Carolina Farmhouse, Cecil Mack, Sam Utt-Grubb Design and now.... FARMHOUSE SOUTH - Lynn Fern

Carolina Farmhouse, Cecil Mack, Sam Utt-Grubb Design and now.... FARMHOUSE SOUTH


I want to preface this post by saying this - I had decided sometime back that I was not going to be writing a blog post with the update to the findings on the Utt-Grubbs bankruptcy.  But...I changed my mind.

The Utt-Grubbs were granted bankruptcy in November 2013.  The thousands & thousands of dollars that many customers lost is lost for good.  Unfortunately for all of us it was a pretty draining experience.

I think it says a lot about our system and how it works.  The message I got from this is entire experience... (and believe me I read/heard stories from so many different customers that would literally make your stomach turn, along with hearing from neighbors & locals that emailed me that between new cars, eating out & vacations they didn't understand how this could happen).  

Oh yes...the message I got is this - You can open up a business, run that business poorly (using the money from orders to go on vacation, buy new cars, go out to movies, etc instead of purchasing materials to build the orders that are already fully paid for), get into financial trouble for multiple reasons, and then file for bankruptcy.  So I can take in custom work, take your money, use it for myself, not have enough money to buy materials to finish or even start what you already paid for.....and then after enough time file bankruptcy and never have to pay you back!  Oh and then open the exact same type of business under a different name.

And, then change my name not once, twice but THREE times with each time using the same photos of the same furniture, using the Extreme Home Makeover and the other great media coverage that helped push their business in a manner that any of us small business owners would dream of having.

I received this screenshot from an anonymous person that knows the Utt-Grubbs

I was emailed a screenshot last night of their new business name - Farmhouse South.  It has a new logo, but it's all the same.  

The whole experience made me rethink buying local or from a small mom & pop shop.  This is sad because guess what? I am a small business owner!  I also like to cheer on small business owners & see them succeed!  In fact, I'd much rather buy & support local, and/or small businesses for many reasons!!  Bottom line is do your research, read up on not only the company, but the owners (operators/founders).  It is easy to change a logo & a name of a company, to even change the address or location.  

You as the consumer have the right to make your decision based on reviews of a business and even the ones that run it.  My reviews on any purchase I make is only to help someone else make their own decision on whether or not to spend their hard earned money.  

I have received emails from people from all different walks in life - an attorney that represented a client against the Utt-Grubbs.  A family that pretty much bought every single new piece of furniture to be put in their brand new home.  Several that had saved each & every penny (some that went without a vacation, or gave up eating out & packed lunches, going out to movies, etc) in order to be able to purchase custom furniture.  I've even recently received emails from different consumers who read reviews, found my blog, and emailed me to say thank you....thank you!!

A group of us pulled together a document that was over 100 pages with evidence of reasons as to why the Utt-Grubbs should not be allowed to own or operate another furniture business.  We sent it to the North Carolina Attorney General, the District Attorney, the bankruptcy court.   It was all comprised of factual documents sent directly from customers and taken directly from websites that were updated by one of the Utt-Grubbs.

This is why I say that I have lost faith in our system.

So...  Farmhouse South was founded by Kelly Utt-Grubb that Sam Utt-Grubb is the furniture designer (which according to their Facebook page shows started on September 2013...which means they are using the old Sam Utt-Grubb design page).  The Utt-Grubbs started Carolina Farmhouse, changed the name to Cecil Mack and then Sam Utt-Grubb design.  Kelly Utt-Grubb & Sam Utt-Grubb d/b/a Carolina Farmhouse filed bankruptcy and was granted in November 2013.

You can also read an article that ran in the January issue of Angie’s List Magazine as part of the annual “Best/Worst contractors” package. Here is a link to the online version:

All my best!

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