Honestly, if this is the first time you have heard of Shanika Pichey and you live in the Columbia area, I’m baffled. Shanika is everywhere. I first ran into her via an Etsy Crafting Party she helped to facilitate for the Columbia area two years ago. She organizes several crafting events through her Gather & Craft classes. She blogs here and here. Oh, and here, too. She also sells her spectacular handmade goods. You probably have seen her on Saturday morning selling her wares at Soda City Market. Or maybe, like me, you have seen her on instagram showing snippets of her latest creations and two adorable sons. Thankfully, Shanika took a few minutes from her busy life to share so we can learn a bit more about what makes this creative soul tick.
Where do you call home?
Cayce. Before Cayce it was Irmo.
Share an accomplishment that makes you feel proud.
Learning to live with my depression and not let it get the best of me. It took too many happy years from my life.
Does religion play a role in your life?
Yes and no. My family was raised Christian but I do not consider myself one. I have my own personal beliefs but I can’t put on title on it. I’ve studied and understand several religions and pulled a little something from all of them.
What motivates and inspires you?
Life, my family, creative ideas, a ball of yarn, fabric and sewing projects, other makers, books, reality TV (Seriously, when you think your life is crazy just turn on Bravo. You’ll feel better about yourself), thoughts in my mind.
What are some of your favorite qualities of Southern Women?
How you can never really know what they are thinking behind a certain look or smile. Nothing better than a cunning smile. Or a mean stare. I continue to practice both. I think I have mastered the stare with my boys but then they do something cute and I’m putty.
What stereotype about Southerners needs to die?
I think the biggest one is political views. There are progressive thinkers down here.
Tell us about your parents/family growing up.
My dad was in the military so the early years of my life was very nomadic. I’m the youngest (I have an older brother and sister) and it shows. HA! I used to be so bratty. Hell, I still am (sometimes). My parents and I definitely went back and forth when I was growing up but it’s when mental health was looked at very badly and shamefully. None of us knew what was going on or how to handle it. Now, they are like my BFFs. My brother is out in California so usually I talk to my parents and sister on a daily. We are so ridiculous. One moment we are having a chill conversation and the next thing we are yelling or getting annoyed. But you can believe the very next day (or hour) we are calling each other again. And don’t even think about trying to have a private conversation. If I call my mom my dad is in the background asking “What is she saying?” Or trying to chime in. That’s when I am not surreptitiously (or so they think) put on speaker. If one person tells someone one thing, everyone will soon know. It’s gotten to the point where we have to preface certain conversations by saying “Are you alone?” “Don’t tell anyone this but…” It never works. Someone always tells.
Who do you depend on for support in your life … and who depends on you?
Myself. And I am not saying that in a negative way. For so long I depended on others to support me or give me the approval I thought I needed when really I needed to be more confident in myself. Who depends on me? Definitely my sons. Whoever said boys were easier doesn’t have boys.
Can you describe your typical day?
I’m a terrible sleeper so I’m up late and up early. I’ve become to prefer it. I like the dark and silence. I can be alone with myself and thoughts and get things done. Usually I am up between 3-5. If I’m not working out I try to knock some chores out of the way (before my husband and sons are awake). Then it’s getting my oldest ready for school and dropping him off. My youngest stays home with me so between working on personal and business projects, I am talking care of him. It is not uncommon of me to sew a line, knit or crochet a row, throw something in the dye pot, between making him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or singing Dinosaurs A to Z. Late afternoon to evening consists of school pick up, homework help (if needed), dinner, spin class (My obsession!), time with my husband, trashy TV, mini at-home facials (another obsession). And sprinkled in between all of that is social media time, talking to friends and family, and anything else I can handle. Hmmm, I feel like I’m missing a few things. I know I am. I’m pretty sure I have ADD and/or ADHD so I’m always doing something.
What brings you the most pleasure in your life right now and how has that changed over the years?
My family is the obvious answer so I will say creating. Definitely creating. Just talking the ideas from my mind and making them a reality.I’ve had a lot of moments lately when a project is finished and I just smile to myself because I know I’ve done well. Such a good feeling.
Bonus question: What is your favorite southern saying?
It’s definitely being used much more nationally but I have finally embraced the word “Y’all.” For the longest I refused to use it but hey, my iPhone recognizes it as a word so why continue to fight the urge? My most Southern moment happened recently when a friend caught me saying to my sons “Y’all get in y’alls room!” #YouKnowYoureASouthernMomWhen
Well, I Declare is a series that highlights local Southern women who are forging their own paths and making change in their community. We ask them a bit about this & that to gain some insight into the women all around us, who are shaping the fabric of the South.