Purpose Finds You
by Sharie Renee
My name is Sharie Renee and I started Cosmic Bobbins, a social entrepreneur in 2002. In 2015, I founded Cosmic Bobbins Foundation, a 501(c)3 to help support our mission-based work. I love animals and have six rescue cats.
Entrepreneurship runs in my family; my great-grandfather and grandfather started a funeral home where I spent a lot of my time growing up. My mom, three aunts, cousin, and my brother are all self-employed. It really says something about DNA. I think my experiences growing up in the funeral home also shaped my mission-based work. Working in the funeral home as a youth introduced me social work at a young age and servant leadership. I have always been a creative soul and lover of the arts. I believe the arts have a magical power to transform people and communities.
I discovered a passion for sewing and textile arts when I was in college pursing my undergraduate work in Interpersonal Communications and an Environmental Studies minor. During that time, I asked myself “What are we creating with our hands?” And further, “who is creating it and how is that work fostering a sense of hope and meaning?” That very simplistic question would take me on a sixteen-year journey working with a variety of underserved populations, using art as our medium of message and support. Through creating a social enterprise, I was able to embed my personal core values into our mission. I think it all resonates from my upbringing in the funeral home; realizing that we are all only visitors here on planet earth. What are we contributing to during our limited time here? I think our experience is about love, connectivity, and to make a world a more socially just place.
Currently, I’m finishing up a Masters in Nonprofit Management at The Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. My decision to go back to school as an adult is a major transformation in life. While taking a full course load, we experienced six break-ins to our brick and mortar shop. The financial and emotional stress impacted the sustainability of our social enterprise. The collective impact of the multiple breaks-ins caused us to close the retail portion of the enterprise and we were unable to keep paid staff.
There’s a lot of trauma that goes along with these types of incidents. I tell people it’s not the actual break-ins, but the disassociation that comes after it. It was frightening to realize how quickly we lost our financial stability. I wasn’t sure how we were going to make it. It was at that time that I realized that we are never really in control; my only option was to surrender to the divine things that were happening in my life. I used my own personal trauma to delve into a deeper sense of empathy for those that I serve through my work and realign myself with my core values. Professionally, this also meant embracing more of our nonprofit education and outreach.
Something deep down inside told me that these setbacks were not meant to keep me down, but to propel me to a greater good. My inner guidance seemed to instruct me to rise with this cosmic intelligence, like the crops rise and grow to the sun. I think my personal healing started when I made the mental switch from “this is happening TO me” to “this is happening FOR me.”
I’m still going through this transformation. I believe there are great things on the horizon. While I still feel my own personal transformation is underway; to rebuild I must ask what is most important to me and what do I need at this time in my life.
Be fearless in following your dream. Having a vision that perhaps no one else sees and knowing who you are makes you a woman of purpose. Embrace your journey and hold energy for others. You don't search for purpose, purpose finds you.