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Young entrepreneur
Meridian youth turns hobby into a business

By Staff
CREATIVE SPIRIT Shelby Wells, an 11-year-old homeschooled student, has created and designed her own line of purses, flip-flops, sun catchers and waste paper baskets. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
March 21, 2004
The electronics department. No. The toy department. No. Well, it has to be the clothing department. Not there, either.
The first place in Wal-Mart that Shelby Wells heads for is the craft and fabric department.
And most of the time, the cute things Wells is referring to include fabric, ribbon, plastic flowers and feathers.
Using these items, the 11-year-old Meridian homeschooler has created her own business, "Son Shine &Rainbows," designing purses, flip-flops, waste paper baskets and sun catchers.
The idea
Wells said she first was inspired to create after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
From there, Wells moved slow by first learning to use a sewing machine and then creating a few purses.
Wells said it takes one thing for a purse to sell the fabric must be cute.
Polka dots
Her purses display everything from yellow and orange polka dots to red, white and blue fabric depicting firefighters raising the American flag.
Wells' mom, Dana, said her daughter inherited her creative abilities from her grandmother, Mae Jean Walker, and her great-grandmother, Mamie Timbes both of whom live in Covington, Tenn.
Besides purses, which sell from $15 to $20, Wells' inventory includes flip-flops, for $10, waste paper baskets, for $15 and sun catchers, for $12.
Her creations are sold at two salons: Shear Kutz in Quitman and Shear Techniques in Lauderdale County.
Family support
Dana said she supports her daughter's business as much as she can, and that this experience is teaching her daughter responsibility and money management.
Ideas keep coming for the young entrepreneur. In fact, she already is thinking about her next creation.