Suzanne Strickland grew up on a chicken farm in Starke, a small town in North Florida. Surrounded by her close-knit and hard working family, Suzanne attributes much of her unwavering work ethic and passionate love of music to her Dad Buddy. “I grew up singing with my Dad in church,” says Strickland of her musical beginnings. “I remember learning harmony in the front seat of his truck when I was around 4-years-old. He says I was singing before I was talking!”
With influences from classic country to contemporary pop, Suzanne quickly gained a love of tight harmonies and a respect for the craft of songwriting. “Growing up, I was just in awe of singer / songwriters like Dolly and Loretta. I was so inspired that they were writing their own material. And as I got older, I was drawn to acts like Heart, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. I really love great harmonies!”
After marrying Andrew, her high school sweetheart, and becoming a mother (first to Thomas, now 29, and then Carly, now 22) Strickland spent the better part of 12 years touring and performing as an independent artist in contemporary Christian music.
2002 offered an unexpected break from the music biz when Suzanne started A&M Recovery Services, Inc., a joint business venture with her husband and brother-in-law. Together, the trio grew the mortgage field services company into a successful enterprise, with offices and staff throughout seven states.
The success of A&M Recovery Services, Inc. allowed Suzanne the freedom to make the transition back to her musical roots with RareSpark Media Group Inc., a full service publishing and artist management company she proudly owns and operates in Nashville, TN. Says Strickland of RareSpark, “Running a successful family-owned business has taught me a great deal, and I've brought many of those business principals and philosophies to this venture. Everyone involved at RareSpark is 'part of the family,' so we treat each other that way.”
Even though Suzanne’s RareSpark family takes up much of her time these days she still works hard to remain very close to her roots -- to her family in Starke. “Mom and Nanny (Suzanne’s Grandmother) live in our house back home, and until Carly went off to college, we had four generations under one roof. Our family tradition is to have Thanksgiving dinner with the extended Strickland clan – close to 100 strong. It’s a great way to spend any holiday!”
Always surrounded and supported by the people she loves best, Suzanne looks forward to what the future brings for the RareSpark family. “There’s a quote I saw recently that I believe sums up my philosophy in life and in business, 'Forget following those who think it can't be done, and let's LEAD those who think it can!'"