Women In Business Spotlight: Sheray Laury
Sheray Laury is the CEO of The Party Source Party Rentals and Vr Life, a virtual reality center. Sheray has over 25 years of Human Resources, Office Management, Catering, Event Planning, and Cosmetology experience. While attending college, she set goals to climb the corporate ladder and achieve a managerial position. In 2006, she obtained a Bachelor of Business Management degree from Central Michigan University.
After working a decade in the corporate world, Sheray lost faith in that system and decided to step out on faith and start a family business. In 2008, she created The Party Source Party Rentals, which provides tent packages, tables, chairs, and inflatables. She began operating this business out of her home for many years before becoming a brick-and-mortar. The storefront became a reality when Sheray opened the Party Source in Southfield, Michigan. Sheray accredits the support of her family and friends to her success.
Sheray has been active in her community and has volunteered for various city and neighborhood projects, including the annual Southfield Family Fire, Safety Day, The Leukemia, Lymphoma Society, and IHeart Radio events. The Party Source identifies as a preferred vendor for Michigan State Parks. In 2017, The Great Lakes Women’s Business Council nominated Sheray for the Distinguished Business Leader Award. 2017 was also an endurance and tragic year for the business owner. Sheray suffered many tragedies quickly, including becoming homeless after a house fire and abruptly losing her granddaughter, grandmother, and oldest son. Despite these tragedies, in 2019, she entered the Metaboost Industry, opening a virtual reality arcade and venue rental, V.R. Life Arcade, located in Pontiac, Michigan.
Today, her mission is to combine Virtual Reality entertainment with STEAM & Literacy education. Sheray has coined a word by merging entertainment and education, “edutainment.” Sheray’s objective is to create a lab to help educators and students boost knowledge retention when exposing them to STEAM experiences using virtual reality.
What are you passionate about?
Sheray: I’m most passionate about my children and I completing the purpose God has for us! I have a love and a passion for cooking and entertaining. I’m a steward and a servant, I get fulfillment for helping others to succeed. I’m passionate about everything I do, if I’m not, then I don’t want to do it.
Please tell us about your work as a member of Pontiac Chamber of Commerce.
Sheray: Being a member of the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t require any work from me. I only see this chamber as a networking opportunity.
We are so sorry about the losses in your life. How are you dealing with this tragedy?
Sheray: Grief and depression is a day-to-day struggle for me. Losing a child is not something you ever entertain. You may think about your parents and maybe even yourself dying, but never your child. First and foremost, having to sit in the shock of that is debilitating; it feels cold, lonely, and suffocating. I lost every desire to do anything that used to make me smile. Three years passed before I decided that I wanted to live again. I’ve had to make many lifestyle changes to assist me in this healing journey, including exercise, yoga, meditating, and weekly therapy sessions. I pull closer to my children, and I am conscious about making deposits into myself including affirmations and self-care. I have to make a decision every single day that I wake up to try to see the good in life, to not reflect on all that isn’t right, but all that the Lord continues to bless me with, and it’s still hard some days. I understand that death is part of our journey and no one gets a pass to crawl up and stop living just because you lose someone. I am still responsible for completing my assignment here on Earth.
I don’t get a pass, I’m no one’s victim, I’m not the only woman that this has happened to. Everyone has a story, this is a part of mine and I have to accept it, no matter how difficult. I choose to redirect the negative energy by placing it into projects that give me great satisfaction and bless others in the process. I spend time with God every morning and He comforts me and directs my path.
What do you feel is your purpose in life?
Sheray: God is always speaking to me about different tasks that He has for me. At this moment, I am in the process of rediscovering myself. I’ve changed a lot since my son’s promotion into Heaven. I feel like I have re-entered my body and now I’m having to learn about myself again. The more I realize my passions, the easier it is for God to connect me with the resources He’s aligned to help me complete tasks. Despite my grief, I find myself giving comfort to other women who have suffered the loss of a child. I pour into these women by giving them hope for their future and helping them to realize there is life after tragedy. Now that I’ve been seeing a therapist for years, I speak to people about the importance of taking care of their mental health, and just because it wasn’t a tool that our family used doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be embraced; it’s just as important to have good mental health as it is to have physical. I’ve referred a dozen of friends and family members to my therapist in hopes of providing healing to their lives. I believe I share a role in blending the education of children with virtual reality and STEM.
What do you hope for yourself?
Sheray: I hope to use all the skillsets and gifts that God has given me with great purpose; to be a blessing to His people and for Him to say, “well done, good and faithful servant.” I hope to complete my assignment here on Earth with no regrets.