-renowned Ms. Victoria Miller. I continued playing the clarinet and learned 4 other instruments (Saxophone, Cornet, Flute, Oboe, and Drums), after which I went on to become Drum Major in 8th grade. We again performed at many events such as Broadstreet and the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade (the first and last middle school to ever do so). The band also traveled to many places such as HBCUs Were we got to perform with the college students. 

I also continued with Dance under the instruction of Ms. Coleman (who was also the cheerleader coach in which me and my BFF to this day Shakyra were the captains of the cheer team). She not only instructed us the discipline of Dance, but she also taught us how to sew our own dance skirts!!! 

I studied Drama/Art with Ms. Moore, Choir with Ms. Moore, and Ms. English. I graduated 8th grade as the only student who Mastered all of the Performing Arts courses during my middle school career. There was an award for that and it was given to the Drama teacher daughter who never had band nor choir and that broke my heart. I decided to give the arts a rest and focused on my Academia during my High school years at M.L King Jr. Sr. High School (c/o 2001 MSAT). Although I was a part of the Drama Troupe and took up Speech with Ms. Hoban (RIP), all of my other extracurricular activities were Academic Games, Latin Club, and remaining on the Honor Roll. And this is where the entrepreneurial journey set in. 

While in High School I created a group of friends (BAD GIRLZ) and we began throwing parties to cover all of our senior expenses. We had custom t-shirts we sold too! We did so well we were able to cover all 11 members’ senior dues and purchase our prom tickets as well as make a positive name for ourselves collectively and individually throughout the whole city. I graduated from High School and off to college I went. 

I attended Oakland University where I met more awesome friends, but I couldn’t return the following year because I owed money so I had to take a couple semesters off to start working. While working I met my ex-husband and had two of my Sons Sebo and Geion. My oldest was born with Hydrocephalus and later developed epilepsy and developmental delays. It was a challenge but I was determined to continue my education so I enrolled in Davenport University (where I was able to commute). With hard work and the support of my ex-husband (through layoffs at work, and multiple hospital visits with my children) I received my Associates ‘04 and Bachelors ‘06 both of which my children were able to attend as babies (they were born in ‘03 and ‘06). I then continued through and received my MBA from Wayne State University in ‘10 which is the same year my Divorce was finalized. 

I started working for the State of Michigan in 2010 as well and worked for 5 years in various positions but I realized public nor private sector work is really not my forte, so I quit in 2015 took my kids and all my savings, and moved to Lancaster, California (Los Angeles County). The travel and stay were beautiful and this is where I got the inspiration to create #Lovewaistbeads. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Some struggles I have encountered along the way includes getting this interview completed. No seriously, some struggles that I have encountered during the Covid pandemic with regards to Entertainment was the fact my shows all had to be postponed just like everyone else!!! BUT GOD!!! My Jewelry Sales increased tenfold!!! I turned the Pandemic into a Band-demic!!! It’s the beauty of Human Nature to be able to take the toughest situations and make it turn out to be the best thing imaginable (Thank you God!) I NEVER STOPPED! I deal personally with Mental Health (Depression, Anxiety, Bi-Polar and PTSD). But I am not my diagnosis, I am what God says I am!!! I take care of my WHOLE self by taking time to meditate on God’s word, doing yoga, getting out into nature (especially the water), and just stay more calm overall!!! My jewelry and being on stage making people laugh is also is very therapeutic for me. I have also found solace in helping others find their peaceful place within themselves!!! 

I have battled with covid personally (along with my mother and Baby and I had to take care of all of us), My children have been in and out of hospitals my oldest is exceptional needs and both him and my middle son had been faced with death. I have dealt with Homelessness and being Hopeless! I truly Got it out of the mud as they like to say! I’m haven’t quite made it exactly where I want to be yet but THANK GOD I’m not where I used to be!!! 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am an Entertainer and Entrepreneur!!! more specifically I’m a comedian and jewelry designer. I specialize in making people feel good through laughter and my beautiful crystal healing jewelry!!! I am most proud that I finally started comedy as I’ve been told my whole life I should be a comedian, I still went to school anyway :)! I’m also proud that I never gave up making my handmade crystal jewelry although I started at a time when not many people in my world had an understanding of waistbeads nor crystals I just continued to educate and once they got interested, I was their “go to” person, that makes me feel like the Guru ❤️✅💯. 

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