This year, Georgia honors four outstanding small businesses as its 2018 Georgia Small Business ROCK STARS: AKESOgen, Inc. (Gwinnett County), Gottwals Books (Peach County), SouthLife Supply Co. (Thomas County), and STRAND Clinical Technologies (Columbia County).
I love people that make things. I love watching them take ordinary items and turn them into works of art. And Kelly and Heather Abbott have been creating works of art in Thomasville for eight years.
In 2010, the Great Recession had taken its toll on the Abbott household. One day, before a family get-together, Heather asked Kelly if he could make a pair of earrings for her. Using a couple of spent bullet casings, Kelly fashioned a set of earrings that everyone ooh’ed and ah’ed over.
Seeing the potential in this, the Abbotts began to make and sell earrings and other jewelry items throughout Thomasville, and after a successful trip to AmericasMart, soon expanded throughout Southwest Georgia and Northern Florida. SouthLife Supply Co. was born.
What started as a hobby in their spare bedroom became a full-fledged branded business that now includes a line of leather goods and more than 300 uniquely made items. Since 2012, they have added more than 5,000 wholesale accounts.
Most recently, the company has moved into a 12,000 square-foot manufacturing facility and produces large and small hand-made leather goods including bags, belts, and dog collars.
The success of SouthLife allowed the company to move a new retail location on Broad Street in Thomasville, and customers can shop from any of SouthLife’s pieces in the store or have an item custom made to fit their individual style and personality.
“Georgia is an amazing place for small business,” states Heather Abbott, co-founder of SouthLife Supply Company. “The resources that we found from our small business development team to our local chamber…Georgia and Thomasville in general are very unique places to be.”
Aside from friends and family that served as the first test markets for SouthLife products, the Abbott’s have had also had assistance from the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center as well as the Thomas County Development Authority.
Congratulations to SouthLife Supply Company for being named one of Georgia’s 2018 Small Business ROCK STARS!
Do you think your business has what it takes to be one of Georgia’s Small Business ROCK STARS? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information on the 2019 competition, available during Summer 2018.