vintage beach umbrellas with Shelley Arends in the car

Female Entrepreneur Shelley Arends has been busy creating businesses. With a business degree from Cal State Fullerton, she used her skills to start a deli in San Clemente, a wholesale soup company in Laguna Canyon, and, in addition, a spin studio and vacation rentals in Laguna Beach. 

Female Entrepreneur Shelley Arends Creates Beach Brella

Her current venture, Beach Brella, was inspired by her love for the beach and the coastal lifestyle. An avid surfer and beachgoer, Shelley used to carry a palapa umbrella to the beach and people would walk up to her all the time and because it  was so cute, they would want to buy it. And her friends could easily find her. When her beach umbrella became shabby, she tried to find a new one, but with no luck. The material wasn’t right, the quality wasn’t worth the price. So she bought herself an umbrella, some material and some fringe because she wanted to make herself a fun cute vintage feeling beach umbrella.

Pink Beach Umbrella with Shelley Arends on a pink couch

Making A Perfect Beach Umbrella

After getting numerous compliments on the beach, She decided to create Beach Brella! Setting out to make the “perfect” beach umbrella. She discovered that being lightweight was a big advantage in the winds; hers stayed up when the heavier ones flew across the beaches of Laguna. The lightweight also made it easy to carry so if your hands are full with kids etc. the umbrella just swings over a shoulder in the cool looking denim bag that has a safe place for your keys, cell phone and sunscreen.

In the quest for the perfect beach umbrella – 100% UV protection… no question “a must”! She did not add a tilt mechanism because she found it made the umbrella unsteady, top heavy and not so good in the wind. It also added weight. When the sun moves, just push the umbrella in the position you need it. We all know that trick! Then the fun, chic part was creating patterns that NO one else would have. Making it easy for your friends to find you … your children etc.

Since then, she’s continues to enjoy the creative process of coming up with new, unique and fun patterns for her Beach Brellas. Most of the time her inspiration come from things she see while traveling – a clutch purse with roses from Mexico, a vintage scarf in LA.

Female Entrepreneur showing the creating of a beach umbrella unique pattern

Finding Freedom as a Female Entrepreneur

As a female entrepreneur, Shelley loves the creativity and flexibility it allows her. She also enjoys the challenges, learning curve, and figuring things out. Her biggest goal was create a unique product and brand then get it to market. She hopes to make the Beach Brella a strong brand that people recognize and will continue to buy it.

For women who are fashion conscious, Shelley says the Beach Brella can be an extension of their beach attire. “You want something cute – bikini, chair, towel,” says Shelley. “People should have something fun to pull out and set up in the sand and you can pair it with your bikini. It always makes you smile when you set up your beach umbrella and watch the fun fringe blow in the wind.”