I met Bart and Cindy Elkins, the owners of The Front Porch (https://www.thefrontporchlife.com/), through a friend of theirs. I did a laser cut as a prize at a raffle. I personalized it and when I returned to present it to the winner several people took pictures of it. One of those pictures made it’s way to Cindy’s phone and she asked her friend to share my cell number with her. Cindy texted me and asked me to come by the restaurant and show her some of the possibilities. I made the appointment and my sweet wife and I drove out to Powell. We were met at the door by Bart, whom I feel certain was a bit wary of a stranger promising increased sales with burnt pieces of wood! Even though I have worked on computers for the last 18 years my first “real” job was in sales. As we were displaying my laser cuts Bart seemed to be less than impressed until we came to this item.
When he saw it, he exclaimed, “Dude!” and remembering my sales training I immediately shut up! Bart and Cindy placed an initial order that gave my fledgling business some much needed cash and help kick-start my confidence. During the next few months I was able to make and recover from a product manufacturing mistake…the good news for me was I got to keep a customer even after my faux pas.
When I was delivering product to Powell one day Bart asked me if I had ever thought to laser-cut a black bear on something and try to sell some product in Pigeon Forge. I went home and immediately drew some concept ideas and planned a sales trip to the mountains. That, of course, is “the-back-story” for another day! Needless to say I wish to say a heartfelt “thank you” to the Elkins, and would urge you to visit their fine restaurant and enjoy some good cooking! While you are there wander upstairs and peruse the assortment of crafts from “local artisans”, you might even pick up a quality Tennessee Front Porch magnet!