Owner, Shannon’s Web
Meet Shannon Kelly, owner of Shannon’s Web, a local St. Pete retail store selling up-cycled furniture, home goods, and candles made in-house among other things. At 23, Shannon is young, smart and knows what she wants in life. In her own words, “I quit my day job last August, rented the location in St. Pete’s Grand Central District at the end of October and opened right before Christmas. So, I guess I’ve been a business owner for four months. I’ve worked for and marketed many start-ups, but this is my first rodeo owning my own business.” Shannon moved to St. Pete in 2011 to attend University of South Florida St. Pete, where she is finishing her last two classes in Mass Communications and Journalism. When she has some rare free time she enjoys seeing live music with friends, fishing with her boyfriend and catching some of her little brother’s baseball games.
1. What is the most interesting thing about you or your business?
We have a man cave. You know, for the guys that want to wait in the car while their other half shops. Fellas can sit on the couch, watch TV, and smell “mandles.”
2. What makes business ownership worth it to you?
Not having to hear “no.” There is no one putting down my creativity, telling me why I can’t do something. I wanted to create an environment that I wouldn’t mind hanging out in all day and share it with others.
3. Describe your typical day.
Ha. No day is typical. Employees call out. Shipments don’t arrive. I may or may not have meetings that day. I start projects that don’t get finished because an old friend stops in to chat… but let’s be real, life isn’t that hard when selling candles. I get up (usually late), attempt to throw myself together in 15 minutes, get mad that I didn’t make it to the gym, pack a lunch, rush to open the store in time, answer emails, return phone calls, set up displays, meet with new consignors, place wholesale orders, etc. After I close, I go home and work on schoolwork, spend time with the boyfriend, stay up until 2 am thinking about all the things I need to get done, wash, rinse, and repeat.
4. Would you ever trade running your own business for a 9 to 5 job?
Yeah, no. I’m a little jaded after “working for the man.” Unless that 9-5 was something super awesome like testing ice cream, then maybe.
5. What advice would you give to someone considering business ownership or entrepreneurism? Are there certain skills or traits they need to be successful?
Take all advice, input, and criticisms from friends and family with a grain of salt. They love you, they’re concerned, blah blah blah, but truth is many people have dreams that they stuff deep, deep down that they’ll never have the courage to chase. Use their help to shape your idea, but don’t give up on it. I think the skills and traits to be successful are all in how you view “success.”
6. Why do you think you’re successful? What does success mean to you?
If opening the doors to my business is considered “successful,” then cool. I am successful. However, I’m striving to build a known and loved brand in the St. Pete community, and like every business owner, expand. I’m learning more and more to roll with the punches, how to say “no,” and how to bounce back from letdowns. I don’t want to own a million stores across the world. That sounds like a lot of work. I want to be comfortable and have time to spend with my friends and family. That to me is success.