“Do what makes you feel good,” says Phyllis Sutton, the new Director of Sales at Sweet Creations Pie Bakery, “… and doing good feels good.” This personal creed has guided Phyllis’s career and commitment to community outreach over the years.
A native of Memphis, TN, Phyllis first moved to Nashville about 21 years ago, but transferred to Los Angeles, CA for work. A lover of film and literature, her time in the U.S. film capital cultivated her passion for cinematography. Seven years later, Phyllis returned to Nashville and pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Watkins College of Art & Design and earned a Master of Arts in Civic Leadership at Lipscomb University. She is a member of Women in Film and Television in Tennessee.
Professionally, Phyllis chose to take the non-profit trek. She served as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator with Family & Children’s Services early on in her career. Her love of community and connecting people through stories proved valuable as she recruited volunteers and developed partnerships with faith-based organizations, local agencies, and area businesses.
Phyllis later accepted a position at the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, quickly moving up the ranks from Membership Manager to Vice President of Volunteer and Membership Services. During her tenure, she created recruitment and family giving strategies while nurturing community partnerships throughout Davidson and surround counties.
After six years with the Girl Scouts, Phyllis channeled her experience and passion for community into consulting, working closely with the Jefferson Street United Merchant’s Partnership (J.U.M.P) to conduct research on the effects of gentrification in historically African-American neighborhoods.
As Fate would have it, one of the interviews she conducted was with Barbara Toms, owner of a sweet little purpose-driven bakery down on Historic Jefferson Street called Sweet Creations Pie Bakery.
“Sweet Creations is a feel-good brand… it makes you feel good. The pies are amazing, but it’s Ms. Barbara that makes it special,” says Phyllis. “It’s hard enough to change careers when you’re in your 30s, but this is her third career. She went for it, and that’s inspiring.”
In her new role, Phyllis looks forward to tapping into the Sweet Creations mission to help employ North Nashville residents through the bakery’s operations. But Phyllis will make the most immediate impact by doing what she’s done so well over the years: engaging the community. She is eager to start building relationships with area businesses and community organizations to expand the Sweet Creations Pie Bakery brand.
“You have to pursue your passion,” Phyllis shares. And the sum of her professional and community experiences shows that she’s certainly walking in hers.