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5 Lessons From 5 Years of Shelly Cove

Happy Shellyversary, friends!

We can’t believe it’s been five whole years. :)

Since the start—literally, yes, in one of our garages— we’ve been committed to learning, growing, and giving back.

As a company, as entrepreneurs, and as people.

We found that the more we learned and grew, the more we were able to give back. (And, after all, that’s really the whole point.)

It’s truly been an amazing adventure. 

But it would never have happened without YOUR support. 

Thanks to people like you, Shelly Cove has been able to donate almost $200,000 to our friends at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center as well as

  • other conservatories,
  • local food banks,
  • clean drinking water initiatives,
  • and wildfire recovery in Australia! 

And thanks to you, we’re still growing — in more ways than one. 

In fact, as we look back at the past half decade, all of us on the team have realized that this adventure has taught us some major life lessons. 

(Sometimes the easy way, sometimes the hard way.)

They apply to the business, to teamwork, and they also apply to life! 

So here are five favorite lessons from five years of Shelly Cove.

Lesson 1: Communication is Key.  

It all starts here, guys. We've learned through countless trial and error that the best communication is a mix of transparent sharing and empathetic listening.  

Have an idea? Start a bold conversation.

Identify a concern? Take it with humility and honesty to someone who can help.

Especially when you’re first starting out with a dream, there's pressure to leave all the talk to the “professionals.” But when you start small like us, it’s obvious that everyone on the team has a valuable voice. 

And so do you!

It's true—we've learned even MORE about what Shelly Cove should be all about by listening to our community of loyal customers.

  • What creates value for you?
  • What makes you feel seen and cared about?
  • Where are we making mistakes that should be fixed? 

So that’s why we try as best as we can to keep communication open, for sharing thoughts, concerns, questions—anything! We want everyone to know that their voice has valuable. 

Lesson 2: Get Messy!

This one's fun. Whether brainstorming new designs for shirts, or partnering with a local organization,  or learning a new system for team communication—sometimes things have to get messy before they get good.

And that’s okay! 

Mistakes aren't bad. In fact, realizing mistakes is how you improve! We’ve definitely made our fair share. And those messy areas are the places that we've seen the most growth over the years.

Some of the best ideas you have might come from the leftovers of a failed one. Whenever we feel things getting stagnant or slow... we know it’s time to get messy.  

Lesson 3: Let Your Team Be Awesome

This might be intimidating at first but, hear us out: hire people smarter than you. Make friends with people who can do your favorite thing better than you. Listen to and surround yourself with people who have different opinions.

We don’t believe in creating an echo-chamber of ideas.

We know that we don’t have all the answers—and that there will always be someone smarter and better at what we do.
 
The options? 
 
Get sad and stop growing.

OR get excited and team up with people who know more and make an even bigger impact! 

Lesson 4: Don’t Settle!

We found out we could make an average shirt with average styles for an average cause, by doing just what made us comfortable. We could settle for what "works."

Eh, maybe this is as good as it gets. 

But, honestly that wasn't good enough. We knew people wanted an exceptional experience and that we wanted to make an exceptional impact. We didn't want to settle. 

The extra mile has become our favorite one. 

And when we took that to heart, an ordinary mission turned extraordinary.  

 

Lesson 5: (It’s cliche but true) Anything is Possible.


Secret: We aren't business experts with MBA's from elite schools. We are a scrappy group of 20-somethings. But we have a dream and a vision, and we work incredibly hard to make it a reality. If we can make our dream happen, so can you. 

    We created Shelly Cove shirts to be trendy and cute while helping to save some amazing sea creatures. And the adventure is still just beginning.

    Thanks for joining us!

    It’s super exciting to imagine what we can accomplish together in the next five years.