CherylAnn Fernandes says her life’s goal is to follow her passions for being an animal welfare advocate, a makeup artist and a writer.
"There’s the theme that we want to live the best that we can," Fernandes said. For her that means making women look great, protecting animals and communicating those passions to others, which is her life’s third passion.
"If you need to focus on one thing it’s difficult, because I’m not one thing," she said.
Fernandes said she started out as a makeup artist, something she still does, applying her beauty skills for bridal parties, commercial photographers and retail stores.
"I have a long history in beauty in cosmetics because I love to make women look beautiful," she said.
She also promotes "cruelty-free" cosmetics, developed without animal experimentation. "That’s my philosophy," she said.
Fernandes also has a background working for animal welfare causes. In the 1990s she worked as a part-time animal control officer (ACO) for Fairfield, then a full-time ACO for Bridgeport from 1998 to 2003. In 2004 she helped set up a new animal shelter in Branford.
"I was a boots on the ground, dog-chasing girl that arrested people for animal cruelty," she explained.
That led to a part-time career as a consultant for non-profit animal welfare organizations, such as the ASPCA in New York City and the Connecticut Humane Society in Westport.
Fernandes said part of her job is to run "compassion fatigue training," which ACOs and animal shelter volunteers get similar to nurses and social workers when the emotions from their jobs become overwhelming. Her training provides coping skills to keep people from bringing those job-related emotions home with them at the end of the day.
But most readers will know Fernandes as a writer. She has been a blog contributor to Milford Patch and is the author of "A Hip Chick’s Guide to Friendship," a collection of inspirational aphorisms and epigrams from her Facebook page.
"I love to write," she said.
Her book is self-published through Northshire Bookstore in Vermont, and is available at her web site, the Collected Stories Bookstore, Wild Expressions Florist and Gifts, and Given to Gauche Handcrafted Jewelry.