A small-town supporter, a doer, a celebrated entrepreneur, and another dog-eared page in the Laurel story, Lily Trest reminds us strongly of Nellie Rowell.
In this series, we will be featuring mighty Laurel women of all types and professions that are driving forces of our town’s success, as well as inspiring to us all.
Lily and her husband Adam own and run Adam Trest Home on North Magnolia St. in Downtown Laurel. They sell gifts, furniture, homewares, and Adam’s art, along with housing a custom upholsterer upstairs and Adam’s studio.
We chose Lily by her unashamed confidence, humility, and unmatchable drive. We are so excited and honored that we got to record her story, and just as much that we get to share it with you.
What is your specific role in this business? What are all the things that you are in charge of getting done?
My greatest role here is to make the store run properly. Adam creates the artwork, and generally Adam has a broad vision of what he wants to make. So it’s my job to make that vision possible or find avenues that will make it possible. And then all the follow-ups of running a business as well. Making sure bills are paid, making sure that we have inventory, following up with manufacturers, etc.
Adam and I joke and say that I’m the “business” and he’s the “artist”. It’s almost really as cut and dry as that. I couldn’t work without him, and he couldn’t work without me.
What does it actually take to run this business that people don’t realize?
It mostly takes a combination of patience and an unstoppable drive to make it happen. Because it’s always a lot of “hurry up and wait”. Especially the part that is in my control. Because I am at Adam’s mercy when it comes to artwork and creating new things, but I am also at the manufacturer’s mercy when it comes to producing the new piece of furniture or artwork. So I’d say that it takes that combination of being patient enough to wait for the right thing, but being driven enough to not let the right thing pass you by.
What advice would you give to other inspired or established entrepreneurial women?
As a business-owner type entrepreneur, my biggest advice is to not sweat the small stuff. One of my pitfalls is that I try to micromanage everything. Just believe in your business enough that you can allow those small things to roll off your back. Believe in your vision, set a goal for yourself, set a goal for the store.
Fight as hard and as much as you can while still being a functioning human and not letting it take over your life. But then again, it is your life. So you need to realize that this is going to be your second spouse, your second or third child, and everything to you.
What do you want to see in Adam Trest Home’s future? What are you working towards?
Well, we are still relatively new, but we are no longer content on just surviving. The next step is to expand, and our footprint in Downtown will hopefully grow in the next few months.
We now have a full-service upholstery shop that we run out of the second story of our building, and we are outgrowing that. So, our next goal is to expand the upholstery part of what we do. We are also going to start compartmentalizing what we do into Adam Trest Home, Adam Trest Baby, Adam Trest Him, and Adam Trest Her. So now we will have more specific gift items and home items that will cater to each stage of life.
It helps to compartmentalize your business and grow in a singular direction, rather than trying to grow in every direction at the same time.
What do you want to see in Laurel’s future?
I’m so happy with everything that is happening in Downtown Laurel! It just makes me so happy to see other people going out on a limb and following their dreams, or creating a dream with Laurel in mind. So the one thing that I really hope will happen more aggressively than what’s happening now is that Laurel will become a more cohesive group of vendors. We are about to have a lot of exposure, and I just hope that we can come together to create interest in Laurel as a whole. So that we’re not going out and trying to promote ourselves, but to promote our town.
While I know that the television show is going to help Downtown, I also know that every television show has a lifespan. We will only experience growth from it for a certain amount of time, and I want us all to be thinking of what we should be doing in a long-term aspect.
What is your favorite piece of furniture in your home and what’s so special about it?
My favorite piece that we have is my great grandmother’s dresser. And it’s just a simple little three-door dresser. It’s made out of an odd type of wood actually. It’s made out of hickory. And you don’t see a lot of furniture made of hickory anymore. It has odd pulls on it, 5 are the same, but one of them is different. And it’s got some wax stains on the top from burning so many candles over the years.
My great grandmother was from North Carolina, and that’s where my grandmother grew up. My aunt had this dresser after my great grandmother passed away, and somehow it ended up at my parents’ house. As I grew up, I commandeered it and took it with me to college and it’s been with me ever since. The funny thing about it though is that the dresser was with her in North Carolina, and now everything we do is based out of North Carolina. And now I’m in the furniture business.
It’s almost like this odd symbol that my life has totally come full-circle. And there’s really nothing special about the piece, but I really do love it and it’s the first piece of furniture I always place in my home.
We are thankful for our great neighbors at Adam Trest Home and are proud of their thriving business, as well as their part in our community.
We also want to congratulate Lily, Adam, and their daughter Fincher Lee for a new member soon to join their family. Best wishes to the Trests during this special
time as they await a new child.
Many great things are coming for Laurel, and we are so glad to have Lily taking part in them. We hope that everyone can come together to make Laurel the best town that it can be, and to celebrate the people who are making it happen.
Have someone in your life that you think represents the strength and vision of Nellie Rowell? Click here to nominate her now.
-Keri Rowell, Lott Furniture Co.
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