What do you do when your 52 years old and the company you have been employed with closes? "You look at your options", says Sam Dees. "I worked for a company for over 30 years, until it closed. I could have relocated to another mill and started over, but I did not like the idea."
So what were your options? "I did not work for a while, then I became bored. I started thinking about what I would like to do, then told my wife Martha I wanted to build outdoor furniture. We put our thoughts together and designed our own patterns, ordered the lumber, and started building."
What types of furniture are available in your collection? "We built rocking chairs, swings, gliders and adirondack chairs for years, now we are only building rockers and swings. We also make cutting boards in a variety of sizes and styles for the kitchen."
What makes your outdoor furniture special? "Our chair backs are designed to give lumber support, so the wood panels follow the shape of the spine, creating comfort as you lean back."
Where do you sell the furniture? "In the past we attended art shows in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama. We loaded unassembled furniture on a 24-foot trailer and traveled to big art shows during the spring and fall. The weather was pleasant and that time of the year we sold the most furniture. During the summer months we would stay at home and build up our inventory."
Have you won any awards? "We won 'Best in Show' at a festival in Sylacauga, Alabama."
How long have you been constructing the furniture? "Approximately 15 years. We no longer do art shows. Our furniture is sold exclusively through Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center."
Go to http://www.blackbelttreasures.... to view Sam & Martha Dees rockers and swings. The items are not available for shipping.