Couple with Bartlett connections get funky with wood
Presley Edmiston is quick to say that he’s starting his own business, just like his mom and dad.
“It’s going to be Presley’s Awesome Creations,” said the enthusiastic 8-year-old as his parents, owners of Funky Creations in rural Fayette County, laughed and smiled.
Presley, who proudly showed some of the custom crosses he’s already made, is well on his way. And in this case, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Cliff and Jacki Edmiston decided a couple of years ago to try their hand at custom-built furniture and decor. So far, business is good.
“We’re about 20 orders behind right now,” said Cliff, a Bartlett native, from the living room of the family’s custom home that he designed and built several years ago. “We’ll build anything for anyone.”
It’s not Cliff’s only endeavor. He works full-time as a steamfitter, has his own construction company (Edmiston Construction) and works as a youth minister for Brunswick Baptist Church. Not only did he build the family’s home, he built much of the decor, including Presley’s bed, the kitchen island and even a chandelier made from Mason jars.
But it’s the new business that has the company’s attention now. Cliff, who always has been good with his hands, and Jacki, who was looking for something she could do as a stay-at-home mom who home-schools Presley, decided they wanted to do something different.
“It started in 2011 when I was looking for Christmas presents to buy for my mom and sisters,” said Cliff, 37, who graduated from Bartlett High School in 1994. “You can’t buy them anything because they already have everything. So, we made them four crosses.”
His family posted those crosses — what Jacki calls “name crosses” that have personalized names and other information on them — on Facebook. Soon, he said, people were asking about them and where they could get them.
“So, for the first year, all we made was crosses,” said Cliff.
It wasn’t long before Cliff and Jacki decided to start making furniture, too. Jacki, 35, a 1995 Bolton High School graduate who lived in Kentucky until her family moved to Shelby County in 1993, said they started marketing online.
“We thought about a boutique, but nothing really panned out,” she said. “Facebook has really paid off. Most of the business has been through there.”
While the business might be relatively new, it certainly is not fledgling. The couple has sold to people who live out of state, including one woman from Illinois. More recently, a daycare in Jacki’s hometown in Kentucky ordered several farm tables and bookshelves that it plans to use for the kids.
Cliff attributes the success to the handcrafted approach the couple takes. Everything is made in a workshop just feet from their front door on the family’s secluded property a few miles east of Somerville. While Cliff does most of the design and construction of the items, Jacki does all of the detail work including painting, staining and finishing.
“It’s stuff they can’t buy in a local store,” said Cliff, referring to his customers who can purchase something handmade from Funky Creations starting at $50 and going up from there. “You can’t go to Ashley and buy a farm table.”
Some of the items not only are rustic, but unique. Cliff said they’ve made a sofa table out of an old window and a bench out of an old door. The couple is working on a desk made out of an old door, too.
He says the couple does a lot of junking, a lot of picking to find unique items to repurpose.
“Some people who know we do stuff so they’ll call if they have something,” Jacki said.
“And if we don’t have it, we’ll make something that looks like a door,” said Cliff, laughing.
The couple has some help from Cliff’s dad, Buddy, who will cut materials at his Bartlett home and then bring them out to Fayette County for the finished product. But recently, the Edmistons had to hire an employee to help Jacki with the finishing work.
“It’s going a lot more than I thought it was going to,” said Cliff, who also said despite the surge in business he has no plans to step aside from his work as a steamfitter or youth minister.
However, if the couple does get a storefront someday, Jacki said she’d love to hire more people to help make the goods so she could run that.
“Or at least get a/c in the workshop and keep dust at a low level,” she said laughing.
Meanwhile, Cliff said he probably will have to have his dad help more in cutting some of the raw materials because the couple is running out of space in the workshop. But they also want to help their son get his business up and running. Presley’s goal is to make items based on superheroes for his male friends, princesses for those who are girls.