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Women in Business Spotlight: Shelia Bayes

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Shelia Bayes started in the jewelry industry right out of high school when she was simply looking for a part-time job while attending the University of Kentucky. From there, her love of jewelry grew, and at  27, she started her own business.  Today, Shelia Bayes Jewelry has been serving the Lexington, Kentucky community for 28 years.

Bayes has always had a passion for how jewelry connects people, how it marks celebrations and how it has significance in the lives of her customers. “It’s hard to believe how things have changed, but the fun part now is being able to take care of clients’ children that I sold engagement rings to, and now they’re coming in and their kids are getting engaged,” she said. “They become an extended part of your family.”

Though Bayes has seen the industry change significantly since she’s been in business, one of the biggest changes and challenges has come from COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, Bayes quickly implemented texting services and virtual communication options  to ensure she was still connecting with customers and wholesalers.

Thanks to Kinetic internet and phone service, Bayes was able to transition seamlessly in the past year while leaning heavily on technology to reach her customers. “The reliability has been tremendous with Kinetic,” Bayes said.

On top of handling a global pandemic with her small business, Bayes also moved locations in September. “We moved our store once we were able to start re-opening and moved to a bigger location,” she said. “The service that was provided by Kinetic was beyond exceptional. Every aspect was taken care of and everything was handled perfectly for us,” said Bayes. “As a small business you can’t have any downtime and Kinetic really cared about making sure we had everything up and running in our new space.”

This past year has even inspired Bayes to help other independent retail jewelry stores like herself enhance their ecommerce and website presence. “Jewelry has always been lagging in terms of technology,” said Bayes.  Now she’s refocusing a bit of her passion to help other retailers thrive in a virtual environment.

Kinetic Business has been proud to celebrate women-owned businesses like Shelia Bayes Jewelry and Studio Wish Salon, along with women trailblazers in the tech industry like Liz Brown, for Women’s History Month.