Today’s FACE of Birmingham is the super talented Lucy Smith of Lucy Smith Designs, an artist who saw a creative opportunity within her husband’s family-owned steel manufacturing plant. Lucy creates custom metal furnishings with fabulous tops and finishes by combining cutting edge design capabilities with classic ﬁnishing techniques. Every piece is hand crafted on site, unique, and timeless in its design.
Where did you grow up? And what brought you to Anniston?
I grew up in Birmingham. After meeting my husband in Atlanta and living there for a few years, we moved to Anniston to try to grow the family business.
How do you like living in a small town?
It has really grown on me! I used to wish so badly we could move to Birmingham, but the older I get and the older my children get, the more I appreciate the benefits of small town living, like no traffic and everything being so convenient. The pressure to keep up with your neighbors seems so much less here, too. We are right between Atlanta and Birmingham when we need a dose of big city!
Your warehouse and design studio is housed in a old industrial steel mill that has been in your husband’s family for years. What prompted you to start designing and fabricating metal furniture there?
The old plant was reinvigorated by my husband Henry. I came in after seeing what could be done with the old-school capabilities that had been there all along, mixed with the modern equipment he had put into place. It was an untapped resource for someone with a creative eye. I had already decided not to do interior design anymore, so I think it was my natural response to find some other artistic outlet. This one just happened to be in my backyard.
Are your pieces available at area retailers or is it To the Trade only?
The pieces are available at several Birmingham locations. Check out our website for details: Lucy Smith Designs.
As a working mom with young children, how do you maintain balance in your life?
If I maintain any balance it’s by the grace of God. Some days are better than others. I’m so blessed to be able to make my own hours, which enables me to take them to school and pick them up very day. I admit that distraction can be a problem for me and that work issues often follow me home in the afternoons, but my greatest goal is to be truly “present” with them.
You have a great personal style. What fashion item would you never be caught dead wearing?
A long skirt. Just saw quite a few people wearing them at market with really cool colors and patterns, but I don’t think I could pull it off.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t make decisions based out of fear.
What advice would you give to others?
Do what you have to do to stay in a place of peace! Some of my biggest mistakes have been made in response to anxiety and pressure. It may not always seem logical or popular, but take a time out, pray about it, and go with what brings peace.
Favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?
I like for Saturday night to include a good meal and wine! I love food blogs and trying new recipes, so either cooking at home or going out with close friends. Big group functions are not my favorite thing.
Favorite local restaurant?
In Anniston, Garfrericks Café or Damn Yankees, and in Birmingham Highlands Bar and Grill.
What are your go to Pandora stations?
Mostly I listen to worship mixes, but on Pandora I like Kings of Leon, Alabama Shakes, John Mayer, Dave Matthews (Just saw him in concert for the first time in 10 year–STIILL AMAZING!)
These days, however, I seem to be craving quiet.
What books might we find on your bedside table or eReader?
I am rereading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey–hilarious and so very insightful for working women. Also, Tim Keller’s Counterfeit Gods and my favorite devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
Do you have any personality quirks or irrational fears?
Sure do! I wrestle with a mild form of agoraphobia which I like to call “homebody.” I also have an extreme aversion to talking on the phone! This makes me sound so anti-social, which I am not. Once you get me to the party, I’m the last one to leave.
If your house was on fire what’s the one non-living thing you would grab?
box of pictures/videos of the kids and my computer (for the same reason).
Name three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God!)…
coffee, my sound machine and “down” time
Thanks for sharing, Lucy! To learn more about Lucy’s furnishings, check out her website at www.lucysmithdesigns.com.
And a big thanks to Beth Hontzas for today’s amazing photos!