Shelia Jean’s to open in College Hill

WICHITA — Shelia Ford became a nurse to help her family, and now she’s leaving the profession – at least for now – to also help her family.

Ford worked as a nurse for two years, but now her husband Jason Ford’s business, Advanced Lock & Key, is doing well enough that he’s encouraging her to pursue her dream of owning her own store.

“He’s always been encouraging,” Ford says. “I always wanted to have my own boutique.”

Thursday, she opens Shelia Jean’s on East Douglas a couple of doors to the west of Harry’s Uptown.

Sheila Jean is Ford’s full name.

“That’s what my grandmother used to call me,” she says.

The store will sell women’s accessories and apparel in all sizes and price points.

“That was kind of the goal of the store … just to have a little bit of everything,” Ford says. “’We would like to expand and have a gift line maybe next year.”

The business will be in 1,200 square feet of an old house.

“I just fell in love with it,” Ford says.

Though opening a business can be a challenge, Ford says she found nursing to especially be a challenge with three small children at home.

“Being a nurse is very demanding, especially on your family,” she says. “You give up a lot personally to hold that position.”

Ford not only is finally opening the business she’s always wanted, but she’s doing it in the place she’s always hoped to be.

“I’ve always wanted to be in College Hill,” she says. “College Hill really supports their local businesses.”