Thrilled to introduce Cheryl DeSantis to all of you! It was so rewarding to me to give a portrait session to Cheryl as she truly has a huge heart! Her spunky and effervescent personality shines through in all her images! We had so much fun and she gave me 100% at the shoot with being open to my creativity. She also had some great ideas on what she wanted to achieve stylistically at our session. I was blessed to be able to have a wonderful conversation with her after her shoot, and she shared with me so much about her life and helped me with issues I am facing as a woman today. I am thankful that I can call her a new friend! Read on about the charities she gives her heart to!
Tell us about you, your family, and your work:
I am a mom, with three beautiful daughters: Marlie (17); Jessie (14) and Ava (11). I also have two Goldendoodle dogs: Beasley (3) and Riggins (1). I moved to Nashville three years ago from Northern Virginia. It was my first move outside of my hometown. I absolutely love it here: the people, the music, the food, the beautiful open spaces. I love to cook and listen to music. I played sports my whole life and went to college on an athletic scholarship. From this, I have a lifelong love for sports and really enjoy watching two of my daughters play soccer at TSC. I am learning and growing every day and feel deeply passionate about helping others learn and grow. This applies directly to my job as VP of HR at Mars Petcare. I get to help the business and the people within unlock the best version of themselves through delivering great development, ensuring we are organized to grow and creating a great place to work.
Tell us your favorite charity and why it is your favorite charity:
Two I am very fond of are the Nashville Wine Auction, which supports the fight against cancer; and Wine, Women and Shoes, which partners with YWCA which focuses on eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. My favorite right now is our own Pedigree Foundation which helps support shelters and rescue organizations. I am passionate about pets and this charity helps us serve those organizations that find forever homes for dogs and cats which saves those animals and brings joy to the families who adopt them.
How can the community help your charity?
Donate, volunteer or better yet, adopt an animal that needs a home.
What does beautiful mean to you?
Beautiful to me is authentically and wholly being at peace with who we are. It is an inner radiance that comes from believing in our own worth and value and being open to sharing our true selves with others. It is also courage. I believe courage is beautiful in any instance: whether it is sharing our true feelings, standing up for ourselves; making a life change or facing adversity to name a few.
What makes you happy?
My children make me happy just by being themselves. I also love entertaining and cooking for people. I was raised by an Italian grandmother and my own mother who poured their love for their family in everything they made. I connect with that and also love the creativity that comes from mixing up different ingredients and trying to create something unique and delicious.
What is an inspirational quote that resonates with you?
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Brene Brown
What was your experience like having a "women with heart" session?
2017 was a year of change for me. My family life is changing and I had a back injury that left me feeling less than my full self. From these, I had been struggling with myself, my sense of identity and my connection with things I am passionate about. The Women with Heart session was so much fun. I brought all my favorite things and reconnected with myself as a woman. I felt very empowered to let the real me shine through and Erin made it simple to feel very beautiful and feminine. It was energizing, exciting and an experience I will never forget.