Episode 2 Preservation, Reinvention, and Rebirth with Modern Homestead

With preservation and family in mind, the Smith-Tathams have built a successful lifestyle business in rural West Virginia. Some of the credit goes to Modern Homestead’s previous incarnation as a garden center.
Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read

About this video series

Next In Line

Next In Line

Passing on a legacy business to the next generation takes grit, grace — and some financial know-how. But how do these families thrive? Three businesses share what happens when you go beyond the storefront and participate in the community.

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Trellis Smith: I think one of the key traits of a successful small business is being nimble and willing to change. At every family dinner when Lucas and I are talking about the business, we always listen to our kids’ ideas about what they think about the business, because their generation is the next pool of customers that Modern Homestead will need to survive.

Lucas Tatham: So one of my goals at the very beginning was to make the business smaller but more profitable so that we could enjoy life a little bit more. And, so, like me traveling right now, this week, I'm, I'm proud of because my parents, they didn't travel as much when they were working.

Trellis Smith: We had to move locations, consolidate, and scale it down to manageable parts so that we didn't have a lot of carrying costs as far as lots of equipment and lots of labor, and really embrace the seasonality of our business.

Trellis Smith: Lucas and I, we both feel that it's really important to have open conversations with our children about money. And so from the very beginning we have conversations about saving and spending and, you know, earning. 

Lucas Smith: We’ve not done it yet but you wanna invest in the stock market? You’ve been talking about that some.

Jacob Smith-Tatham: Oh, yeah. I wanted to invest in the stock market because it seems like some certain things are going up.

Trellis Smith: It's a family business. We would love for them to be a part of it and we create opportunities for them to earn money and we treat them like employees so they can sign up to get on the schedule, and we give them assignments. And when everyone else gets paid, they get paid.

Trellis Smith: We also thrive from the community building that we do, by having this business here, and restoring these homes and these properties, and putting them back to use it kind of awakens a part of West Virginia that was asleep for a while. So that gives me a lot of inspiration to keep going.

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