B U S I N E S S + C U LT U R E 41 What started as a simple pair of bullet earrings quickly expanded into a full-blown line of bullet and shotgun style jewelry that was sold across the country under the name Lizzy J’s. With the decision to use a wholesale model versus an online or retail store, the Abbotts began producing the jewelry in their barn and placing orders with retailers across the country. “We were one of the first companies making shotgun shell jewelry,” Heather said. “We could mass produce at a good price.” With more than 5,000 boutiques across the country, along with Bass Pro Shops selling the Lizzy J’s line of jewelry, the Abbotts were doing a million dollars a year in wholesale business and quickly becoming the leader in bullet and shotgun shell style merchandise. “We hit our stride with the jewelry during what was the revival of handmade items,” Heather said, “and there was also a big market for outdoor and hunting-style merchandise.” “From the start, we were totally focused on the wholesale side,” she said. “I was practically living in Atlanta for most of the year. We had 50 sales reps pushing our pieces in stores all across the country but mostly in the Southeast. I was also setting up shows in Philadelphia, Denver, and Dallas, plus eight shows a year in Atlanta. It became a physical grind.” In 2015 with more of a focus on leather products, the Abbotts rebranded the company under the name SouthLife Supply Company and made the decision to open a retail store in Thomasville. Kelly and Heather Abbott in their store located in downtown Thomasville.