Shelwes Tools and Body of Helena achieved national recognition at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) automotive tradeshow in Las Vegas in November, where they took the runner-up spot in two categories of the New Products Showcase – Best New Tools and Equipment and Best New Collision Repair and Refinish Product. SEMA recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market.

Shelwes Tools and Body of Helena achieved national recognition at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) automotive tradeshow in Las Vegas in November, where they took the runner-up spot in two categories of the New Products Showcase – Best New Tools and Equipment and Best New Collision Repair and Refinish Product. SEMA recognizes the most cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to hit the market. “We are absolutely thrilled,” said Shelley Haynes, CEO of Shelwes Tool and Body. “To have our product come in only behind a new product by an industry giant like 3M is tremendous.” The Shelwes Automatic Contour Sander (ACS) was among 2,000 new products submitted for consideration, and judged on superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability. Co-Invented by Wesley King, the Shelwes ACS attaches to a power sander to substantially reduce the amount of time required to complete automotive body repair by automatically conforming to surfaces. “The response has been overwhelming,” said King. “Before leaving Las Vegas, we were approached about possible partnerships, distribution opportunities, and received more orders than ever before.” Shelwes Tools and Body was the product of the Helena Entrepreneur Center (HEC), a Helena-based small business incubator, operated through a partnership between Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas and the non-profit community and economic development design firm, Thrive. The company continues to operate out of the incubator, where both its business office and manufacturing space are housed. “The Helena Entrepreneur Center was vital to the successful launch of Shelwes,” said Haynes. “I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking to start a business.”