by Sydney Garofolo and Julia Betti
Sherry Boykin, founder of Faith and Tales, is a woman of faith and a chronic believer in the power of story to change perspectives, make sense of what seems crazy or random and nudge people in the right direction in life.
Boykin was born and raised in New York City. As a child, she spent most of her summers at YMCA Camp Talcott where she learned that simplicity and resourcefulness are rights of life many in North America never experienced.
Almost immediately after getting married, an illness misdiagnosed as relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis intermittently affected her ability to see, walk, talk and think normally. Three-and-a-half years into that faith-fueling journey, she found it was not M.S., but an advanced form of another illness from which she could recover. A year-and-a-half after that, she was blessed with a beautiful baby girl.
Her faith grew, and her story expanded—in ways that helped her own all her personal narrative and made her strive to want to help other women.
Boykin always knew she was a creative person, but never thought she would start her own business. After her husband's near-death experience last year, Boykin knew she would be disappointed if she did not share her work and stories with as many people as possible.
Boykin is an inspirational storyteller, author and consultant who uses biblical and personal narratives to help women change their current perspectives regarding themselves and their vision of the world to think and live differently. She speaks on an array of topics that affect women and their daily lives such as chronic illness, recovery, cross-cultural living, marriage and parenting, restoration from abuse and personal faith, among others. As a result of her work, Boykin has spoken at various women's events and conferences where she has left the audience with a renewed vision regarding the power of story and how individuals can overcome difficulties within their lives. She also offers creative marketing consults to help women succeed who feel stagnant in their current business or ministry.
Currently, Boykin is working on getting her work seen by influencers in the inspirational speaking and writing market to broaden her reach. She is constantly investing in herself by participating in various trainings with companies such as Bradley Communications and StoryBrand to improve her writing, speaking, media and marketing skills.
In the future, Boykin hopes to do a TED Talk or host a television talk show so she can share her advice and stories with women even more. She also has her sights set on publishing memoirs from her time spent living in Peru to discuss topics such as recovery from abuse and living cross-culturally. She may even like to write a redemptive story and act in it to show others that they can overcome their struggles to change their life around for the better.
For women entrepreneurs looking to get their start Boykin said, "be willing to accept advice from the most unusual sources."
A person never knows what a simple interaction or hello with someone can turn into, so take every opportunity presented to learn and grow.
Sydney Garofolo has been writing for this column since she began her internship with the Women's Entrepreneurship Center several years ago. Sydney graduated from the University of Scranton in May. Good luck Sydney! Julia Betti is a current Women's Entrepreneurship Center intern who will be a junior at the University of Scranton. They both work under the supervision of Consultant Manager Donna Simpson from the Small Business Development Center.