Today we’d like to introduce you to Gillian Freede and Danielle Rolfes.
Gillian and Danielle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today
C. Shel is more than just a business. It is a story of our family. Originally from South Africa, Houston raised mother and daughter team. My name is Danielle and my mother’s name is Gillian, but everyone on the block knows her as GiGi. We have roots in retail going back to my mother’s teenage years in Johannesburg, and these roots followed us to Houston when we immigrated in 1985. Some of my fondest childhood memories include wandering the colorful racks in our family stores in the Galleria. C. Shel also shares a connection with my children. When I was pregnant with our daughter, Charlotte Sheldon (Sheldon, my Mom’s maiden name), my husband nicknamed her our little C Shel. Her creativity and curiosity inspire us every day.
While C. Shel formally kicked-off in the summer of 2019, the inception of our jewelry business can be traced back to my mother’s fascination with the healing qualities of gemstones. In November 2011, she learned she had breast cancer. She went on to fight and beat cancer due to the care and excellent staff at Memorial Hermann. A few years later, after my two children entered school, we decided to give it a shot. Out with the dining room – in with our home beading studio.
Has it been a smooth road?
Starting a new business has been very exciting, but it doesn’t come without bumps along the way. We dedicate a lot of time researching where to sell our jewelry, and how to gain more followers on IG and FB. We are always looking for new Craft shows, Holiday markets, Local Pop Up’s to sell our jewelry and gain more exposure. Now, with the pandemic of Covid-19 , selling face to face has been postponed and all Spring venues we were planning on attending have been canceled. We are now refocusing our efforts on online sales through our website and Instagram.
Tell us more about the business.
Our beads are all hand-selected and our jewelry is hand-made. We feel inspired by our South African roots and often source African beads, but are always innovating and integrating emerging colors, trends and materials into our designs. We frequently create new styles and add new products, such as our whimsical oyster decoupage jewelry dish “Shel Jewelry Dish.” In between carting kids around town, you can find us beading away at my home in West U or at one of our many local pop-up events. Please visit our website cshelshop.com and following us on Instagram/Facebook cshel.shop.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Instagram and Facebook have paved the way for small business’s like us. It gives us the ability to reach so many people and a platform to sell directly from our Instagram and Facebook page. However, I think that many people like the “face to face” shopping experience. I didn’t think that would significantly change within the next decade. To answer that question today, is totally different than just 2 weeks ago. Virtual shopping rooms here we come!
- Women’s jewelry $24.00 -$150.00
- Shel Jewelry Dish-$24-$29
- Little Shel’s girls bracelets $18
Meredith Flaherty Photography