Saving Grace: Sheree Fletcher

Sheree-FletcherReality star and famed ex-wife of A-list actor Will Smith, Sheree Fletcher has easily maintained her own spotlight. From her role as mother to their son, Willard ‘Trey’ Smith III, to co-starring in the popular VH1 reality show “Hollywood Exes,” Sheree has kept busy, in both career, family, and love.
             A successful entrepreneur in her own right with her skin care line Whoop Ash, and an online boutique, Sheree Elizabeth LLC, Fletcher has also remarried: to the former NFL running back Terrell Fletcher, no less. Fletcher even acts as First Lady to in The City of Hope International Church, which they founded together.
             One of the first pastor wives to ever star in an ongoing reality show, Fletcher admits she has had to “build up a thick skin.”
            “For me the balance is to just stay prayed up,” says ­­­­the 46-year-old. “I do feel the pressure to perform and be relevant and I will make compromises. I will. Little compromises that I can live with, that I can feel good about and look myself in the face and look my God in the eye, so to speak, through prayer and know that, you know what, I’m honoring him and I can still be a light in a dark place.”
            “I don’t really take fame seriously. It’s a default kind of thing, it comes with the territory.”
             Now in it’s second season, Fletcher has found her niche on “Hollywood Exes” as an advisor to the ex-wives of R-Kelly, Eddie Murphy, Prince, Martin Lawrence, and former MLB player Joe Canseco.
            “I think I bring a sense of calm, kind of like sensibility. These are smart, vibrant women but they pull me in when they need some advice or direction, so that’s what I’ve become.”
            And unlike most reality shows that harp on the drama and gossip, the vision of this show was a far cry from the images of women Vh1 was displaying then.
            “For us it’s about redemption. When you see our show, you see women coming together as a sisterhood, trying to support each other because we’ve got the common experience of being married to these high profile men, getting lost in the process, now being on the other side of that, doing life, raising kids, trying to find our own way and carve our own niche. We’re rooting for each other.”
            As a wife, mother, first lady and businesswomen, Fletcher notes prayer and faith as her saving grace but that wasn’t always so for the mother of one who didn’t grow up knowing God.
            Born and raised in New York, Fletcher graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and then relocated to Los Angeles, where she worked as a designer, actress and painter.
            She met rapper/actor/producer, Will Smith on the set of “A Different World,” where her friend was working as writer for the show. After a brief courtship, they exchanged vows in 1992.
            “I wasn’t saved when I was married to Will. I didn’t have a relationship with the Lord. I got into that relationship looking for Will to make me whole. But God puts an insatiable desire in your heart that only He can quench. It is only a relationship with Him that satisfies.”
            In 1995, they divorced, but remained amicable for their son Trey, now 22.
            “You have to connect with somebody on a real human level first,” she hints of why they split. “Because money is not the answer to everything. You can have access to the shoes, the clothes, the house, the trips—And I’m telling you that’s how it was—but you’ll still have something in your soul and in your heart that is empty.”
            “Marriage is hard work, and love, sometimes, just is not enough,” added Fletcher.
            After they separated, Fletcher tried her best to pursue a field in her major, fashion design, but after that failed she focused all her attention on bringing up her son, who was her motivation.
            Less than five years later, Sheree felt compelled to begin attending church services.
            “I had enough sense to be at church on New Year’s Eve 1999 going into 2000. It came to a point where I told God I’m ready.”
            From that point on “I spent time with God, dove into his word. I was hungry and passionate for the word of God and for God’s truths, and to be able to live my life in a way that isn’t perfect, but that is honorable to the best of my ability.”
            “God prepared me and I didn’t even know what I was being prepared for.”
            A few years later, a mutual friend introduced Sheree to NFLer Terrell Fletcher.
            “When Terrell and I started dating, he wasn’t a pastor. My husband was a football player,” she explains of becoming a first lady. “I just did what I felt God was calling me to do. And when you’re obedient, there is preparation.”
            In 2009, Fletcher inadvertently fell back into business after reading books on DIY honey remedies. After creating a concoction in her kitchen and giving the lauded creams away, she launched a skin care line, consisting of 99.9% natural products comprised of honey, mango and shea butter, that she cleverly called Whoop Ash.
“Usually, skin care is a serious business,” says Fletcher, also the owner and operator of an online boutique, Sheree Elizabeth. “It has to be very feminine for women and has to be certain colors and I totally went against the grain, because that’s not what I saw for this product.”
            Praised by Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, Holly Robinson Peete, and Samuel L. Jackson, she insists Whoop Ash, available only online, was God given.
            “I was in my car, driving. And then suddenly ‘Whoop Ash’ came to me. I wasn’t even thinking about a name. And suddenly ‘Whoop Ash’ just dropped into my spirit. I had to pull over. I feel this name was God given.”
            And she’s one first lady who won’t be put in a box.
             “I can be silly. I’m down to earth. I like fashion. I like to be fly. Sometimes the perception of a first lady is how we’re all supposed to look a certain way and I’m breaking that mold.”

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