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DENTON, N.C. -- About three years ago, Melissa Crook was just looking for a way to earn some extra money for her family.

“It was just a small venture in the backyard. I was looking to make maybe a couple of hundred dollars a month,” she said.

Crook is the owner of Sticky Fingers Vinyl, a company that distributes sign and heat transfer vinyl and craft supplies to the crafting market and other small businesses.

Crook may have started small, but quickly learned to dream big.

“On an average, we generally ship 300 orders a day,” she said.

Her once small venture in the backyard has expanded to a successful business that operates through its two eBay accounts, three Etsy accounts, a website, and a store front in its Denton warehouse.

eBay began to take notice of sales and contacted Crook via e-mail.

“I received multiple emails from eBay and they had noticed the growth over the last two to three years and they were interested in hearing my story – how did I do this,” she said.

Crook says she initially ignored the emails because she thought it was a standard email being sent to everyone, but later changed her mind.

“Literally, one hour before the deadline of telling them my story, I decided, ‘Why not?’”

Crook would go on to be in the running for eBay’s SHINE Awards for Small Business.

“There are 15 total vying for small business of the year. There are also category winners. I am in the category of Minority or Woman-Owned Business and I’m in the top three of my category,” she said.

Crook says the recognition was a huge surprise.

“I’ve really appreciated the fact that they noticed me. It really didn’t even matter at that point that I progressed farther,” Crook said.

As a single mom, family continues to motivate Crook to dream bigger.

“I’ve got four kids that I need to provide for and that’s my goal.”

Crook also credits her staff.

She says the hard work of her employees is a big part of how the business has been able to grow.

You can vote for her once per day until July 14.

Simply scroll down to the “Minority or Woman-Owned Business” section and find Crook’s profile.

Winners will receive cash and other prizes.

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