Taylor finds time to coach, design and volunteer

Sheika Taylor looks like the poster girl for any college basketball team.

Lean and quick on her feet, Taylor played on the Belmont Bruin’s women’s basketball team as a scholar athlete from 1996 to 2000 and continues with her love of the sport as a volunteer assistant coach at Springfield Middle School for boys basketball, girls volleyball and softball.

But this woman is breaking all stereotypes. Not many athletes have an opportunity to show their creative side, but Taylor isn’t your typical former college athlete.

She graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in design communications, and currently serves as a senior graphic designer with Uniguest, where she heads the Blueprint Division. She was named their 2009 Employee of the Year.

This spring Taylor will launch her own line of clothing, Verandeno Clothing.

“It is inspired by my own masculine style, but features a lot of my creative personality,” she said. “I strive to display elements of art in my garments by using different techniques.”

She said her new clothing line will be heavily marketed to lesbian females (particularly those that self identify as “studs”, but added that “the garments will not just scream out gay.”

“I hope its characteristics generate the interest of a diverse clientele. It will be like any other urban line with the logos, etc., but in a more non-traditional manner,” she explained. “My primary focus is on t-shirts, polos and fitted baseball caps. In addition to these items, I am also working on a specialty line of underwear.”

And when she’s not coaching or designing clothing, she also works hard as a community volunteer. She’s been a volunteer with the Unpredictable fashion show - a fundraiser for the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce - for the past three years, and also serves as a community youth counselor and mentor.

Does this super single have time for another female in her life?

“Oh yes,” she said with a laugh. “I really don't like being single because I'm such a loving person, but I have adjusted to being single. Since I've been single for a while now, I don't have all the drama that can come from being in the wrong relationship. I like not worrying about being disappointed, lied to or let down.”

What kind of woman could capture Taylor’s heart? 

She likes “girly girls” who are goal oriented.

“I’m more interested in someone who is outgoing, and enjoys experiencing life,” she said. “Someone who is supportive, that is looking for true love and can open up and be loved.

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