Inside Smith's Consumer Products plant
HOT SPRINGS (KTHV) -- Chances are you have kitchen knives in your home. After many uses, they can get dull and hard to use. But thanks to an Arkansas company, we have a way to make them new again.
It's business as usual at Smith's Consumer Products in Hot Springs. On THV 11's visit, employees are making knife sharpeners and kitchen tools, boxing up orders and making room for more inventory.
CEO Dan Glidden says, "One of the unique things about us is we are a company that nobody in Arkansas knows about."
The success started in 1886 with James Archer Smith. They began mining raw Novaculite which is used for sharpening tools.
Richard Smith is the founder's great grandson and calls the stone rare.
"It is he world's oldest and finest finishing stone," he explains.
He says Hot Springs is the only place in the world where it can be found.
"The Arkansas stone was discovered by Indians many many years ago," says Smith.
He grew up in the business in the 1960's working with his dad. They sold the finished sharpening stones to various hardware stores.
Smith adds, "We sell more sharpening products than anyone in the world.
Today, Smith's Consumer Products has evolved by diversifying its product line and expanding its markets. The products are sold in 41 countries. Plus, they've been recognized with several awards.
You can find them at Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Gander Mountain, Amazon.com, Lowe's, Dick's Sporting Goods and Williams Sonoma, just to name a few.
Smith says, "It is in my blood. And it's very exciting to see our products all over the world."
Smith's employs 32 full time workers in a 30,000 square foot warehouse. They have plans to launch five new products next year.
"We are out constantly trying to address needs that consumers have for additional products," says Glidden.
It's a mission they believe keeps them grounded and growing. It's a task launched by a James Archer Smith, a man with big dreams.
"I think he would look back and say WOW look where this company has gone," explains his great grandson.
It's three generations, 127 years, a nd no plans of stopping.
Smith says, "we are proud to be in the state of Arkansas."
Smith's Consumer Products was recently recognized at the 2013 Housewares Design Awards. Two of their products were finalists in different categories. The Better Zester was a finalist in the Gadgets and Kitchen Tools category and the Edgeware Angle Adjust Electric Knife Sharpener was a finalist in the Countertop Food Prep Appliances category. The Electric Sharpener actually won in its category.