My name is Kelly Shiley aka mom, sister, wife, friend and the “woman behind the curtain” at Mary Square.
If you’re here, I guess you’re wondering how this all got started. It’s a long story that is still in progress, but I’d love to share a bit of it here.
In 2010, I gave birth to my third child (and first daughter) Savannah. Post-partem depression hit me fast and hard. I was struggling to get through each day and started placing index cards with scripture written on them throughout my house. Early one morning when I couldn’t sleep, I was staring at the cards and wondered if I could buy something online that would be more durable (and a lot cuter). I looked online for scripture decals and found they didn’t exist.
Over the course of a few weeks, I researched material to make these cards and recruited my sister-in-law to help me design. After I had a good prototype, I found an investor that agreed to fund my project if I could get someone to place an order. I was determined to share this product with other people and called the buying team at Lifeway Christian stores. A month later, I had my first $20,000 order in hand and was packaging them in my kitchen between diaper changes and feedings.
I wish it was happily ever after from there, but that was not part of God’s plan. The investor team agreed to order $123,000 worth of product. I put the cost of the product on my AMEX, and the day the bill was due, I got a call that the funding fell through, and I would be responsible for paying the inventory. Long story short, we had to sell our home and move our three kids to pay off the debt. Looking back, I truly believe this was part of God’s plan to remove the safety net from underneath me and teach me to rely on Him for strength and direction. Also, I must give a huge shout out to my husband for being patient with me as it took me two years to sell the inventory and repay all the debt.
Turns out, I loved making product and sharing it with other women! I get so excited to see a product come to life. It’s been a joy to develop relationships with local and national retailers and work together to put a smile on the faces of our customers. I feel truly blessed to get to make beautiful, inspiring product for each of you!
Today, Mary Square has evolved into a lifestyle brand that designs and creates beautiful gift items including stationery, drinkware, home accessories, loungewear and more. We are committed to infusing each product with the high-quality materials and lots of love. Our mission is to inspire women to celebrate each day and live life without regret. We find beauty in vulnerability and imperfection and always seek to lift each other up. We value family and faith, and always look for ways to incorporate fun into our work! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the next chapter. Thank you for being part of our story!