Small Business Highlight: Shelby Jewel
Updated: Aug 17, 2022
Shelby Jewel, named after its creator, Shelby Jewel Tucker, is a place for women to feel comfortable in their bodies and find stylish yet affordable clothing and accessories to complete their looks. Just as a note, Shelby Jewel is donating 10% of its monthly online sales to the local chapter of Make-A-Wish.
Shelby Jewel started as an online store and later established her original brick-and-mortar location in Saddle Creek. I asked her what inspired her to start a business? She said, “[I] just had kind of a vision that I saw that wasn’t in Memphis yet or really in the country.” Tucker had a vision and a support team to provide safety and encouragement to build the business of her dreams. In the short documentary she posted on Youtube™, you can watch as she opens her new space on Mendenhall Road and all the love that went into creating the brand. She was a fashion blogger who wanted to create a place for women to come and feel good about themselves. She opened her store in Memphis for the women here and for herself. “I’m born and raised [in Memphis]. I love being able to say I’m proudly from [Memphis]and my business is … in Memphis. And then also just the community; I just love building off the community of Memphis.”
She was moving to her new location at the beginning of the pandemic but with the help of her support team, she was able to thrive despite the setbacks. When asked how she juggled opening a new store and the pandemic she said, “I opened the pop up at the end of 2020 when [the pandemic] was alleviating a little bit and so people wanted to get out and people wanted to come.” She had been offering home deliveries and really focusing on her social media presence during the lockdown. She continued, “When I opened my permanent location, it was one of those times again that [the pandemic has kind of alleviated] and people wanted to come out shopping. But we did have to definitely transition into doing more video content, really making sure social media was hitting the mark.”
Shelby Jewel is for women, created and run by women. Tucker doesn’t think she has experienced more hardships than a man running a business:
“I ultimately believe in myself. I’ve created a support system…that supports me… I think anytime you're going to deal sometimes with people who, in their mind, yeah, being a woman, sometimes it's just like, they're not going to talk to you the way that you want them to talk to you. Honestly, I think the biggest hardship has been not so much that I'm a woman, but that I'm young.”
Tucker achieved her dream of owning her own store and she continues to thrive. Tucker has suggestions for women thinking about starting their own business: “Do your research and be confident in yourself because [your] vision was given to you for a reason. It was laid on your heart for a reason. Do not feel that you are inferior because you’re a woman.”