We had the good fortune of connecting with Sharon Chenausky Sharon Edwards and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sharon Chenausky, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Forming a partnership with my friend has proven to be the most important business decision I have made. Our past work/life experience has given us each a unique perspective on business as well as different strengths in running the Creative Collections shop and pursuing our creative journey as Sharon Squared. We are keenly aware of those differences and strive to divide up responsibilities accordingly. There are still challenges, but sharing the workload is enabling us to move forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As textile artists, we find joy in the clever upcyle. We search for items in thrift stores (or bags donated from friends) and look for potential. We see things for what they could become, more than what they are. With each project, we push ourselves to try new things and learn new skills. The biggest challenge is working with what someone else has already created. Unlike buying fabric at a store, our textiles come with character built in. That character provides the most opportunities as well as the biggest obstacles. By careful cutting, creative dyeing and the addition of scraps from other projects, we give new life to old textiles.
Taking over the Creative Collections shop has proved to fit right in with our upcycling sensibilities. We use fixtures from artists and friends, and have found creative ways to hold classes using the 24′ concrete counter that runs right down the middle of the shop. We use what we have and make it work.
Greatest Lesson we have learned is to find the potential in every situation. Be encouraged by the possibilities.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite thing to do is to find an outdoor market – Artisans or Farmers Markets. Depending on the season and the day the DFW metroplex has opportunities to shop local everywhere. Stockyards is always a must see for visitors to Fort Worth – Always stop at Risky’s to eat. Stroll around Sundance Square and stop at Melt ice cream! Fort Worth Zoo is one of the best!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to give a shoutout to a few other women business owners that helped us grow. Kim Olstrup – owner of Midcities Montessori. Kim is all about supporting community and women in business. She goes out of her way to make things happen. She encouraged me in my creative business and introduced me to a host of incredible business owners.
Kathleen Garza – owner of The Twisted Gypsy was one of those. Kathleen had a vision for an artist pop up shop and gathered her artist friends to make it happen. She also worked with the River East Fort Worth Association to build the Race Street Rollick into an ever-growing outdoor artist market.
Sharon and I were invited to join the pop up shop, Creative Collections and together have built it into a permanent shop where artists can sell year round, teach classes and build community. The artists in the shop are a constant source of encouragement and inspiration as well. We are blessed.