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245 N. Boulevard Baxley, Georgia 31513

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Our Story

My husband and father-in-law have owned a machine and fabrication business for over 40 years as well as a commercial construction company. As you know, this recent economy has not been particularly “kind” to businesses of that nature. In March of 2012, my husband, Keith, came home from work and was telling me how they did not have much machine shop work on the horizon and he was talking about all the machines he had in his shop that were not being used. Being the “glass half full” kind of girl, I began asking him how the machines work and what they did and what I could do to help him. I knew that he did production line work for some tank parts so I was thinking if the machines could make other parts like for chairs or tables or whatever, then I would start searching for companies to which he could submit bids for work. He began describing one machine in particular that had not been used in several years. He told me that they used it for parts and to cut out name plates to identify equipment. I asked him if it cut out letters, and he said yes. He continued to talk, but I did not hear a word he said because my wheels started spinning, and I began to think of the things that we could do with this machine.

That night, I spent hours on the computer searching websites, auction sites, and store front sites and could not find anything or anyone who did metal letters or monograms. The next day, I sent his engineer a monogram set up to see if he could cut it out of the metal. That night my husband came home from work and brought me the monogram. I tied a burlap bow on it, put it on my front door, posted a picture on Facebook and I started selling them immediately. I sold 54 of the custom monograms in two weeks. I began shipping them to friends and customers all over the southeast region.

I have been in retail for over 19 years and had a retail gift store for 12 years. One day, Diane Bailey who owns Bailey Boys Children’s Clothing, stopped by my store and saw all the metal monograms we had sitting around. She started inquiring about wholesaling them and thought they were a great idea. She was very instrumental in helping me get our product launched and helping me understand the wholesale side of the gift industry. I began working on pricing and talking to my husband about turnaround times and if we could meet the demands of a wholesale business. I called a friend of mine, Linda Hampton, who had been in retail for over 20 years and had just closed her business. She and I began working out some details and came up with a plan. We started calling friends of ours who are retailers. We began to ship them to their stores and set up an ordering system for the custom 3-initial door wreaths. We loaded up the car one day and went out on the road setting up accounts. The monograms started selling immediately and we were able to keep up. My husband fired up a stagnant machine, hired some people and went to work personalizing homes.

In August of 2012 I was operating a retail and wholesale business. It was becoming more difficult to divide my time between the demands of retail and my family. We have one little boy who is our world. I began to pray and talk about the idea of closing or selling my retail store. I went to talk to my dad, who is one of the most amazing business men I know, and he told me that I had an opportunity and if I thought it was worth the risk then I should go for it. He said that I could not fail. If the metal wholesale business did not work out, then it was a part of my life to learn from and to pick up and go on to the next opportunity. So the next day, I went to my store at 7 a.m. and closed my office and prayed. I called two people who I thought might be interested in buying my store. Within three weeks we had sold my retail store to some incredibly talented people who are working hard for success.

I then moved my wholesale business to my garage at my home until I could find a location near my husband’s office and shop. My garage became the shipping “hub” of Metal Boutique until the end of 2012. In January 2013 we moved into a building near Keith’s office, and we haven’t slowed down.

Since the first monograms, we have expanded our line of metal work, and I have new ideas and unique designs that we will be introducing in the future. We now have a second machine and are able to supply the demands of over 600 retailers with a turnaround time on custom pieces of 2-2 1/2 weeks. We were a finalist for an iCon Honors Award through Americasmart this past July in the area of Innovation of Technology and Package Design in the Gift and Home Industry.

Being grateful is an understatement of this whirlwind journey of how Metal Boutique began.