SHELLEY — A local company donates one day of sales each month to a family in need.
Jenna and Nick Emery own phone-case company Walli Cases, and for the past year, they’ve been working to give back to the community, while making a name for their business.
The business has been around since late 2020, but started as an idea much earlier.
In 2016, Jenna, a Shelley-native, suddenly found herself a widow with an 8-month-old son. At about the same time, her now-husband, Nick, was struggling with a tough divorce while dealing with the rigorous schedule of playing collegiate basketball at Brigham Young University.
The idea came to fruition because Jenna often misplaced her debit card.
During a basketball game at BYU, she again lost her debit card prompting her then-boyfriend, Nick, to tell her, “Hey, you should get a wallet case so you’ll stop losing your debit card.”
But Jenna was already a fan of her current phone case, one that had a loop on the back making it easier to hold the phone.
She wanted to keep those features, so the two of them came up with an idea for a 3-in-1 phone case, that functions as a wallet, a phone strap or “loop”, and a stand. That’s how Walli Cases was born.
The business didn’t immediately take off. A year and a half later, Jenna’s mom was diagnosed with cancer, prompting the couple to put the phone-case business on the back burner in order to be able to take care of her.
Before she passed, Jenna’s mom discovered that her daughter and son-in-law had pushed the business idea away to focus on caring for her. She then encouraged them to jump back into the phone-case world.
“She was like, “You should really go for it!” Because we had kind of put it on the back burner to take care of my mom. So she kind of just pushed me to go for it again, and we’ve taken off and done really well,” says Jenna.
Tragedy struck again almost exactly one year ago, when Jenna’s best friend, Kim Olson, lost her husband, Ryan Olson in a car accident.
Olson was less than a minute from work on May 17, 2021 when a woman in another vehicle reportedly experienced a diabetic health issue and slammed into Olson’s vehicle. The collision sent him into a canal and he died instantly.
After the accident, the Emery’s decided that they were going to donate an entire day’s sales from Walli Cases to the Olson family to support them after the tragedy.
“That was the first big (donation) that we ever did,” Jenna says.
After that, the Emery’s founded the non-profit, Walli Gives Back Foundation, to pay it forward and focus on giving back every month to families in need in the community.
“We’ve done over $85,000 in donations to families in the last year. I pride myself on that more than anything at the company,” she said.
This month, the family selected to receive a day of net sales from the Walli Gives Back Foundation is the family of Marci Fielding of Firth, who passed away from an unconfirmed medical condition on Easter Sunday.
Jenna knew Marci personally, making it an easy decision to choose her family for the monthly donation.
“I’ve actually known Marci my whole life,” Jenna says.
“Her dad coached me in high school, our families were good friends, and so when she passed it just felt like a no-brainer. I know them, they’re a big part of the Shelley community, and I just knew that I wanted to help them.”
According to the Walli Gives Back Foundation website, “To know Marci was to love her, and her passing has left a hole in the hearts of many, especially her sweet family. Jay and the kids were her whole world and she found no greater joy than being a wife and a mother. The time she spent snuggling her babies, doing crafts, and sleeping under the stars with her children were cherished.”
The Fielding family will be given the proceeds from all merchandise that is sold on Thursday, May 12, on www.wallicases.com.
“(Marci’s) fun-loving attitude and selfless service will be greatly missed not only by her family, but also the community that she has greatly impacted for good,” the website reads.
The Walli Gives Back Foundation has given to a local family every month since May 2021, including the Johnson family, who lost two family members to car accidents and suffered a cancer diagnosis, the Bird Family, whose 4-year old daughter was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, and most recently the Thompson family, who lost their mother to a hiking accident.
“I was given to when my husband passed away and I had a new baby, and so many people helped me out and donated or raised money for me, and the same with when my mom passed,” says Jenna. “A lot of people reached out and helped her out, so that’s why we want to give back now.”
To participate in the sales donations for the Fielding family, use the code “fieldingfam” for 15% off at www.wallicases.com on Thursday, May 12.