Shey B

A Season


Life takes us on all sorts of journeys.

Some awesome ones.  Some not so awesome ones.

That’s how I view most things in my life… it’s a journey.  Hang on and enjoy the ride.

One journey I have been on for almost 3 years now is that of owning my own handmade business.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long.  Seems like a wink in time.  When I started my business it was just for fun.  Just for something creative and fun to do when it was just too darn hot to go outside.  Never did I imagine *Shey*[B] would become what it has.  A name brand if you will.  I have sold over 8,000 camera straps to people as far as China, Switzerland, Tokyo, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, England, Spain, Thailand, Africa, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy … and there are *Shey*[B] straps in every single state in the U.S. – this is not a brag.  This is fact.  It’s astonishing, really.  It’s amazing, and I feel incredibly blessed.

Let me be frank, though.  The handmade world can be amazing.  And fun.  But it can also be cruel.  And nasty.  There are aspects in all parts of our lives that have 2 sides or 2 faces.  The handmade community is one of those parts.  In the past year I have dealt with more gossip, more bashing, bantering accusation throwing, and name calling than any person should have to bear.  I have both retaliated and ignored these things.  Mostly ignored, because I am bigger than that.  People feel like it’s ok to not like you because of the way you run your business – in which they then talk gossip and hurtful things behind your back.  And this is the community that’s supposed to be so supportive of one another?  I mean, what makes others better?  What makes them so awesome that they can talk this way or treat people the way they do?  That is a question I know I will never have the answer to.  Nor do I care any longer.  When you put your blood, sweat and tears into something and others then proceed to try and tear you apart – slam the way you do your business… well, you start to no longer care what they think.  At least I don’t. {not that I – personally – did in the first place} I don’t ever want to associate with people like that.  Because when it comes down to it, all that matters is what you think, not what they think.  It’s no secret that I have run a no bull shit business.  I am black or white.  This is the way I CHOOSE to run my business.  I can’t run a business if I am going to be wishy washy.  Because that’s not how I am in real life.  I don’t believe the customer is always right.  And I never will.  I do believe in work hard and play harder.  I also believe in taking vacations.  Being burnt out is how it goes sometimes.  I make mistakes constantly, but I work my butt off to correct them.  Mostly, though.  Family ALWAYS comes first.  And some just can’t understand that.

Fact is, the handmade community is a far cry from what is used to be.  Everyone always wanted to help each other, but now, it’s “what can I get if I help them?”  How can you build a community with other creatives if you aren’t really in it for the love and joy of handmade?  How can you build a community with other creatives when all that’s thought about is getting yourself ahead, and popular?  That is {not} what it’s all about.  Sure.  We that own our businesses are a little self centered…we are promoting ourselves quite a lot.  But how far will you take it?  Will you mow others down in the process and not care who gets hurt as long as you’re #1?  I’ve seen it.  Not pretty.  I am certainly not perfection over here, either.  I admit that I have been pretty awful in handling some things.  But who hasn’t?  The point is that you realize the awful.  And change it.

All that said.  After running an amazing business, and an amazing conference – I do mostly love the people that I have met thus far.  The endless amounts of creativity at Creative Estates was inspiring and amazing.  Seeing those creatives gathered in one place showed me why I do love the handmade community.  Nasty awful stuff aside, I love it.  And I can not wait until next year’s Creative Estates so we can do it all over again!  Inspire each other all over again!

For the past 8 months, though, I have come to realize many things.  As big as my business has gotten, something is missing.  Something is not right.  And up until January I couldn’t put my finger on it.  It wasn’t until something truly life altering happened that I realized it.  And I began asking myself this question, “is this business worth it?”  When I would be all stressed out and snapping at my husband or kids on a day to day basis, I would ask that simple question.  And you know what the answer was?  “No.”  When I am literally watching my kids grow up right before my eyes but don’t feel like I am really IN IT with them, I asked myself that question.  And the answer was of course, “NO!”  When my husband wants to chill with me at night but I have a million orders to do, it’s a battle.  And once again the answer the that simple question is “no”.

I have sacrificed so much time with my family because I am shackled to my business.  Isn’t this MY business?  It is, but when you make a product that’s in pretty high demand, you’ll be surprised by how the table turns and it’s almost like YOU are YOUR business’ and not the other way around.  I am tired.  Tired of not just being with my kids for no other reason than to just be with them.  I am tired of always having my business in the back of my mind {what am I not doing right now/I have so much to do}.

So, that being said.  After several months of thought.  The season has come to an end for SheyB.  I am officially closing the doors.  I will no longer be making camera strap covers.  {aside from the occasional Couture}  There’s a season for everything.  While it’s a tad bit sad, I have no regrets whatsoever in this decision.  I just absolutely know this is the right decision for me and my family.  My business is not what defines me.  But I have let it do that.  But, I do have something that’s a wee bit exciting.  I have decided to offer the following to you lovelies that know how to sew…


my secrets in a kit….

For $10 you’ll get complete instructions w/ pictures and everything you’ll need {aside from thread} to complete a camera strap cover.  They will all ship within 3 business days because… they’ll be READY TO SHIP!  :)  They’re posted in my store right now.  Just choose the few {more choices coming soon} kits that I have available and you’ll be set to make your very own SheyB!  :)  Click here to purchase.


I am thrilled for the time that I will have to spend with my kids.  I am thrilled I will have time to make things for ME.  This blog will soon have many many more tutorials and showings of things that are being made over here.  I will have more time to blog.  More time to just be me.  Thrilled.


Ta-ta for now!




  1. Congratulations on your big decision!
    Praying for you.
    i think you are pretty brave!

  2. good for you shey! :)gina

  3. Wow! I’m shocked but happy for you if you are happy! The kits are an awesome idea too! Will you continue them after your current stock is gone? Looking forward to all the new stuff you have planned :)

  4. I know this was a hard decision. But you’re right, your business does not define you & you should be able to spend time w/ your family when you want.

    I know anything you do, you put your heart in to it. Because that’s what you do. :)

    Love you! <3

  5. Excited for you! And mostly glad I already have my strap since I can’t sew for the life of me ;)

  6. Congratulations. What an important decision you’ve made! Keep crafting, you’ve got talent!

  7. WOW- what a decision, I’m glad that you made the one that best suits YOU though!! I 100% know the shoes your in, minus the kiddos. I think that’s been my only saving grace in pouring our whole lives into The Organic Bloom :)

    Please look me up if you ever come visit Erin in Tulsa!

    <3 Andrea, one happy as a clam shey[b] owner!

  8. Congratulations on your decision. I am not part of the handmade community but I know what you are talking about – I see those that are all about who can get them further ahead instead of making real, honest connections and it is sad to watch. I am happy to see you living your honest and authentic self and doing what is best for you and your family.

    I love my SheyB :)

  9. I can see the light coming into your eyes and a weight being lifted off your shoulders. You are always so inspiring to me! thanks for that!! Good luck in your new adventure. xoxo Kashoan

  10. Shey,

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote today and you are in a great place as far as your decision making. FAMILY always must come first and you shouldn’t let rude comments from anyone bother you. Our children grow up way too fast and in the blink of an eye, you can miss so much especially when you are swamped with orders. You can always fall back on it making the beautiful straps again in the future if you want. With all this being said, I was wondering if previous orders placed would be sent out as I ordered one about 3 weeks ago. Thanks and Lots of luck to you!

  11. Shey, I wish you and your family the best! It is neat to see (awesome) how you are walking in what you believe. I just want you to know that you strap covers brought a smile to my mom and sister’s face. I think all 3 of us are “aspiring” photographers. ;0)My sister is the actual one. I can’t wait to see the next path in the journey for you. Thank you for your heart.


    Your customer service gal

  13. Hey Shey,

    I am so sad to hear that because of the things that have happened, you are closing shop. I can’t even imagine the kinds of backstabbing and competition there is in the handmade community, and after reading your post, I’m kind of scared that I want to get into it.

    I’ve never really cared much what people thought of me, and it’s helped me out in life. But it seems like you can’t exactly take that road when your goal is to satisfy the prospective client. You can’t exactly say much can you? I like to think that I will be able to juggle running a business and family life, but I’m scared that I won’t be able to, and the last thing I want is my family to suffer.

    It’s super scary to think that after all the hard work you put into running Shey B, it’s coming to an end. I have really enjoyed getting to know you, and reading your tweets, lol. You are very social, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better for that, BUT clearly there is so much I didn’t have a clue about. I thought things were going super, and I even remember you starting a pillow venture. :(

    I do understand FAMILY coming first, that’s how I feel, and that’s why I’ve stayed home with the kiddos for the past 12 years, being MOM has always been my number one priority. I am inspired by you even more girl, that you were able to make such a tough choice, and seem pretty darn happy with it. I bet you are relieved, and I admire you for that!! Not many people would be able to do that, and I can only hope that if I ever face a similar situation, I will be strong enough to make the right choice for me, and my family.

    Thank you for sharing this with us, and if anything, putting our minds at ease that there is life after running a business, even if you choose to close shop.

    Many hugs to you and the family. I bet they are super excited to have mommy back, :)


    Bella :)

    • Hey Bella! Thanks for the comment! :) Please know that I am not closing down SheyB because of the gossip and things that were said about me. Owning my own business has given me a tough skin. :) I am only shutting down my store because I want to just be with my family without any other obligations. Laughing and making memories with my kids and husband will be just what the dr ordered. :) xo!

      • Oh girl, I did get that from your post, sorry to make it sound otherwise. I was only sad that all that other stuff did happen, and I’m just so clueless about it. I think I go through life often like that, either oblivious, or slightly blind. I hope that you my dear, have a wonderful time being mommy and wife, and being there completely for all the daily activities.

        I know that you will be so happy.

        Take care and again, hugs to you all :)

        Bella :)

  14. i’m sorry you’ve had to face any negativity and hurt. but, so glad to hear you’ve got peace about this decision. and are excited for what’s next. your family & you are in my thoughts and prayers. blessings to you during this next AMAZING season in your life! :) xoxo

  15. Good for you-and many many blessings! Now…you should consult for others, online workshops how to build a biz, etc because you certainly did it well! You’ve earned your “retirement”! Enjoy!! Enjoy!!

  16. Hi Shey! I’ve followed you on twitter for a while. I have my own residential organizing business. I’m impressed with your decision. I understand what you said about your business always being in the back of your mind. I feel very responsible to other people, and have to remind myself that they aren’t always thinking about me! It’s hard when you’re the entire business. Thanks for sharing and I wish you the best in your adventures!

  17. Dear Shey,

    I love reading your blog, and as much as I know it was a difficult decision to make on cutting the chains of a business, I definitely understand… There’s no amount of time/money spent in a business that will ever get the time back that you lose with your family now. I will continue to read your blog as one of your biggest fans, and I am so happy that you have found what will be best for you!

    ;) Chrisitne

  18. Wow! Good for you, Shey. Yes, family does come first! On to a new chapter for you! A happy chapter with your family!! Of course, I wish you well {you know that!}.
    xo Tara

  19. I congratulate you for choosing your family over your business and recognizing when it has become too much. It is a decision you will not regret. You’re a good mom and wife. I am sorry that people have been so cruel to you. Many many blessings Shey!

  20. There is a time and a season for everything under heaven….isn’t that how the song goes?

    Be well, Be Blessed and spend the precious time you have. When one door closes another one opens right?

    I like the strap kit ideas.

  21. So sad : ( Understandable though. I hope you find happiness in your next venture… when and whatever it may be. <3

  22. WooHooo!!! Good for you! :) It feels so great to make huge decisions like that and be confident with them.

  23. Good for you! I love your straps, but I’m glad that you’re making decisions for yourself and not for your customers! Enjoy your summer!

  24. As sad as I am to see you close Shey B, I’m really happy for you! Time with your kids and family is the most important thing. And you’ll never regret it! I’m trying to find ways so that I can cut back too and “just be” with my kids without stressing over a deadline. Still trying to find that balance in my life…
    AND going the pattern route is so the way to go!! I did that in Jan. and umm, it rocks! so much easier! now when you go on vaca, all you have to worry about is shooting out a couple emails. :)
    I’m sure this was a tough decision, but in the long run, I think you’ll be really happy.

  25. What a blessing to your children and husband to have a momma & wife who can see when things just aren’t working. I completely understand what you’re saying – – how having your own business can take over…and change who you are.

    I agree with your statements about the handmade community. It was actually refreshing to read someone else stating what so many know is true – – that in a community where you would expect support and understanding, you are often greeted with greed, jealousy, and selfishness. I don’t know your “story”, but can still hate how this must have made you feel.

    Enjoy your time. YOUR time. What a fantastic new journey!

  26. I am so sad that you are closing down your shop, but I think it is absolutely awesome that you are doing it for your family! Maybe in 20 years when they move out, you’ll be back! ;o) Best wishes!

  27. What a tough decision but a great one for your family! I’m bummed I never got a camera to need a strap for but I’m looking forward to seeing what the future has for you!

  28. Shey, my first response might have been “oh, how sad!”…BUT I am proud of you. Putting your family first is SO important! Enjoy this new season of your life. :)

  29. You go girl! You have talked about making this decision months ago. So happy for you. It seems as though your heart is truly happy now. =)

  30. HORAY for you! I love my *Shey* {B} Straps and a pattern, that’s like Christmas all over. Enjoy your newfound time and freedom and just enjoy life!

  31. Good for you! I think you have your priorities in exactly the right place!! Our babies are only in our homes for a blink in time, so being there and available is super important.

    I love the idea of the kit, I may just have to add it to our budget this month ;)

  32. What an awesome idea!! So happy for you.

    {I have to say I related soooo much to this post. I had been sooooo busy since before Halloween and finally closed my shop for 7weeks so I could catch up and go on a FAMILY vacation. I so needed the time to sit back, spend time with family and recharge. It was wonderful.}

  33. Shey!!!!! WOW. I have SO much respect for you & for your decision. I am so proud of you & I know this must have been such a hard decision for you. I think I am in shock!!! I can’t tell you how glad I am that I FINALLY bought one of your straps in April…I would have been so mad at myself if I missed out on it! And, i think the kit idea is genius!!! But I am terrible at sewing, so I am glad I bought an already made strap :)

    • Thanks so much Mel! What a sweet comment!! And believe me… I bet you anything you could make a strap from my kit. The instructions I did are VERY detailed. :)

  34. Kudos to you for doing what is right for your family… and you. I did the same a few years ago and have no regrets.

  35. I soooo understand what you are saying about being shackled by your business (not the backstabbing gossip stuff). I, too, made a business out of my craft hobby but felt the same way as you are now and stopped advertising and going to craft fairs because of that. I do embroidery, so I still get “jobs”, but I don’t seek them out. And, I say no if it isn’t a good time for me. Good luck to you and your family.

  36. I ordered 2. So excited for them to show up. Enjoy your break you totally deserve it!

  37. I am glad I bought my strap when I did. I have no idea how to sew. Am very happy for you!

  38. I have to agree that I really enjoyed reading this post. I know there are going to be a ton of people (including myself) that can relate to your feelings in some way, and I really do appreciate you sharing it all with us. How exciting that you’ve made such an important decision!

  39. Shealynn-

    You’re awesome! You did so much between running a business, Creative Estates and being a devoted mother. That’s a ton of work! I laugh every time I see your camera strap that I won at CE..because I don’t even have a camera!! *yet* Thanks for all that you’ve done.

  40. wow, i’m late commenting, but wow shey: this is huge & such a great decision you made for YOU. i’m glad you could share it with us. :)

  41. You are so courageous and I love the way you are standing up for what is most important–you will never regret it!!

  42. Hi Shey,
    I have followed you off and on and was shocked to hear that you have closed down your business. Glad to hear though that you chose family over business and things are working out well. I sew a little and would love to buy your kit, but I couldn’t find the link. Can I still purchase one? Thanks and good luck!

  43. Hi Shey.
    We’ve never met, ;) but I sought you out today.
    I had heard of you and your fabulous camera straps.
    I also heard you closed your shop.
    The reason I sought you out is because I wanted to hear exactly what you posted here. I have a very little shop compared to what you have but I have felt exactly like you described. I am so torn. It takes guts to do what is best.
    And thanks for giving me something to read that I could completely relate to and know as a mom/ wife I am not alone.

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