Contestant's Case to Win
This is based on the number of votes received.
A love for paper and a creative mind. That's what sparked the business that has become Kelly Hughes Designs. Kelly Hughes creates whimsical designs for stationery, invitations, placemats, plates and much more. After spending 10+ years in the retail industry as a buyer & sales representative, I decided it was time to put my creative side to work and fulfill my lifelong dream of starting my own business. I put the watercolor paints to work and created a small line of stationery which I sold mostly at holiday shows and home parties. My first few years of selling were a success, and after the birth of my first daughter in 2004, I decided to quit my "day job" and take on my business full time (that is, along with being a mom).
I attended my first wholesale trade show in May 2005 - The National Stationery Show in NYC. I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time. After much planning and research, I had a very successful show, and after a year of building the business at home, I was ready to move into an office space to free up my living & dining room! Since then, I have moved my business to a larger space to accommodate the growth, have grown from 20 accounts in 2005 to almost 400 accounts in 2009, and have hired several awesome employees to help manage the business. While I am happy with the growth, there is still much opportunity to be had, and I continue to work hard to build my business, and to follow my passion. The path has been an amazing learning experience, with both its ups and downs.
I feel so fortunate to be able to work for myself while raising my children. Our family has grown as fast as my business. I now have 3 children, all under the age of 5. Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to be there for them when they need me and to follow my dreams. Balancing family & my business is not always easy, but I believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Thank you for your vote!