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Local woman finds freedom in business
Blinged clothes and ironworks are just some of the offerings at Shelly’s. Tucked on over an acre of land on West Olive Avenue surrounded by lush greenery, the former nursery is now a hodgepodge of a gift shop.
“I feel like I have something for everyone. I have a large variety,” said owner Shelly Szypulski who has owned the business for the last 17-plus years. One person that has been an immense help is her boyfriend Woody Childers.
“I couldn’t do anything without him. I’d close without him,” stated Szypulski who operates without employees.
The shop contains items that can be used for home, personal and decorative use. They also rent out items like iron arches for weddings and special events.
Inside visitors can purchase gifts like a grape and vine iron hanging piece and blinged or crystal decorated items like hats, purses, and clothing.
“I love to bling” explained Szypulski who also sells a mishmash of wall art and frames.
As part of her shop, she has a few items on consignment. However, a lot of her inventory, including jewelry, she handpicks from shows that she attends. One specialty item she sells is her own handmade baby clothes which can range from pink onesies with blinged hearts, to fluffy skirts and accessories.
Outside visitors find themselves in a maze of unique items like the small army ants made of iron and dark colored rocks. Some are hunkered down with a small scope waiting, while others are in a line formation on the ground in a half circle. Six foot tall sunflowers, fish and a red, yellow and green drum chicken can also be purchased.
The chicken, according to Szypulski, is made out of recycled oil drums.
The ants are made by a local man and the ironworks are made by an outside contractor.
Concrete statuettes, gazebos and benches are also available for purchase.
A crafty person, Szypulski has tried her hand at a little bit of everything including jewelry making and stained glass pieces with her mom.
“A friend and I did jewelry shows with sterling silver,” stated Szypulski who attends craft shows like the Fresno and Visalia homeshow.
She previously had a store in Tulare, and has experience in co-ops and home parties.
However, the former bank worker prefers the life of a owner and operator.
“It’s nice to be your own boss, to work out of a store so people can come on a regular basis,” added Szypulski who added that a perk to the business is the customer service. “A lot of people want to talk to the owner.”
Items can be custom made and gift wrapped, the latter free of charge. Shelly’s is at 1616 W. Olive Ave., Porterville.