In our maker profile blog series, we will introduce you to the creative, skilled, and talented makers who sell their goods at our shop. In essence, these makers are the inspiration and soul behind Locally Made Savannah’s entire concept. Enjoy!
A Dream Becomes Reality
Michael and Susan Smalley originally started Savannah Moss Co. as an online boutique during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. They had moved to Savannah from Tennessee in 2011 with their son, and owning a boutique was always a dream of Susan’s. So they chose the name “Savannah Moss Co.” to reflect their southern roots, finally turning that dream into a reality.
Michael was and still is an air traffic controller, so for the company’s first six months, he commuted back and forth from Savannah to Atlanta, where a friend graciously designed the official Savannah Moss Co. logo. In the early days of the boutique, they focused on selling hats, clothing, and handmade jewelry inspired by the Coastal Empire. However, Michael and Susan weren’t just interested in owning a business in Savannah, but they also wanted to give back a portion of their proceeds to local charitable organizations. They chose one that is particularly close to their heart: SD Gunner Fund.
SD Gunner Fund provides assistance to veterans, first responders, and children with special needs through the training and adoption of service animals. In 2017, the Smalleys adopted their Golden Retriever, SD Tennessee, for their son through a partnership with Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy and SD Gunner Fund. Their family felt complete with the addition of SD Tennessee.
When selecting a local nonprofit to donate to, it was a no-brainer. Michael called Britnee Kinard, founder and CEO of SD Gunner Fund with who the family had grown close through the training and adoption of SD Tennessee, and she was delighted. For Michael and Susan, it didn’t feel like choosing a random charity but more like family because they had experienced first-hand the life-changing services that the organization provides.
A Shift in Direction
As Savannah Moss Co. began selling its products online and at local pop-up events, the #1 best-selling and most popular item quickly became the leather patch hats with the company’s logo on them. Michael and Susan attribute this popularity to using only the highest quality hats and leather.
In 2021, they made the decision to shift their focus to building Savannah Moss Co. as a down south lifestyle brand. The Smalleys do not take a paycheck. Instead, they reinvest any profit back into the company to offer top-quality products, exceptional customer service, and fast delivery. The hats are still handmade locally, but they now have a machine to speed up the creation and process orders quickly while still providing a high-end product.
Savannah Moss Co. sells its leather patch hats, brand clothing, and handmade clay jewelry in several brick-and-mortar shops throughout the Savannah area with the recent addition of Locally Made Savannah. Michael met owner Tonya in 2021, and he knew right away that Locally Made was the perfect fit for his brand. Her shop champions lifestyle brands that use only the best materials available. The Smalleys love to see people walking around town with their leather patch hats or t-shirts, supporting their local brand and business.
As for the future, Savannah Moss Co. has always been in a constant state of evolution. They have gotten into creating custom leather patch hats for other brands, helping them to grow and expand. So far, they have developed and made products for over 50 other brands throughout the United States! Michael is hoping to take the Savannah Moss Co. brand into larger stores outside of Savannah or even into a retail space of their own. Savannah Moss Co.’s customers seem to have always driven the business’s direction, so Michael and Susan will happily continue to find new ways to evolve their brand!