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Hidden Gems: Meet Jennie and Davis White of Samara Table Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennie and Davis White.

Hi Jennie and Davis, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
After both serving 5 years in the Air Force, we landed our dream jobs: flying through hurricanes for research with the Hurricane Hunters, so we packed up and moved to Houston!

During the hurricane off-season, we operate Samara Table Company LLC. We build and sell furniture when we’re not flying through the world’s most dangerous storms!

Originally, we picked up woodworking as a hobby while stationed in North Dakota. We started building furniture in our tiny apartment with only 3 power tools. Our friends started asking us if we could build some furniture for them, too! Before long, we were overwhelmed with orders and had a real business on our hands!

About that time, we also started a YouTube channel to document our business’ growth. After a couple of years building furniture and posting videos on YouTube, we had a nice little pair of businesses. They weren’t making much money, but we could see the potential if we had more free time.

One day, Jennie got an Email (by accident) which mentioned that the Hurricane Hunters were hiring meteorologists. This was our dream job – we got the opportunity to interview for the ONLY military unit which flies through the middle of hurricanes, collecting data to assist the National Hurricane Center with their forecasts.

What drives us is helping others. Whether it’s building a kitchen table to share family memories, or flying through a hurricane to keep people informed, we want to help everyone cherish the ones they love by being together.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s been a very bumpy road. We get to do some pretty cool things now, but to be honest, we are remarkably average people. We’re not special! We just learned to follow our fears.

We adopted the phrase “Follow Your Fears” as our motto because over and over again we realized we had to do things that scared us in order to achieve our goals. We had to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Neither of us had any business experience, so we had to teach ourselves how to sell, manage inventory, build workflows, and hire employees – all very scary things for a couple of weather nerds!

In the military, you do as you’re told. Requesting certain jobs or applying for special positions is extremely difficult. We had to ask a lot of high-ranking military leaders for favors they didn’t owe us. It was very intimidating and, at times, seemed like it wasn’t going to work. But perseverance and persistence paid off!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Samara Table Company?
Samara Table Company LLC is a household goods company that provides high-quality, handmade products, which are best used where people gather together. Our goal is to decrease the effects of loneliness by promoting shared social experiences in the home.

Whether families celebrate around one of our handmade kitchen tables, or a group of friends share a snack on one of our charcuterie boards, we want to foster community.

We also have a passion for helping other businesses grow! We know first-hand how intimidating it can be to get clients in a big, new city. We do this by offering our personalized, handmade cutting and charcuterie boards as client gifts for lots of businesses!

Unlike common and perishable client gifts (like champagne, food, or gift baskets) our handmade boards get placed in the center of every client’s kitchen and stay there for decades – getting business owners countless word-of-mouth referrals!

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
We’ve been blessed with many people along our journey who have supported us and given us the confidence to set big goals – even though they seemed really scary.

We’ve had several entrepreneurial friends in the Air Force who set amazing examples of what work-life balance should look like, and we’re extremely thankful for them! We’re also thankful for all the businesses here in Houston that have been using our boards as client gifts since the beginning! They really helped us get our business off the ground!

In addition to that, we’ve also gotten to meet some amazing people through our YouTube channel that have been watching us and cheering us on since we started our woodworking business journey 4 years ago! Their support builds us up, holds us accountable, and challenges us to be the best business owners we can be!

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