Podcast Episode 71: Blindness Hasn't Stopped Rachel from Sewing her Way to Success on Etsy

etsy podcast Mar 29, 2023
Vintage sewing accessories are scattered on a table and pictured close up. There are three lines to the title reading

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About Rachel Shelton | Sew Good and Trendy:

  • Rachel is legally blind due to a rare genetic eye disorder called Stargardt's Disease.  Stargardt's is the juvenile onset of Macular Degeneration.  She was diagnosed when she was in 2ndgrade and has learned to live joyfully and effectively with her eye condition.  
  • Rachel has been sewing and designing bags and purses since 2008 when she opened her Etsy Shop Sew Good and Trendy and hit the local St. Louis Art and Craft Show Scene.  All of Rachel’s bags are made entirely from organic and recycled fabrics.
  • Rachel graduated with honors from Missouri’s University of Science and Technology in 1999 with a BS in Nuclear Engineering.  Following graduation, Rachel moved to Upstate NY to work at a national laboratory to support our nation’s nuclear submarine program.  After being on her own in New York, Rachel got married and the couple moved back to Missouri.  She became a mom in 2004 and wanted to stay home with her girls.  Wanting to have a creative outlet and still provide an income source, Rachel created her small handmade business.
  • Rachel is a mom of two awesome girls (Ella - 16 and Sadie - 18) and a wife to her best friend Jeff.
  • Rachel has always lived with the mindset that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to, even with her visual limitations…sewing, engineering, homeschooling her daughters, gardening, volunteering at a local animal shelter, and more.  There are no road-blocks that she can’t figure out a way to adapt and achieve (except driving…so everyone can take a sigh of relief and know that Rachel is not on the roads!  LOL!)
  • Now that Rachel’s daughters are older, she is working to grow her small handmade business both online on Etsy and by participating in Art and Craft Markets in the St. Louis area.



My amazing guest, Rachel, was born with a rare genetic eye disorder that made her legally blind-- but no one even knew it until she was in 2nd grade. Today, she doesn't let her blindness stop her from anything (well, except driving) and has built an incredible business and Etsy shop selling her gorgeous hand-sewn bags.

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*Our next FAQ episode is coming up! Submit your questions at

 1) Sell Digital Crafts Summit: April 3-5, 2023

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2) How to Connect with Rachel: 



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