Splinters is the incredible true-story of Barbara Howell. An abandoned woman who faced her fears, endured her pain and overcame daunting obstacles to become successful in a man’s profession. This lady didn’t set out to prove anything. Her only goal was to pay her debts and survive.
Despite personal tragedies, professional mishaps, and overwhelming odds she became a success. The back-breaking labor of handling raw lumber didn’t stop her. Pushing and pulling heavy machinery didn’t stop her. Being incapable of driving a 58 foot rig all over the United States loaded with hardwood display cases, didn’t stop her. She kept on trucking.
She, along with her daughter and two granddaughters, birthed Southern Ladies Showcases by sweat, guts and tears. This successful business takes its rightful place in what was once, strictly a man’s profession.
Southern Ladies Showcases proudly has products in homes, businesses and museums across America and around the world. Barbara’s commitment to succeed, her courage and undefeated attitude will be an inspiration as you read this story of struggle and ultimate victory.
The year 1996 was the pits for Barbara. She had taken over the showcase business when Charlie had abandoned it. She kept hitting walls, her spirit sometimes broken to the point of barely hanging on.
She screamed out in pain one hard and depressing day, and made a desperate grab for her shirt tail. She fumbled, and the shirt, along with stomach became tangled up in the belt sander. Angrily, she yanked her shirt free and gave the sander a fling followed by the battered showcase.
She glared down at the splintered mess on the floor. It seemed to mock her.
Her arms ached. Her patience was wearing thin. Her blouse was in threads and her stomach sanded smoother than any part of the crumbled showcase lying on the floor. This showcase business looked hopeless. She was either sanding her belly or dancing the two-step trying to hold the case with one hand, and the belt sander with the other. The job always ended in a slinging match.