EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Jeanne Mays describes her family's move from Colorado to East Texas "the next adventure in our lives."
Mays is a custom metal artist, although, ironically, her career as a metal artist began with wood.
"We owned a roof trestle manufacturing plant for 21 years and a building materials supply for 8 years," she said.
When someone offered to buy their businesses in Colorado, the Mays headed for Texas.
"We took about five years and we just explored East Texas," explained Mays.
They found what they were looking for in the country, just outside of Mineola.
"The local frame/trestle shop here felt there was a need for trestles, so they approached us and asked if we would be willing to do that again," Mays said.
Now, timber trestles are those large framework supports you see outside business and large homes, and although the Mays hadn't planned on going back in business, before long, they were opening "Texas Timberworks."
The purchase of a cutting table and plasma cutting machine to make trestle plates, are what inspired Jeannie's metal art.
"We make the plates on here, but that's only one week out of every month we manufacture plates, and so the machine was sitting still and I decided we should make other things," she said.
Those 'other things' range from home decor to custom signs. Jeannie's metal art has become so successful that her husband and son are now helping her between their trestle orders.
"We do a lot of festivals. I think that's my favorite part because we get to meet everybody from East Texas," Mays said.
Connection with people and referrals keeps the Mays busy.
"We take special orders, we have signs, we do trees," Mays explained. "We've done them as memorials for grave sites for people to put next to their loved ones. It's just about creating anything out of steel."
While building successful businesses has been gratifying, it's the family connection that means the most.
"Working with my family, I think that's the best part. We've always been a team." said Mays.