We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaun & Martha Lumpkin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaun & Martha, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When we (Shaun and Martha) decided to turn our hobby into a business, we had three big factors in mind: our faith, family, and finances that were all summed up in one word… Freedom. We wanted the freedom. Freedom to build with our faith at the forefront of it all, freedom to be with our family and not have to pick our jobs over quality time with each other or our son (we have two now), and freedom to build a legacy for our next generation, breaking generational curses of poverty and using our talents to build functional, family furniture.
When we first got started, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we knew we were solving a problem that many people had. Wanting great furniture and home decor, without compromising on the size, color, and detail in the piece. After six months of building as a hobby, we decided to turn our side hustle into our mainstream income, and we are so happy to have SML Designs today!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Since 2017, we’ve been designing and building custom furniture for the greater Alpharetta area. We understand that being great Furniture Makers requires time, patience, attention to detail, and quality materials. These ingredients go into every piece we craft, so everything is original and built to last. A true devotion to the craft stems from an intense satisfaction of turning concept into reality.
We founded SML Designs, LLC. as a platform to showcase and sell quality handmade products. We build everything from tables to mudroom pieces, kitchen islands, beds, porch swings, pet furniture, and much more! Sometimes in today’s modern world, we can forget the beauty in the natural, beautiful, and handmade. As the designer, I [Martha] love getting to know each of our clients and find out why they want their piece created. If it’s a dining table, who will be frequenting that table, what’s the ages of those in the home. Our prayer when building dining tables specifically, is that whatever happens at that dining table; planning prom, paying bills, dreaming about trips or weddings, or even making funeral arrangements, that there will be peace at that table.
We are proud to be a faith based small business and a black owned, woodworking business. We have learned a lot along the way about managing customers’ expectations and managing our own expectations. We’ve learned that as a couple, we can face any challenge that comes our way head on and without fear. We know there are going to be challenges like the ones we’ve already experienced i.e., lumber shortages, price increases, and delays we can’t control, etc., but it’s all about perspective and having the right attitude.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
So when friends visit us from out of town, we love going to downtown Alpharetta and checking out the local eateries. There’s so many cuisines to choose from and each has its own flare. We don’t go out too much with having little kings, but we enjoy a nice walk around the downtown Alpharetta area and dancing when the live DJs are mixing up something old and good.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout? We thank God for SML Designs. He literally placed the desire in us to build and create. We are 100% self-taught and when we had a problem, He gave us the solution. We believe that God gives us certain skills and talents to help us on this journey called life. When we had a one-year-old and the need for additional income, we prayed and realized that God already equipped us with everything we needed to take care of our family and the people around us. Our parents, friends, and church family have been great supporters and have encouraged us to keep going and growing. We are so blessed to have the love and support of so many people in our community. Our customers are so great and are like family to us.
Facebook: SML Designs LLC.