Egypt Sherrod On Her TEA Shed And Why Women Need Their Own Space: “You Can’t Lose Yourself Trying To Be All Things To All People”
To say that Egypt Sherrod has her plate full would be an understatement. Aside from proudly donning the titles of mother and wife, the Philadelphia native juggles the roles of television host, real estate broker, and motivational speaker — just to name a few. With so much going on at once, you’d imagine Sherrod would be high strung, overwhelmed, and leading a life of unhealthy imbalance. In actuality, the home design expert is as cool as a cucumber.
“In everything that I do, I try to think it out before I take action,” she confidently told Madame Noire. “I put support in place before I endeavor. That way, when I fall short, my goals don’t fall short.”
Of course, all of this strategizing requires clarity of mind, which is something that can be difficult to attain when you have children.
“My house phone and cell phone ring all day. I got babies crying. I’ve got my nanny calling for me. It’s just chaos,” the media personality confessed. “Where can you just have a single thought?”
Most moms can relate. According to a 2018 survey of 2,000 parents, the average mother only gets 30 minutes of “me time” each day. And even when that sacred quiet time finally arrives, it can be tempting to spend it completing household tasks and other things you’re unable to get done during other times. For this reason, Sherrod partnered with Coca Cola Company’s Gold Peak Real Brewed Tea for her latest home design endeavor: a TEA shed.
“The TEA shed is a spin-off of a she shed,” Egypt explained. “It’s a space to be creative. A think box is what I call it. The TEA shed really stems from my partnership with Gold Peak. I just love the brand. My husband loves the brand. It’s always on my grocery shopping list. So we thought, let’s partner together and instead of doing the she shed, let’s do something really cute and cool called the TEA shed.”
To maintain the sacredness of the space, the HGTV host has established a no kids, no tech rule in her shed. “I really made it a multifunctional space for me to really relax, unwind, and create. It’s a space for me to really be my authentic self, which really goes in line with Gold Peak Real Brewed Tea and how they use real tea leaves,” said Sherrod. “No kids allowed!”
She continued: “We’re over telecommunicated. We’re all over social media but we’re not social anymore. We put all of our intimate moments out there but we have no level of intimacy with ourselves. I turn it all off and walk across the lawn to my tea shed, that’s where I can find my very best of everything to bring back home. My best creative thoughts for my business ventures, my very best thoughts of fun things to do with my kids or romantic things to do with my husband. But when you’re in it, sometimes it’s hard to just break out of it. That’s why I say no telecommunication because I just need some place where I can think.”
For Sherrod, her TEA shed inspiration came from a trip she took prior to becoming a mother. While she adored the location, she has been unable to get back to the tranquil spot since welcoming her little ones, so she decided to recreate the feel of the locale in her backyard.
“The reality is that your life will never be the same again. It’s a blessing to have children, but the reality is that nothing will ever really be yours. That’s why this was perfect for me. All of our vacations have turned into kidcations, ” she explained. “And so since I can’t really get away, away, I’ve created a space that would be a staycation. I created a desert sanctuary. It reminded me of a place a visited a couple of years ago. There was a spa and I’ve never felt more zen —where I could just go meditate, think, create, laugh at myself. I haven’t been able to get back since I’ve become a mama, so I created that in my backyard.”
Of course, not every mom has the funds to erect a mini house in her backyard. To this, Egypt says to work with what you’ve got.
“It doesn’t have to be a tiny house. It can be a garage or shed in the back,” she advised. “Create your design theme. What is wholistically you? What makes you feel at home and comfortable. For me, it was all of those materials that I used for my desert theme. Create something that’s going to be comfortable for you longterm or else you’ll never use it. Experiment with bold colors and accent decor. You know, things you wouldn’t normally do in your house.”
According to Egypt, something as simple as a beautifully crafted sign that marks your territory can go a long way.
“I created this very grand porch/stair entryway,” she said. “I was thinking, ‘Where can I sit, drink my tea, and just relax?’ I’m from Philadelphia and we used to just sit out on the stoop and watch the neighborhood go by. So I created my own stoop. Maybe your entryway is just quaint sign or french doors leading into your TEA shed. You know, whatever is going to excite you.”
Some of her tips for designing a TEA shed include:
- Identify what your space will be used for
- Have a design theme
- Use comfort and creativity as your guide
- Create an exciting entryway
- A little goes a long way – think small
- Durability is a must
- Keep climate in mind
For the motivational speaker, having a TEA shed is deeper than simply having a nicely decorated space to kick back, it’s about maintaining her identity outside of being a wife and mother.
“You can’t lose yourself while trying to be all things to all people. If you’re not good for you, you’re not good for anybody, especially having girls. Being a mother of girls, you want them to have your core values and morals,” she said. “You want them to be free spirits, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose them. That means you can’t lose yourself because you are the very walking, talking, breathing example for them.”
In fact, the former radio personality credits the longevity of her 10-year marriage to her ability to maintain a sense of self over the years.
“I’ve been married 10 years and we’ve been together for 15 years. What I’ve learned from my relationships prior to that is to never lose yourself in a man. So going into this relationship with my husband, I think what allowed us to sustain is that we were both able to keep the very essence of ourselves,” Sherrod revealed. “I think that you have healthy relationships with your children and your significant other when you can maintain you as your perfect you, which is why I needed this space so bad. I used high-quality material just like Gold Peak uses high-quality tea leaves in their tea.”
And speaking of marriage, Egypt and her husband, Mike, will be headlining the Black Love Summit later this month in Atlanta.
“We’re going to be on this next upcoming season of the ‘Black Love Doc’ on OWN. It’s a show that we watch all of the time and we crack up. You start to realize when you think you have all of these unique problems in your relationship, you’re really not alone. We decided to do the show ourselves and they asked us to be one of the headlining couples of the Black Love Summit. That’s going to be July 20th in Atlanta.”
As for how they’ve managed to maintain that spark over the duration of their 15-year relationship, Sherrod admits that it hasn’t always been easy.
“Totally honest moment: We’ve been together for a very long time — 15 years. In 15 years, you do a lot of growing. Sometimes you grow apart and then you find each other again. You fall in and out and in and out of love,” she revealed. “When we had my daughter Kendall, who is now 7 and a half, I think we did everything wrong.”
The zaniness of parenthood caused the duo to place their relationship on the backburner, which essentially robbed them of the romance over time.
“For like two years, we became like roommates. When we found each again, what we vowed to do was to make sure that we put our relationship as a priority as well. Usually, when you start having kids it’s ‘Oh, we’ll just go on date night another time or ‘Oh, we’ll just go to the movies another time’ or ‘Oh, I’ll sleep up here and you sleep down there.’ Then before you know it, that’s what happened. You’re roommates. So we make date night a priority. Every week.”
To learn more about how to create your very own TEA shed or Gold Peak Real Brewed Tea’s Comforts of Home campaign, visit Egypt on Instagram @EgyptSherrod.