The Regional Entrepreneurs of the Year are Bonnie Kelly, Jerry Kelly and Teresa Walsh, co-founders, Silpada Designs Jewelry. Long-time best friends Bonnie Kelly and Theresa Walsh took $25 from their grocery fund to pursue their passion for sterling silver jewelry. They began designing jewelry and hosting parties. In 1997, after hundreds of successful parties and with the partnership of Bonnieâ€™s husband (and Silpada CEO) Jerry Kelly, Silpada Designs was born. The founding trio created an exclusive line of jewelry and the first Silpada Designs Catalog. Then, they invited friends and customers to become the first independent Silpada Designs Representatives. Today, Silpada has thousands of independent representatives in a multi-billion dollar industry.
Last year, Bonnie Kelly, Jerry Kelly and Teresa Walsh agreed to sell the Lenexa-based company to Avon Products Inc. for about $650 million.
Screenshot from Silpada