Howard County entrepreneur designs stylish diaper bags

Shelissa Kearney is a woman of many trades. In addition to being a savvy businesswoman, writer and former model, the Howard County native is mother to a 2-year-old. The founder of Shelissa Organics, a line of natural lip balms, and author of “Naturally Naked” has launched her own line of baby gear called Shelly Belly Baby.

Frustrated by diaper bags that looked too dowdy or that lacked utility, Kearney was inspired to put her background in fashion to use in creating tote bags that would appeal to the modern stylish mom.

“I found that on most bags, the pockets were either too little or in the wrong places,” Kearney says. “And they looked too much like a diaper bag. I wanted to create bags with designs that are current and up-to-date.”

Kearney’s totes ­-- dubbed “UnDiaper” bags -- sport a linen exterior and wax cloth bottom. The straps and interior lining are detachable for easy washing. While most of her designs feature a palette of light colors, Kearney is particularly looking forward to the debut of a nautically inspired bag with navy and ivory stripes. The diaper bag costs $229. The bag’s outer shell is interchangable; additional prints cost $79.

To complete her new line, Kearney also has developed shirts and skin-care products specifically for little ones. Her Baby Butter Balm is Earth-friendly and free of irritating chemicals. Similarly, each of her shirts is uniquely hand-printed with nontoxic soy ink.

Shelly Belly Baby products are available for purchase at Check out her website for a list of boutiques that will also carry the line.

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