SHELBY ─ Stumps Discount Merchandise is not another regular discount store ─ with what it offers and the meaning to the owner.
The Shelby business, located at 48 Mansfield Ave., opened in mid-May. It sells all kinds of discount items such as furniture, T-shirts, exercise equipment and more. There are artworks from local artists and, surprisingly, a woodworking section at the store.
Founder and co-owner Nathaniel Speelman said he has loved to work with wood since childhood. Carving out derby cards and making birdhouses were always fun to him.
“I've always been a destroyer as a child. I like to take things apart and rebuild them,” Speelman said.
“Wood is great because you can cut it up and turn it into all kinds of different things…even after we cut it up a thousand times, I can glue it all back together and make a cutting board out of it again.”
Stumps Discount Merchandise offers various wood slabs that could be used for a giant table or countertop. Speelman said people can also find wood pieces costing less than $10 and good for smaller projects.
Many other wood products are available at the business, including cutting boards, jewelry holders and blanket holders. All were made by Speelman and his best friend Nathan Koehler, who helps out at the store.
Besides being a passion of Speelman, woodworking is how he gets through a recovery from a life-changing accident in September 2019. The business owner had a severe motorcycle accident that led to a leg amputation and multiple surgeries after that.
Speelman said he lay in bed for more than six months after getting discharged from the hospital in February 2020.
“When you're in pain, all you want to do is lying in bed,” he said. “And lying in bed is painful even. It doesn't make me feel any better.”
Koehler got him on a project of remodeling the basement for Speelman’s nine-year-old son and eventually started a new life along with a new career.
Speelman said he hasn’t sat down since then.
“Definitely being around in here (the store), I have to get around, move stuff, do stuff, talk to people, be up all day,” he said.
The business keeps his mind off the frustration and pain that he has suffered, Speelman said. And it offers products that the community did not offer before.
In addition, the owner wants customers to know: they can ask him anything, even about his injury. In fact, Speelman branded the disability.
The business’ logo is a person without a leg, just like Speelman. The name “Stumps” does not only represent the owner’s connection with woodworking but also his situation, he said.
Even the slogan has the same idea: where things don't cost an arm or a leg. Speelman said he and his business partners, including his father, just wanted to make people laugh.
“I've always tried to find humor out of all the bad situations,” he said of his personality.
Speelman looks forward to developing the business with the community. He said he plans to hold a small picker’s market at least once a month, gathering local artists and food vendors.