Taking a leap of faith, Shelli of Worley’s Lighting started the company at a time of transition in her life. I was in between jobs and had a lot of design ideas for home accessories. Those ideas turned into actual products and after listing them in our on-line Etsy shop, they began to sell. From table top lighting to candle holders, cutting boards, and other wooden home accessories, what started as a dream for Shelli and her husband Seth has now expanded to an e-commerce website and an Etsy shop three and a half years later.
A native Texan, Shelli moved to Charlotte with her parents while in high school. At 24 years of age, starting a small business taught her many things and was often times a learn-as-you-go experience. But she possessed what was needed: a love of interior design, a knack for figuring out how things work, a lot of determination, and a husband who encouraged her. In the beginning, I took advantage of all of the free education out there SCORE for business advice, YouTube and online forums for woodworking, and the Etsy seller handbook for everything in between. Everything else I learned came from hands-on-experience and practicing my craft.
Focusing her energy on lighting took a little bit of time, but eventually she developed a real excitement for it. Lamps are a vital part of any room. They vary in shapes, sizes, textures, and materials. Lighting has become a great and broad avenue for me to express my creativity and build things that I love. Shellis most favorite aspect of the building process is not the wood turning on the lathe or the miter cuts, but the wiring process. When our lamps are ready for wiring, they have already been cut, turned, sanded, stained/oiled, and drilled. Wiring is the finishing touch that takes our creations from pretty pieces of hardwood to functional pieces ready to take their place in someones home. I love watching the transformation over and over again.
When it comes to creating pieces, Shelli and Seth keep the designs simple in order to showcase the natural beauty of the wood. I am all about clean, modern lines, and wholesome materials. After having started selling wholesale to retailers around the country, Worleys Lighting attended their first trade show in New York City called NYNOW. This was a great boon for the business.We were able to connect with buyers we never wouldve been able to reach otherwise and have made lasting relationships with other makers from around the country.
Although starting and running a successful business has been a challenge, Shelli and Seth believe they are better because of it. After everything we have been through as a small business, I cannot recall a challenge that we have faced that was not worth it in the end. We always come out learning a great deal and achieving a new goal.
For more info, visit www.worleyslighting.com.