Ben’s Blog: My Wife is a Genius
Hey there, allow me to introduce myself – I’m Ben, Shelley’s husband and the behind-the-scenes guy for SGS! I help with stuff like picking up products from vendors, packing boxes and taking them to the Post Office, local deliveries, and tracking inventory. I am so proud of Shelley and the business she has created. It’s crazy to think we’ve been open for over a year; I feel like the past few months have completely flown by.
Shelley and I have been together for over 7 years now and married for five. We met just before she graduated from University of Richmond, and I could tell she had an entrepreneurial spirit early on. She introduced me to Shark Tank, which we routinely watched together for years. Shelley had a knack early on for figuring out which pitches the sharks would like, what their comments would be, and what type of bids they would put in. I was, and remain to this day, fascinated by how her brain works on business. I’m an Engineer by trade, with degrees in Chemical, Mechanical, and Nuclear disciplines, so math and science are my bread and butter. If you start talking about abstract art forms like marketing and branding, though, I’m a fish out of water. You could say our strengths compliment each other well and help account for the other’s weaknesses.
Around the end of 2019, I remember feeling like Shelley was on to something. She had a couple of great business ideas that would seem awesome on the surface, but after a little deeper digging we’d find snags for why it would be difficult to pull off (mostly due to the need for a huge amount of investment capital) - then the pandemic happened. After a couple weeks of everyone staying at home due to COVID-19, Shelley started reaching out to small businesses and trying to help them. You all probably won’t believe me, but she contacted one of our eventual vendors very early on in the pandemic and suggested they started to make cloth masks as a pivot from their current products. You can imagine how well that worked out!
As the months of staying home continued to pass, Shelley continued to gain contacts with small businesses that she enjoyed working with. By the summer, she had finally put her idea into words that had been incubating in her brilliant mind for a while – an online gift shop that was fully stocked with products from small businesses. I knew almost immediately that this was it; this was Shelley’s first great idea that would kickstart her career as an entrepreneur. What’s happened in the 14+ months since that moment has been a really rewarding experience. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have a front row seat to the show.
Shelley has beautifully grown into the role of CEO and small business owner, surrounding herself with smart and talented people to help her. SGS would not be what it is today without them, as well as the support from our friends and family. Like any business owner, it hasn’t been completely smooth sailing; mistakes have been made, but what’s made me so proud is to see how quickly Shelley bounces back and learns to not repeat them again. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store (pun intended!) for her and the business!