This winter, meet some of the local small business owners who are participating in Shop Fishers on the This is Fishers blog.
Today, we’re sharing the inspirational story behind Be Brave Photos, and the owner, Wes Shealey.
Receive 20% off any merchandise with promo code ShopFishers through Dec. 31.
Tell us about your business.
Be Brave Photos is my Etsy Shop that offers fine art photography prints from my travels across the country, as well as right here in Fishers and Hamilton County. I’ve also recently added digitally created watercolor and oil paintings which include not only my original works but also the opportunity for customers to submit their own photo that I then create the painting from. All prints are available on fine art photographic paper, watercolor paper, or canvas.
How long have you been a Fishers resident?
We moved to Fishers in 2000. The draw for us was the sense of community we experienced every time we visited, the excellent reputation of the school system, and the opportunity for so many activities, both through the school system and the then Town of Fishers.
What inspired you to start a business?
I have always had a passion for all things creative and worked in digital imaging and environmental graphic design for twenty years before I was diagnosed with ALS and forced into disability retirement due to disease progression. To keep the creative juices flowing, I turned to photography as a hobby.
One day I decided to embark on a 365-day photo challenge, capturing and posting an image to social media every day for one year. It wasn’t too long into that journey that I began receiving requests to purchase some of those images. It was at the urging of friends and family in 2018 that Be Brave Photos came into existence on Etsy.
What is the inspiration behind the name of your business?
The name Be Brave Photos was inspired by our family motto we adopted soon after I received my ALS diagnosis. When you receive word of a terminal illness for which there is no cure, you have one of two choices. You can choose to sit back and let the disease consume you or you can choose to live your remaining time to the fullest. My family and I chose the latter and our family motto, Be Brave, became a constant reminder to always be brave no matter the circumstances, which included me putting myself out there as a small business owner.
What is your favorite item that you sell?
I love selling my photographs because that’s what started it all, but lately I’ve been commissioned through the shop to create digital paintings from my customers’ personal photos. Each comes with its own story, and I love the challenge of creating an art piece that stays true to that story.
Why is it important for your business to participate in Giving Tuesday?
Participating in Giving Tuesday is such a blessing to me, simply because I can. I have always strived to give back to the community by volunteering my time, but now that I’m unable to physically volunteer, Giving Tuesday affords me the opportunity to continue in that spirit.
My charity of choice is the ALS Association Indiana Chapter. The organization does so much to assist those like me dealing with the daily challenges of living with such a dreaded disease, including organizing and certifying ALS Clinics, providing emotional and financial support for those in need, and providing countless funds for research to find effective treatment options and hopefully a cure one day.
On Giving Tuesday this year, 10% of all of Be Brave Photos’ sales went to the ALS Association Indiana Chapter.
Visit the Be Brave Photos online store and don’t miss their special deal happening through December 31.
This year, Shop Fishers is more local than ever! Support Fishers’ homegrown restaurants and shops during the Shop Fishers: Holiday Series beginning on Small Business Saturday, November 27 and running through December 31. Enjoy special deals and promotions and find something for everyone on your list at your favorite local shops and restaurants. Check out all of the Shop Fishers: Holiday Series deals here.
Neighborhood: We lived in Harrison Green originally and built our current home in Sedona Woods in 2005.
Favorite Local Restaurant: I love to eat and the variety of offerings in Fishers keeps my belly very happy. I love, love, love Ohana Donuts, home of the best donut ever! We’re also big fans of the new-to-the-scene Parks Place Pub, great atmosphere and really good food!
Fishers Park: I can’t say enough about Fishers Parks and our parks system. We frequent several of them on a regular basis but my favorite park, hands down, is Billericay Park. I had the good fortune to serve on the baseball board for ten years, coached rec and travel ball for eleven years, watched my son play from pre-k through high school, and my daughter even worked concessions one summer. The memories made and the relationships built during that time are things I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
Favorite Local Business (other than your own)?: I don’t get out shop much anymore, but I can tell you my grandson looks great in anything my wife or daughter purchases at Roman & Leo. It’s definitely our go-to for boy’s fashion.
Kara Hall is the Marketing and PR Manager for the City of Fishers and has been with the department since 2017. Her favorite thing to do in Fishers is checking out the local restaurants and boutiques around town and taking walks with her daughter, dog, and husband at parks #AroundFishers. Her other hobbies include listening to podcasts, watching true crime documentaries, going to concerts, reading, and cheering on the Colts on Sundays. She loves that Fishers is always changing and is constantly looking for ways to create vibrancy within the community.