About us

SouthLife began as a simple gift exchanged between our two owners, Kelly and Heather Abbott. In the midst of the economic downturn in 2010 and on the heels of twin layoffs, Heather wished out loud for a new pair of earrings to wear to their family Thanksgiving celebration. Knowing only too well the state of their shoestring budget, Kelly’s eyes landed on a small jar of spent 40-caliber bullets. Love for his wife and determination kept Kelly up all night, tweaking and fashioning a stylish pair of studs for Heather to wear. The next day, the couple walked away from Thanksgiving dinner with 25 orders from family and friends. From that moment forward, the vision was formed. 

Kelly continued to creatively repurpose discarded shells into stunning, classic jewelry and in  leather goods, while Heather applied her considerable business acumen to growing SouthLife Supply Co. into a national brand. For the following seven years the SouthLife team traveled the country from trade show to trade show selling products and creating wholesale partnerships with the likes of Bass Pro Shops, The Grand Ole Opry, and Ryman Entertainment. This led to amazing opportunities to design and manufacture products for Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, and Little Big Town. 

In the summer of 2016 SouthLife started a new adventure, opening a brick and mortar store in Heather’s hometown of Thomasville, GA.  The store is now filled with handmade leather products ranging from handbags to wallets, belts and even pillows!  The customer experience is one that Kelly and Heather value and make sure to have front and center.  On any given day you can visit and chat with the different SouthLife makers while enjoying being able to watch the lost art of making small batch leather goods by hand. 

In 2018, the SouthLife team was awarded the Small Business Rockstar of the Year Award through the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and in 2019 Small Business of the Year by the Thomas County Chamber of Commerce.  SouthLife’s successes over the years are due to the support of its customers and community.  “We would not be where we are today without people buying what we have created,” says Heather.  “It’s not lost on us how much our customers and community have propelled us to where we are today.” Kelly adds.  

Necessity may be the soul of invention, but the SouthLife culture of creativity, hard work, and perseverance have made SouthLife into the brand that it is today.  

Listen to our story on the Let's Talk Thomasville podcast ,and keep up with our latest adventures on our own Podcast and YouTube Channel “Living the SouthLife” - where we are chronicling SouthLife, Kelly and Heather's new cupcake shop, a renovation project of Heather’s grandfather’s building in downtown Thomasville, and SouthLife's second location.  Come along on the journey!