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Small Business Spotlight: Swirlz, Tupelo

Swirlz Girls: When you know, you know and we knew

Daniel, Root have grown invitation business infinitely

Kim Root and Shelly Daniel are best friends. They live next door to one another and go to the same church. Their husbands are both architects.

When they’re seen together in Tupelo, people call them the Swirlz girls because they also own an invitation printing business called Swirlz.

“When you see one, you always see the other,” Swirlz co-owner Shelly Daniel said.

The friends had known each other only a few months when they left their respective healthcare jobs to open the Tupelo business in the fall of 2008.

“We did pray heavily before we made this huge decision,” Daniel said. “And there were people who said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ But when you know, you know, and we knew. It was just meant to be.”

As young mothers, both women needed jobs with more flexibility, so the business idea was developed one night over barbecue and beer.

Their husbands were supportive and put their architectural experience to renovate the downtown location.

“They were all about it and still are,” Daniel said, adding that their husbands will help out when one of the women has to be away.

In addition to their need for flexibility, Daniel said, Tupelo needed a business that printed invitations and notecards on-site and with a quick turnaround.

“People in Tupelo were driving to Memphis to have their invitations printed,” Daniel said.

Swirlz prints fold-over notecards, calling cards, stickers, birth announcements and party invitations of all kinds including invitations designed by Address to Impress, another Tupelo company run by two women.

“We say that a cute invitation is a reason to have a party,” Daniel said.

Birthday party and bridal invitations keep the shop hopping.

“It’s bridal season right now, so we’re doing a lot of those, but every day is a birthday,” Daniel said.

Swirlz also offers many Mississippi-made gift products like candles, jewelry and artwork made by Mississippians.

Both said providing excellent customer service is key to their business, but the pair’s close friendship certainly helps.

“We laugh at ourselves all day – even when no one else is laughing,” Daniel said.


Up Close With …

Shelly Daniel

Age: 31

Hometown: Simpson County

High school: Graduated from Simpson Academy in 1997

College: Attended Hinds Community College

Key to success: Personality and good customer service

Coolest thing you’ve ever done: Having kids

Kim Root

Age: 33

Hometown: Tupelo

High school: Graduated from Tupelo High School in 1995

College: Graduated in 2000 with a nursing degree from the University of Mississippi

Key to success: Customer service

Coolest thing you’ve ever done: Open a store


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About Laura Smith