Take Another Little Piece of Her Heart

For Shelia McBrayer, the joy of creating is meeting the people it brings her way

Whether you’ve met her in the 37 years she’s been the Membership Secretary and Receptionist at Smyrna First United Methodist Church, or you’ve visited her booth at the Smyrna Handmade Market, if you know Shelia McBrayer, you love her.    

For the past three seasons, Shelia’s been a staple of the Smyrna Handmade Market, sitting behind her tables of abstract art with sunglasses and a big smile.   “I love meeting people.  I love to talk.  I like to hear people’s stories.  I like to hear the comments of what they see in my art, because everybody sees something different.”

In 2019, Shelia’s friend and market companion Maxine Kirkland took her to a class on alcohol inks, and “I finally found what I was meant to do.  I enjoy it, it relaxes me.  And it’s like I say on the back of my card, every piece I make, there’s a piece of my heart in it.”

That heart is filled with family.  She’ll celebrate 53 years of marriage to husband Murphy (“Mac”) this month.  She is close to her only son, Brian, and her sister Peggy lives a mile away.  But her family is also the babies at church who blow her kisses, her fellow vendors who start each Sunday giving her a hug, and all the people who engage with her art.  

Shelia and her art will be at the Smyrna Handmade Holiday Market, December 1-3.

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