Brenda Francis started wearing scarves because she liked using them to hold back her hair. Later, suffering from a condition that caused her hair to fall out, she started wearing them as headcovers.
She soon noticed she was getting a lot of looks from passers-by.
"Mostly people were thinking I have cancer and they said they're going to pray for me," Francis said. The Modesto resident figured that since her scarves were getting so much attention, why not make them attention-worthy?
So she attached some beads to a scarf and a new business, Scarf Gems, was born.
"So far, everybody loves them," Francis said. She just started selling in January. She takes orders and sells at Intrinsic Elements in downtown Modesto. "I'm thinking it's going to be probably a niche market, but maybe it's too soon to tell."
Francis is executive director of Modesto Sound, a nonprofit professional recording studio that operates out of Gregori High School. She said the experience of starting Scarf Gems has been fun, and she enjoys mixing and matching the beads to the scarves. Each strand is removable so the scarves can be washed easily.
To learn more, go to www.scarfgems.com or call (209) 573-0544.
Elsewhere around the Business Beat:
What major holiday comes between the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day? Yup, it's Free Pancake Day at IHOP restaurants. On Tuesday, folks can go into any IHOP and get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes.
The eatery will collect donations for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, with a goal of $3 million nationwide. Local donations will go to the University of California at Davis Children's Hospital.
To find an IHOP or to donate online, go towww.ihoppancakeday.com.
Do you have a Stanislaus County business that started in February of any year? If so, MainStreet Chamber, a three-county organization that encompasses Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, and the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce want to celebrate with you.
The organizations will hold a free "Business Anniversary-Birthday Party" on Feb. 21 at the Antigua Event Center, 3200 Santa Fe St., Riverbank.
Officials said they hope to make this a monthly event in Stanislaus County and grow it into Merced and San Joaquin counties.
For more information, call Jerry Van Houten at (209) 869-8200 or (209) 572-5100.
Have an item for Business Beat? Contact Patty Guerra at (209) 578-2343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.