Today in the spotlight, we have Shelly Zink, the artisan behind Shellyz Creations.
We caught up with Shelly and asked her a few questions so you get to know her better. Here is what she said:
What’s the story behind your company?
Shellyz Creations was simply an outgrowth of my need to be creative, paired with an idea to help get me and my daughter organized! We both had jewelry everywhere you can imagine – hangers in the closet, stands, door knobs, etc. It was out of control. When she and her husband moved in with us last fall, we kind of set out on a mission to figure something better out. As I was out one day looking around and brainstorming, I saw a curtain rod with moving hooks, and the rest is history! I came home, made a prototype for both of us, and found it worked well with a little tweaking. My daughter took some pictures and posted them on her facebook and showed it to friends. When she went for a hair appointment, one of the girls in the salon asked about it, and invited me to be part of an arts/crafts show. I hadn’t really thought of selling the jewelry boxes until then, but decided to do it. The response was really wonderful, and many of my friends started requesting them for themselves and to give as Christmas gifts! I couldn’t believe it, but it was so very exciting to make something practical and beautiful and see women respond in such a positive way! I decided to open an Etsy shop, and continue to look for avenues to expand my business and reach more people, and it has been wonderfully exciting. I am meeting some amazing people, and everyone is offering help, ideas, etc. I am very excited to be part of the “handmade” community!
What inspires you?
I am inspired by simplicity and beauty, especially when they are combined. I started simplifying my life several years ago, and continue to look for ways to do so. I love to organize and especially help others get organized! Life can be so chaotic, and helping someone change their home into a sanctuary for them and their family is very rewarding. I love color, and seek to incorporate it into my work as well as my home, to be a source of comfort and of fun! And creating something from nothing is the most exciting of all. My husband has been amazed as I have learned to use power tools, come up with designs, build a custom booth to show my work, etc. I was a stay at home mom who also homeschooled for many years, and my creativity needed to be put on hold for the most part. It is so nice to be creating again, watching something take form and become a work of art people appreciate and enjoy!
What is your favorite product to make?
I only have a few basic designs, but my favorite is the new jewelry cabinet with the wavy frame – it’s in fun colors, and just has a great feel to it. It starts out the most boring to me, and is transformed into the most beautiful, especially when it’s antiqued!
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
My style in three words – hmmm, that’s a hard one! I guess it would be fun and functional, but with a touch of elegance.
In your opinion, what’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?
I can’t describe the feeling that came with my first Etsy customer – the idea that someone would want what I had made, and would be willing to pay for it! It was fun when my friends wanted them, but didn’t compare to having people across the country choose to trust me by purchasing my product from a small picture on their computer screen! It’s even better when people buy in person and express how much they love the products, just where they’ll put it or how they can’t wait to share it with a friend. This is the best part of being an entrepreneur – having full control over everything and seeing it from raw materials all the way through to the customer’s smile!!!
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I think if I had it to do over again, the only thing I would change is to start sooner. I really love everything about what I am doing, and am so grateful to have the opportunity to do it. I’ve been missing out until now!
What’s next? Any plans for the future?
Right now, I am just trying to get my name out there and grow the business. I would love to have the problem of not being able to fill all the orders on my own, and needing an apprentice, or my own workshop instead of just my garage! I would like to find other ways of helping people, especially women, organize and simplify their lives, and am always considering new ideas and designs toward that end. I would really like to grow the product line to include other areas!
Name: Shelly Zink
Twitter – @Shelzk
*** If you are a successful artisan with an online store and fabulous products and would like to be “In the Spotlight”, feel free to submit your info. ***