Online company finds success selling custom smokers

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — When COVID-19 hit in mid-March and forced people to pause their lives, Nathan Rhodes and Jeremy Murphy thought their Whitesville-based company Sling ‘N’ Steel Custom Smokers … well … might just go up in smoke.

Making it more concerning, Rhodes and Murphy, both 39 years old, had left their full-time jobs at Owensboro-based Unique Granite & Marble in January to concentrate on their online retail custom smoker business, which they had started together seven years earlier as a side venture.

“We got pretty nervous because we had invested a lot of money into stock items prior to the COVID,” Rhodes said. “For about two weeks there, we were dead in the water; no phone calls; no orders; no nothing.”

But that lull in business turned out to be temporary.

“…And all of a sudden, it just exploded,” Rhodes said. “We did a half-million dollars in sales

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