Running a small business is not for the faint of heart, especially when red tape and regulations make it difficult for small businesses to even get started, let alone thrive. Fueled by passion and ingenuity, the small business shops at The Marketplace by TheBlaze are some of the finest in America, working every day to earn your trust while keeping the economic heartbeat of our nation going strong.

In this series, we’re proud to highlight our American Made section, featuring small business shop owners who are dedicated to providing goods made exclusively in the USA.

Keep on Trucking: One Man’s Journey from Driving Trucks to Crafting Trunks

1Photo courtesy: Antique Trunks & Chests

“I have created something I love, that supports our economy and country.”
— Matt Douthit, Antique Trunks & Chests

After seven years of driving long-haul trucks from coast to coast, Matt Douthit was ready for a change. First, he set his sights on the oilfields of Oklahoma. Soon after arriving, the company he was working for closed its doors―then another one did the same, leaving him stranded without a job. Undeterred, Matt moved to Texas to work for a large semi-truck manufacturer. Nine months later, that company moved to Mexico.

While others might have called Matt’s situation “bad luck,” Matt never saw it that way. Instead, he considered this an opportunity to start out on his own.

“I decided to stop the madness and take control of my own destiny,” Matt said.

Having a keen interest in antique trunks, Matt started researching to learn as much as he could about them from every source he could find. He soon taught himself how to restore and preserve old trunks, selling each one he completed. When he ran out of trunks to restore, Matt started making them from scratch, using the same materials, hardware and construction methods used in the late 1800s.

2Photo courtesy: Antique Trunks & Chests

As an independent self-starter, Matt enjoyed the adventure and challenge of doing something unique with his life. While admitting he works harder now than ever before, Matt says he also feels freer since he doesn’t have someone looking over his shoulder telling him what to do. Matt makes all of his classy and unique trunks with painstaking craftsmanship one by one, right here in America.

3Photo courtesy Antique Trunks & Chests

To learn more, visit Antique Trunks & Chests at the Marketplace by TheBlaze.