In this Breeze interview you will also meet Sha’Linda’s comic strip character, Holli.

Please tell us of how you became Administration Support Specialist for the Town of Lake Lure?

All credit goes to one person in particular, Anita Taylor. I honestly feel as though she recruited me. Anita and I had been in contact for over a year about a different opportunity that ended up falling through. Once that went south Anita always kept me in mind, and when the Administration Support Specialist position became available she called me. I honestly was hesitate about the position but eventually Anita sweetly convinced me to come on board. She just wouldn’t let it go, she thought so much about working for the town and assured me that I would love it too. Once I officially started she was there every step of the way making sure that my training went well or simply just checking on me to make sure that I was comfortable. Anita was a true jewel and I will never forget the kindness she blanketed me with as a staff member and person.

What do you like most about your job?

The most enjoyable part of my job hands down are the people. To be a tourist town, there are truly good people that are here year around. That may sound a little cliché but Lake Lure is such a tightly knitted community they really put the “friendly” in the county’s motto of “Small Town Friendly.” Everyone here is always so welcoming and laughter echoes throughout Town Hall daily. I absolutely enjoy the uniqueness of my co-workers and the many talents they display towards making Lake Lure not only a wonderful place for families to live, but also a successful township. All of the residents are sharp and witty plus my co-workers feel like family especially with all of the cake we eat in the office, and believe me it’s a lot lol.

How did your idea of developing a comic strip come about?

My comics are a satire of the whole health fanatic craziness. It’s a sarcastic spin of this new era and way of doing things. Many young people seem to scoff at what is considered “traditional” now. The main character is a millennial who is trying to find herself, and navigate in today’s world. Things have shifted so much in today’s society that you have to kind of find the humor in each situation just to keep your head on straight.

Was there someone in particular who inspired you in your comic strip development?

My inspiration wasn’t someone as much as it was mood I picked up from a city. A few years ago I was working in Asheville and everything was being rebranded as “Holistic” so much so that the benefits were lost in the trend itself. There even was a mechanic shop up the street advertising Holistic tire rotations. So I would meet people that would boast about using homeopathic essential oils, or energy healing integrative therapies. Everyone was working on refocusing their chi while cupping or making appointments for reiki. People were seeking enneagram to gain a collective transformation. After a while it just became so confusing and overwhelming that I saw the commercialized humor from it all, and the comic strips manifested. It actually started as an advertising campaign I generated but spun out into a full blown series for me.

I’m not knocking any of these new health practices by any means though. If you have a headache and truly believe that waving a healing stone over your brow will correct it than more power to you, no judgement here. In fact I mediate myself and have friends that mock me because they can’t relate. I have just seen people jump on board to whatever the latest thing is in health and turn them into popular crazes that are all the rage. Plus people will pay out of the wazoo just because the product or service is labeled as holistic. Even food has become so critical with rules that sometimes it’s hard to know what’s safe to consume. The food I grew up on isn’t the food I see today’s kids being raised on. For example I don’t recall any of my elementary classmates having to be concerned with whether the lunch lady was serving us non-gmo, gluten free pizza. Being healthy is important but it seems to be the new sensationalized “style.” It’s been stretched out and over glamourized into a bit of phooey. The main two character’s take on these ideals. Holli is ambitious to be a part of it all and exert herself into everything, while her husband sets the supportive but sarcastic tone.

What do you enjoy doing most away from your job?

When I’m not working I’m usually working on other media related projects. I worked in radio, and entertainment journalism prior to joining the town so I still dabble in that realm. I enjoy festivals, fairs, and concerts. I love to travel, try new foods, and visit art museums in my spare time. Fun fact I’m actually really into the Film Noir genre so I’m addicted to Turner Classic movies, anything with Lana Turner or Lauren Bacall is pretty much a win for me. 

What would you like to accomplish most in the future?

To build something that outlives me.

A final word, please. 

In life you have to use your head for more than a hat rack J

Thank you, Sha’Linda. All the best to you in your day job and your comic strip!