I don’t know about you, but as summer winds down and an uncertain fall looms, I could use a little boost. So, I thought I’d share an inspiring story about (literally) following your dreams, starring a Main Line Neighbors alum…
In June 2014, not long after her beloved mother passed away, Sheila Grubb had an unusual dream. In the dream, her mother appeared and told her to make anklets. At the time, Sheila was pondering her next professional move, following a long career in sales and marketing. But anklets? She never wore them and neither had her mother. Wouldn’t handbags or earrings make more sense? So she pushed the dream aside and pursued other avenues, taking a sales position at Main Line Neighbors followed by a stint with local accessories designer Lisi Leirch. As time passed, however, she often returned to the dream, wondering if her mother was trying to tell her something. In late 2019, Sheila finally decided to heed her mother’s advice. “I was on vacation with my family, and we were sitting on the beach talking about our plans for the new year. I decided it was now or never,” she explains.
Admittedly, it was slow going at first (COVID didn’t help). She started with trips to Michael’s, which yielded plenty of supplies, but very little progress. A major turning point came when she partnered with a local jewelry consultant to help her source beads and other materials. Sheila named her company Happy Anklets and designed a logo with a daisy centerpiece, in homage to her mother’s nickname. She took her initial design—an adjustable, waterproof ankle bracelet with colorful threads, coastal-inspired beads and sunny sayings, like “Shine Brightly”—to her good friend Maria Delany, owner of Louella boutiques, and asked for her honest opinion. “I was so nervous,” says Sheila. “I loved it, but would anyone else?” Delany immediately asked to sell Happy Anklets in her stores.
Since making their debut at Louella, Happy Anklets have been picked up by nearly a dozen retailers, including Minnow in Sea Isle City; Global Pursuit in Stone Harbor; Toad Hollow Athletics in Paoli; Aneu in Paoli and Ocean City; and Icona Resorts in Avalon, Cape May and Diamond Beach. For Mother’s Day, Sheila’s sons chipped in to cover design and programming costs for HappyAnklets.com, so she can eventually sell direct to consumers.
“It feels great to have it off the ground after all those years of dreaming,” says Sheila, “and whenever I talk about Happy Anklets, it gives me a reason to talk about my mom, which I love.”
While the Web site is still under construction, you can follow Happy Anklets on Instagram. For questions or information about custom orders, contact Sheila directly at email@example.com.