By Dr. Shanessa Fenner
Bronx native Shannon Mack is buoyant, clever, and determined. Bronze Magazine recently caught up with the awe-inspiring media personality during the holidays to discuss her YouTube series “Pedis & Mimosas,” obstacles and triumphs, and upcoming lip line “Pretty Smack.”
What is the true meaning of Christmas and what does it mean to you?
In these days, the true meaning of Christmas is giving and not so much receiving. It feels really good to put a smile on somebody else’s face and that in turn makes you feel good. This year has been a trying year and tomorrow has not been promised to any of us. I am in the mindset now of just trying to make somebody’s day because you never know if that may be the last time you speak to them or if they may be going through something.
How has the pandemic affected you?
In the beginning I thought this would have been a time for me to catch up on rest because I am always on the go. I thought it was only going to last a few months and did not think it was going to last this long. I realized this was a time for me to stay creative, get busy, and press go. This was a time for me to really find out what I am made of. The pandemic taught me that no matter what the circumstance is at the time, I will survive, prevail, and be okay. I’ve lost so many family members and friends to COVID-19. I still can’t believe how I have been able to press through and still continue to be creative. There’s been a lot of losses this year but also so many wins for me.
Tell us about your YouTube series “Pedis & Mimosas.”
“Pedis & Mimosas” is my own platform. It is a celebrity interview while we drink Mimosas and have pedicures. It was actually an idea from a producerÂ of a show I was hosting back in 2018.. He told me that I had a great personality and should do a show where I interview female celebrities and we get pedicures and drink Mimosas. I thought it was a great idea and literally ran with it. It has taken on a life of its own. It has been amazing. It is not just females, I have male guests as well. Being that we have been going through this pandemic, we have not been able to get back into production. It forced me again to think outside of the box and to get creative so I created the quarantine edition of the show called “Quarantini and Mimosas.” Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
How do you determine which celebrities will be on your show?
It is going to be hard for me the day that I have to do an interview with somebody that I think their music is terrible or I just don’t like them or what they stand for. This is the beautiful thing about being your own boss and being able to make your own decisions. If I don’t like the person I cannot foresee me having a productive conversation. I like to throw my personality in there and make it like it is a conversation. I go about selecting my guests based on if I like them and if I can really vibe with them. Can I really have a conversation with this person? For the most part, this is how I go about selecting celebrities.
Who would be the ultimate celebrities that you would like to be a guest on your show?
I would love to interview Oprah. That would be amazing and I would love to do it on my own platform. I would also love to interview Mary J. Blige because she has been my favorite artist since I was 10 years old. I have every album and I am a die hard fan of hers. I just love her. If I could just get my hands on those two I would know that I have made it. Â Â Â Â Â Â
Who is your celebrity crush?
Trevante Rhodes is my celebrity crush. That man is beautiful, exudes masculinity, and is so handsome. He has a mysterious vibe about him. I have a little thing for dark-skinned men with nice teeth. He is definitely that. My second runner up is Lamman Rucker. I’ll just leave it at that.
What are some of the obstacles and triumphs you have experienced?
The reason why I decided to step out and do my own thing is because I got tired of hearing no, check back in six months, or not hearing anything back at all. If I’m going to sit and wait for somebody to give me an opportunity, I’m going to be waiting forever. So when I first started out, it was a big struggle of being told no time and time again and not having my own thing to fall back on. Another struggle of mine was the lack of support from family and friends. It took me awhile to accept it is not your family and friends’ job to see your dream through. You have to see your dream through and believe in it. I also had the struggle of not having enough money to pour into my dream.
I was an Uber driver for four years and it was a mess. I hated it but I knew it was what I had to do in order to get where I wanted to be. I ended up quitting my day job and I was making almost six figures at that job. I couldn’t do what I wanted to do because I was under the jurisdiction of somebody else. It was difficult for me to adjust to the Uber lifestyle because it only paid the bills and nothing else. “Pedis & Mimosas” took on a life of its own and it got so expensive to shoot; something had to give. I ended up leaving my two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment and I called up a friend to ask if I could stay with her because she had a lot of space. I thought she was really going to take me in, but she never called me back. I ended up sleeping in my car for 43 days. I was able to save my money and that is how season 2 of “Pedis & Mimosas” came about. This experience helped me find out what I was truly made of and the rest is history.
I have my own lip line coming out on February 14, 2021 called “Pretty Smack.” I’m dropping 10 matte liquid lip colors and it is amazing. It is my own thing and I created everything down to the idea, concept, logo, and color scheme. “Pretty Smack” will give 10% of every purchase to a non-profit organization dedicated to the positive mental health wellness of black girls and teens. At the end of the day it is not about me, it is about changing somebody else’s life.