Texas Tech University

Human Development and Family Sciences Alumna Becomes Successful Business Owner of Texas Heart & Co.

Katherine Wilson

June 10, 2021

Shelbi Sanders

Shelbi Sanders’ creative idea in college turned into a successful small business

In 2017, Shelbi Sanders graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, now Human Development and Family Sciences, and a minor in Nutrition. Today, Sanders is the owner of Texas Heart & Co., a small creative idea she had during college that has now turned into a successful business.
Sanders chose to major in Human Development and Family Sciences due to the many possibilities the degree offers students. The variety of degrees the College of Human Sciences offers allows individuals such as Sanders to feel she could achieve success in her future career. 
“As a student, you could choose a number of things to study from nutrition, fashion, to family studies,” Sanders said. “The college caught my eye with the endless possibilities, and I felt immediately I would find my success here!”
Majoring in Human Development and Family Sciences also allowed Sanders to develop multiple skills she's had the opportunity to implement in her career, such as perseverance and determination.
“One of the biggest ways my degree prepared me is that I have always wanted something no one could ever take away from me and your degrees and education are one of those things,” Sanders explained. “Pushing hard to get a degree is just like pushing hard to start up another company. It's about the end result and never giving up in between.” 
Throughout her time in college, Sanders worked over 40 hours a week nannying until an idea sprang into her head to begin creating jewelry and tees. Over time, Sanders' idea of crafting items as a side gig became an opportunity to start her own small business.
“I came up with what I thought was an incredibly cute idea to design jewelry and tees,” Sanders said. “With one post after another online, it then turned into something bigger than I could have ever imagined.”
Eventually, Sanders' small dream in college led to her being a successful business owner with over 3,200 shops carrying Texas Heart & Co. items. Sanders' business is continuing to grow and expand with exciting opportunities coming her way.
“With an incredible number of ways to shop and well as an APP for our customers, Texas Heart & Co. is not just your average everyday shop; we have a story, a home-grown story that all started in the heart of Lubbock, Texas,” Sanders said.
Sanders' current plans for the future of Texas Heart & Co. is to collaborate with big brand names and have the ability to have multiple stores throughout Texas and the United States. Owning a store in Lubbock is one of Sanders' many dreams to increase the span of her company's message.
“With over 75k followers, we look forward to continuing our mission by helping every woman feel worthy, beautiful, and welcome just as they are!” Sanders said.
Owning a small business allows Sanders to create meaningful relationships with her customers and to be intentional with the messages she spreads through her company. Sanders continues to find ways to make an impact throughout communities by donating to charities around Texas.
“We gave over $5,000 in local community donations just in 2020, and over $250,000 in donations to other communities around Texas including Lubbock, New Braunfels, Port Aransas, etc.,” Sanders said. “We make impacts all around Texas and look forward to continuing those impacts along our way.”
Recently, Sanders came back to visit the College of Human Sciences to meet with COHS Dean, Tim Dodd, Ph.D., and his team – specifically Johnny Fowler, who made a tremendous impact on Sanders.
“He poured hours into getting to know me, my business, and being a light that shines over me in my career,” Sanders said.
The visit gave Sanders the opportunity to appreciate all of the support Texas Tech offers students. Not only did Sanders feel she had continuous support during her time as a student, but as well as after graduation and into her career.
“The support, love, and grace you get from your former college is unlike any other,” Sanders said. “It is something I never expected, but it is something they have given to me freely because they truly care about the success and future of their students here at the College of Human Sciences.”