All her life, Sheila Wright has been a maker of things. Living room drapes without a pattern. An arbor for the garden. Baby bedding for the nursery. A rock patio without plans. It was this curiosity and talent for “figuring stuff out” that led her to a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan and a 15-year career in the automotive industry where she specialized in (naturally) Product Development and Project Management.
So how did a successful automotive engineer wind up making children’s crafts? It all began when Sheila started sending her children off to school with a little extra love in the morning. She’d put a heart on their hand. Or tuck a note in their lunchbox. But she felt it wasn’t enough. What she really wanted was a way for her kids to hear her sweet messages whenever they wanted, wherever they went.
That’s when TalkatooTM recordable charms were born and when Sheila founded Ann Williams Group, named after her daughter and son. When they hit the market in July 2010, Talkatoo charms became an instant back-to-school hit with parents and kids, and suddenly everyone was clamoring for more.
And more it was. One day while watching her daughter struggle for an hour to make one inch of a friendship bracelet, Sheila thought, “There has to be a better way of doing this.” So after playing around with some thread and cobbling a few things together, she came up with a fun new way to make friendship bracelets and gave it the playful name, Loopdedoo. It, too, became a huge success and in 2012 it received five prestigious toy of the year awards. It was picked up by thousands of high end retailers across the country and Sheila thought, “Why not make all kinds of cool crafts that are fun, and faster for kids?” So using Loopdeloo as her inspiration, the sky was the limit for all kinds of new crafts.
Today, there are Loopedeloom weaving kits. A Craft-tastic pom pom making kit. A Craft-tastic finger crochet kit. And Loopdedoo kits for making necklaces, bracelets and headbands. There’s lots more to come, too. Sheila has a notebook filled with ideas, many of which are inspired by her children. In other words, Ann Williams Group is working overtime on innovative brands and products that are designed to bring out the kid in all of us, whether you’re three or 93.
You could say Sheila makes everything, especially her dreams come true. She’s responsible for the company’s product innovations and holds numerous patents for her inventions. Her entrepreneurial success has been featured on numerous news outlets and business publications, including Fortune magazine.
It’s All in the Family....
Besides a passion for creating things, Sheila is also passionate about her family. She lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with her two children, Owen William (11) and Amelia Ann (10), and her husband, Daniel, who is also an automotive engineer and Sheila’s entrepreneurial partner at Ann Williams Group. His dream came true, too.