Meet Our Founder, Sharry!
March marks the start of international women’s history month! So I thought we could celebrate by getting to know an important lady a bit better, The Cookie Jar founder Sharry Stewart. On top of being an entrepreneur, Sharry is a mom to six kids, so how she found time to answer my questions I have no idea, but I’m super grateful she did! Enjoy.
LAUREN: Have you always wanted to start your own business?
SHARRY: Since I was a little girl, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I would start clubs for the neighborhood children to join, and we would pay dues and have fundraisers like Kool-Aid sales so we could go skating or to the movies.
In junior high, I joined the travel club and for our out of town trips we would sale candy bars to pay for it. I sold enough candy bars to cover the cost of my trip and another student. Fast forward to college while working at Victoria's Secret Direct a co-worker approached carrying a Mary Kay bag and I asked how she became a consultant and her response was "$100 plus tax and shipping." That was the catalyst that sparked me becoming serious about being in business for myself and entrepreneurship
L: Why yoni steaming?
S: I've always wanted to have a holistic spa, and yoni steaming piqued my interest after seeing it on an episode of "Tia and Tamera" - a reality show. In January 2020, I found an office space that was large enough to incorporate other services and yoni steaming was the service I decided to incorporate.
This changed when the pandemic started. I felt it wasn't a good time to start a new business requiring having to grow new clientele until I had a conversation with my hair stylist and she offered me a suite in her salon. At that point, I knew it was a great opportunity to build my clientele from the clientele that came to the salon.
In July 2020, I had the grand opening for The Cookie Jar. Three weeks later, I had an opportunity to move into a store front in the Bridal District here in Cincinnati - a place I always wanted to have a store.
L: What are some common misconceptions about steaming?
S: The most common misconception about yoni steaming is the idea that it is a sexual experience. Although steaming does help to improve a woman's experience sexually, it’s more so a treatment to help improve womb health and address common issues women experience with her menstrual cycle, reproductive health, postpartum health, balancing pH, reduce cramping, etc.
L: What’s been the most rewarding part about starting your own business?
S: The most rewarding part about starting The Cookie Jar is empowering women. The stories I have heard, and the breakthroughs that I have seen in our clients, have been very rewarding. My goal is to improve the relationship women have with women and to bring an end to the catty competition that has plagued us for so long. If The Cookie Jar can provide a safe place for women to release and rebuild herself, it is so worth it in the end.
L: Who inspires you?
S: My mother has always been a source of inspiration for me. In addition, my closest girlfriends who are entrepreneurs serves as inspiration as well. Having a community of women who are business owners definitely keeps me on my toes and inspires me to think bigger has really helped me stay focused on achieving my goals and pushing myself, even if it scares me!
L: People might not know that on top of running your own business that you have six kids. What do you do to destress?
S: As an entrepreneur and business owner, it is not easy to balance life and business, so finding time to destress is a challenge because work is never done. Taking time for self-care is essential and I will be doing more of this. Having six children and operating a business full time is not an easy task. My children range in age from 10 to 20 years old, so there is never a dull moment as they are all in different stages.
Destressing is an area of opportunity of growth for me. I don't take nearly as much time to dedicate to my own self-care as I should. I definitely steam regularly, but I have recently found an esthetician who provides me with waxing services and furthering my yoni care.
I also want to start traveling more, it provides me better mental clarity and takes me away from the day to day hustle and bustle to allow for better creativity and simply a better peace of mind.
L: Self-care is hard, that’s what no one tells you. Speaking of which, maybe I can interest you in one of your own cookie blends! Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me.
Happy International Women’s Month, everyone!