SHEREE FLETCHER: From the ‘exe’ life to the next life
Interview and Words by: Kendra Pete
Reality stars often face much adversity for their opinions and actions on reality shows. Some welcome the adversity with ‘I don’t care’ attitudes while others tend to stay in a state of apology. However, all members can say this new form of fame drastically affects their lives.The VH1 hit reality series, Hollywood Exes, sheds insight on the lives of women who were once married to iconic celebrities but now are headed down different walks of life. Sheree Fletcher, former wife of actor, Will Smith, chatted with DELUX magazine to describe her experience on the show as well as how her life is so much more than being an ex-wife. The breakout star is a woman of many hats-empowering motivational speaker, straightforward businesswoman, dedicated mother and supportive wife that really gets down in the kitchen. A flourishing skin care line and online boutique are just the preface to what this budding entrepreneur has in store for the world. Her life has brought upon many titles all of which she embraces whole-heartedly, but for today, she is simply Mrs. Sheree Elizabeth Fletcher.
Delux: You guys just wrapped up Season 2 of Hollywood Exes, the show has been getting great feedback and received a warm welcome from the reality-tv lovers. I would love to know more about your experience on the show and your relationship with the other cast members?
The experience has really been amazing! We have a lot of fun together, [and] we have a lot in common; there’s a bond. We’re really a sisterhood. It’s a support system. We really want to see each other succeed…and we have great relationships outside of the show.
Delux: What doors has the show opened for you that may not have opened as quickly if you had not been on the show?
I think it just gives you visibility on a grand scale…one of my heart’s desires is to minister to women. I just have a passion to help other women, and it’s opened those doors a lot quicker…in terms of I get a lot of speaking offers, which is great because that is something that I want to do.
Delux: So, naturally, when you have a group of friends, everyone kind of plays a role in the friendship. There’s the party-goer, party-pooper, the social butterfly, and the mother of the bunch just to name a few. What do you think your role or character is on the show?
I think I’m the mother. I’m the mom; I’ve been called the ‘Mother Hen.’ So, I’m the voice of reason you know. I’m the one that the girls come to when they need some direction, some advice or…I’ll speak out on a situation and say ‘Hey, wait a second. Did you look at like this versus looking at it like that?’
Delux: How do you think your role on the show relates to women whose lives are a little less luxurious or glamorized than yours?
You know, I think we’re all very relatable because like the issues that you see on the show, for example, this season, Mayte had the unfortunate experience of losing two children…she wants so badly to be a mom, so she ended up adopting. That’s something that touches a lot of women …there are a lot of women that can relate to that issue. We have issues with our children not doing what they’re supposed to do, not going to school…these are issues that touch women, and it doesn’t matter what you’re economic status is. It doesn’t matter where you live- these are real issues that affect us all.
Delux: Have you ever experienced getting that audience feedback from some of the fans of the show saying ‘Hey Sheree, I really related to you guys on the show this week. I really feel for Mayte. I’ve experienced something very similar’ like maybe on your Twitter page or other social media sites?
Yes…you get a lot of that where the women are very, very grateful…that we have the courage to put ourselves on the frontline because that’s what it is when you do a reality show. They’re grateful that we keep it classy; they’re grateful that we do want to support one another…It’s a positive show, so I think people are pleasantly refreshed and surprised by our show, and we have a lot of support and a lot of love.
Delux: Do you think being as transparent as you guys are on the show takes a toll on you guys like maybe you feel like ‘Man, maybe I shouldn’t have showed that on air because now, they may not support my decisions anymore or just disagree with something I do?’
Yea…that comes with the territory …what’s been my experience is that they have not taken us out of context. They keep the integrity of an issue or a situation in tact, but in reality, you can’t…you can’t see everything. They can’t show from beginning to end. So, sometimes when you see it you’re like ‘Oh, God, I wish they would’ve showed me like this’ but it kind of is what it is…it’s a learning experience for all of us…you kind of have to take some responsibility as well.
Delux: So, outside of the show, you’re quite the business lady. You have your own skincare line called ‘Whoop Ash,’ and it kind of started in your own kitchen. Tell me what inspired the idea for ‘Whoop Ash?’
It stemmed from my love for cooking…I read a book called ‘The Secret Life of Bees,’ and that got me interested in honey. So I said, ‘I can kind of make some recipes with honey maybe a barbeque sauce, maybe a caramel sauce.’ So, I’m doing my research online just trying to be inspired and get some direction in terms of different types of recipes and what I could do with honey…but recipes for skin and the body were popping up. So, I ordered a bunch of ingredients in bulk and mixed some together in a gumbo pot. I made this amazing body butter, and my initial thought was never a business for me. I gave it away, and the people that I gave it to were so supportive and Jada being one of them…She was like, ‘You don’t even understand what you have here, this is a business for you’…and one thing lead to another and here it is.
Delux: Where can we get this body butter? Is it sold in retail stores or only online?
It’s exclusively sold online. You can get it at whoopash.com, and you can get it on ShereeElizabeth.com.
Delux: Which leads me to my next question. Do you rock some of the jewelry from the ShereeElizabeth website?
Girl, all the time! That’s my brand, you know I have to be my own walking billboard…and I’ll tell you, all of the girls, every single one of the girls support the boutique, and they wear a lot of the pieces in the show…it’s funny [because] I’m watching and say ‘Oh there’s a ShereeElizabeth piece! There’s another ShereeElizabeth piece!’
Delux: So, what are some of your favorite pieces to wear for casual outings or very formal events?
I have amazing earrings…so, if I’m going to go to a fancy outing or formal or cocktail party then I like to have a lot of BLING!…just fabulous earrings…I’m classy with a trendy twist.
Delux: What would you say is your must-have accessory, the one accessory you can’t go a day without?
Well, my wedding band…that is a must, but you know what I love? It’s a brand called Tawapa, and they do all this funky body piercing jewelry, but they have a classic line. So, I buy the classic line, and they do the most beautiful…handcrafted earrings…I’ve got these big oval hoops that I love! They’re so light, and those are like a daily kind of something that I wear.
Delux: Now, we’ve acknowledged the fact that you’re a TV personality and businesswoman, but we definitely can’t exclude the fact that you’re a family woman first. You’re a mother of one, and the wife of a retired NFL player turned pastor.
How does your family keep you centered and at peace when the working world around you becomes extremely busy and maybe somewhat chaotic?
Home is such a sanctuary-it really is. There’s just so much love and warmth in my house. My husband constantly covers me in prayer; my son covers me in prayer…we hold each other accountable. We really love each other, and we want to see one another succeed…they keep me on point.
Delux: Now, your son, who is in fact your only child, is turning 21 this year. How is mom handling the fact that her baby is going to be legal in a few months?
She is struggling…there is no other way to put it! It’s more of ‘my baby is growing up’ which is kind of heartbreaking. For me, it’s bittersweet…it’s not a thing where I worry about him…Trey is a very, very good, levelheaded, sensible, smart young man. So, I don’t worry about him.
Delux: What do you admire most about your son considering the fact that his father and mother are big public figures, and his siblings are making big moves in the entertainment industry?
He’s just good…he’s just a good human being. I told him, ‘I like you so much,’ and he was like ‘Mom!’…but [I told him] ‘I’m not supposed to like you.’ I said, ‘Trust me, a lot of people love their kids, but don’t always like them.’ He’s such a sweet soul. He’s such a good person. He’s just good, and that’s what I like most about him…that’s my baby!
Delux: What would you say is a characteristic trait he inherited from you and then one he inherited from his father?
I think from me, he enjoys his alone time. That’s very much like his mom. So, his need for solitude [is what] he got from me. He got his height, thank God, from his dad because everybody in my family is 5’6 and under…and…his talent for music and the arts…I’ll give dad credit for that one.
Delux: Now, you mentioned earlier that you really love to cook, and I heard you were pretty serious in the kitchen. I also read that your mac ‘n’ cheese is so good that your family and friends call it “crack ‘n’ cheese.” Where did these excellent cooking skills derive?
I love to eat. I’ve always enjoyed food! I remember getting in trouble at the dinner table because I’d be dancing and humming when I was eating…my mom would be like ‘If you don’t sit still!’…but I started to cook because I loved food and a sister was hungry! I just really developed a passion for it…I’ve been cooking since I was about 10-years-old.
Delux: What is your go-to dish when you only have a few minutes to whip something up for the family?
You know, I don’t even cook like that, but I can make things quick[ly]. I can do fried chicken…I usually like for food to simmer and really kind of absorb all the flavor, but if I need something quick, I would do maybe a spaghetti. I always plan my meals, so I don’t rush to make food.
Delux: Well, my mom cooked, but she definitely had her ‘go-to’ meals. I remember at one point it felt like we ate hamburger helper everyday!
My mom was the same way! That’s why I learned how to cook. It was Hamburger Helper, Shake ‘n’ Bake-do they still have shake ‘n’ bake?
Yes, they do. I have some in the pantry actually.
Man, we would do Shake ‘n’ Bake pork chops. Let me tell you. The pork chop would be so dry that you could literally pop the middle out and eat it that way. The first time I had a juicy pork chop, I’m like ‘…this is not cooked. I can’t eat this.’ I didn’t even know pork chops could be juicy…[but] that’s not the way I cook for my family. We don’t do Hamburger Helper. We don’t do Shake ‘n’ Bake. I refuse. My mom traumatized me.
Delux: So, something a lot of people may not know about you-especially if they don’t watch the show-is that just like Michelle Obama, you are a first lady as well. Your husband of six years, Terrell Fletcher, is the pastor of City of Hope International (COHI) Church in San Diego, California. How did becoming a first lady change your lifestyle of that time? Did you feel like you were way in over your head initially?
Marriage changed my lifestyle, but being a first lady didn’t. I just feel like God prepped me. He prepared me to be in that position…It’s so funny because sometimes I have that feeling now…[because] prior to…I had no idea. I had no clue until I was in it and was like ‘Oh wow, this can be a lot.’
Delux: Empowering and encouraging other women is something you hold very dear to your heart and you live by your ‘WHOOP’ philosophy. Expound on that philosophy and explain why you’re so passionate about helping women?
The WHOOP is Women Helping Others Obtain Power…what was made clear to me as I got a little older is the importance of having female friends. I’ve always had women in my life, but I kept women at a distance. I never had real relationships because I had been hurt by women…when I gave my life to Christ in 2000, and as I began to study the word and really start to learn who I was in Christ…he started to heal those old wounds…and I…started to realize that…we really do need one another.
Delux: A lot of times, women tend to feel like we’re in competition with each other. What is your solution to knocking down that whole mindset and really just start to embrace our sisters?
That’s a sign of insecurity when you’re looking at other people…I would say we have to get whole first…how are you competing with anybody? What’s yours is yours, and there’s enough to go around. My sister doesn’t take away from me; my sister enhances me. It’s just perspective…but you definitely…have to try to get to the root of those insecurities and those feelings.