Why Railings?

Shelby Barnhart, Owner, Welder, Blacksmith

When I first started being self-employed at the age of 19, I took on just about any welding job that came my way. Lots of small local railing jobs, ornamental work and many repair jobs.

I got on Etsy, I started by welding horseshoes into wine racks, wall hooks and book racks. I eventually offered custom made, blacksmithed fireplace screens that had forged details and were made to fit the opening of the client’s fireplaces like a glove. I worked with interior decorators to design and build custom wrought iron furniture. I absolutely loved the challenge of making custom pieces each day. It was extremely rewarding but also draining.

Horseshoe Wine Rack

A few physical injuries, one not fully fixable, started causing issues when moving large, awkward screens or furniture. Not to mention the challenge of packaging products daily when no two were alike. Then throw in 1, 2 and then 3 kids, and the process started to get messy.  It was impossible to keep up with custom work, kids and family life!

I needed a plan, something that was more predictable yet was still enjoyable to make. I expressed this n to my dad while discussing business and life, and he suggested trying to figure out how to ship railings. I was instantly put off, picturing picket stair railings. I was used to creating custom pieces. This would NOT make my life easier! My stubbornness would not see past it, until he said, “wall handrails”. How can you make wall handrails without having to weld brackets to them since studs are not in the same location in every house? My creative juices began to flow.  BINGO!

DIY Wall Mount Metal Handrail Railing

I began sourcing and experimenting with various materials and methods of attaching the wall brackets to my handrails without welding. This would be DIY, homeowner, and contractor friendly. No more waiting for a local shop to get you on their schedule, and no need to stick to generic wood wall railings. I had created a timeless design that was install friendly, beautiful and built to truly last many lifetimes.

 In 2014 the Wrought Iron Handrail was born! Since then, the finish process and packaging have gone through many revisions. And the revisions continue! I am always looking for new methods to improve both process and packaging, as well as new designs to offer.

Even with the overwhelming success of my products I remain focused on small batch, HIGH quality railings. Not quantity. In recent years I started to receive customer messages stressing the urgency in getting a railing to the customer quickly for safety purposes. This has put my product in a whole new light for me. Many people need railings not only for aesthetics but for safety reasons, - to live their day to day with safe reassurance that this product will be there to catch them, support them and give them hope, during a recovery or just with every step.

I strive to come up with more efficient tooling to speed up the process to get my handrails into the homes of those who need them urgently as well as those who are just doing home improvements. I recently made new tooling for my end scrolls. But as much as I can speed up some of the processes, I will not compromise the quality of my handmade pieces. I will just work feverishly to get them to you as quickly as possible!!

Women Owned Handmade Business Railings