Richard Colton Armstong wasn’t looking for a business in 2017 when he created Steel Magnolia Beard Company at his eponymous barber shop in Tishomingo. He was looking for a simple, quality way to make his beard grow better.
As the only certified Urban Wood supplier in the state, Chad Fletcher takes great pride in rebirthing timber into professional-grade slabs of wood. Wholesalers or artists buy slabs and create functional artwork, such as tabletops or cutting boards. Perhaps most importantly, though, is that customers aid in Fletcher’s vision: To reclaim timber to preserve the history and integrity of communities, families.
On any given weeknight, you’ll find Spence Helms asleep in a leather-torn ivory recliner. After a long day as a lineman for 4 County Electric in Starkville, the knifemaker needs a nap.
Rooted in the soil of Bessie Johnson’s backyard is a longleaf pine tree. To see its tawny, rutted bark, you’ll pass two white churches – the kind of unembellished structures that sing of heritage and tradition – in the rural Tibbee Community of West Point, Mississippi. There, she keeps the craft of pine needle basket weaving alive, sharing with her community the art that is her foundation.