Master mixologist Sheena Harrison owns the only licensed bartending school in Genesee County, Michigan, where she teaches and motivates others on the art of the cocktail.
Before she opened Drinks of Essence Bartending School, located in Burton, Harrison started in 2015 with a mobile bartending and infused fruit bar. The fun establishment offered custom packages filled with different fruits, chocolate-covered strawberries, and pineapples. Harrison brought these mixing talents to a variety of events including weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties. She later expanded into a brick and mortar school, further honed her childhood passions.
“I’ve always been creative,” Harrison told The Hub Flint in 2019.
“When I was a teenager, I made drinks for my family, whether punch, flavored teas, or alcoholic beverages. I like creating something completely new, so when I see things, I envision how to connect them with other things. I really like the creative process and [I] am blessed to have the skills to make the creations I envision.”
Harrison dedicated more than 15 years to the bartending business. From mentor to small business owner, her experience led her to open the bartending school in 2021. Offering hands-on training in a bar-like setting, the Drinks of Essence Bartending School is geared toward beginners seeking an industry-level bartender certification program and bartenders looking to advance their skills.
“I definitely think it’s important to hire within our community,” she said, according to the news outlet. “That’s another reason why I opened the training facility, to train people to be able to get more jobs in our community. We will be hiring more people as we grow.”
“I just want to make people employable,” Harrison said, as per MLive.com. “Everyone wants to make extra money. Some people do not want to go to college. However I can help people become employable and help out my community — that’s what I want to do.”