South Made Simple corners Etsy markets

Published 4:30 pm Monday, February 6, 2023

Laura Tucker, the founder of South Made Simple LLC, is breaking ground with online sales, cornering Etsy markets through a cottage industry producing 3D printed items out of her Highland Home residence.

Tucker operated Southern Made Simple, a successful food blog, for several years when her husband Kyle bought a 3D printer out of curiosity.

Kyle was already making wood-crafted items using a laser cutting machine when a local friend, Tina McGough, asked if the pair could make monogrammed earrings.

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“We tried that and did the monogram earrings,” Tucker said. “Tina shared them on social media around Christmas, and that blew up with people who started requesting to buy them.”

A few months later, McGough asked if the couple could make something decorative to go on a Bogg Bag.

“Kyle is just so curious,” Tucker said. “He made something, and it was okay. I put the wooden earrings on Etsy, and somewhere along the way, we started making plastic monograms for the bags.

“There were no other listings for Bogg Bag accessories on Etsy. Within 24 hours, we sold the first one.t Then someone asked us to make something to go inside the holes of the bag. No one sold anything like that, but we tried. The first Bogg Bag charm was a tooth. It worked and turned out great.”

Tucker was the first Etsy seller to offer the charms. Later, she designed plastic platforms to display nesting vintage Pyrex bowls and cookware and became the first Etsy seller in America to sell the product.

“We design all the things that we make,” Tucker said. “Kyle and I are very much a team in this. He does a lot of the designs and deals with the software. I know how to get the design onto the platform and into the machine, but everything that we have made, Kyle has designed. I typically come up with the idea, and he brings it to fruition.”

Tucker operates 14 printers simultaneously, often filling 30 orders each day. Cameras monitor each printer so she can review work even when she is outside the shop. Video surveillance enables her to produce merchandise while working on other projects and return to the workshop whenever a design is failing.

The Tuckers are experimenting with enclosures that protect printers and designs from dust particles. The workshop operates in a climate-controlled environment for optimal production.

“Filament is very finicky,” Tuckers said. “We want to make sure we get the temperature right but also that it’s a safe environment for me to keep things ventilated properly because I’m in here several hours during the day.”

Tucker enjoys using her marketing degree to create items buyers enjoy showing off. As the mom of two young girls, she also relished the flexibility self-employment affords her to spend time with her family.

“This is a dream of mine,” Tucker said. “After college, I took a nice job, but I always knew I wanted to make and create things. I was not happy in a position where I was not able to dedicate time to things that just really made me happy.

“When I launched my blog, it was just really an outlet to express my creativity and combine it with my passions. I have an entrepreneurial heart and I took a chance on myself. And, I’m the hardest boss I’ve ever had, but I work really hard to have the freedoms I do in my work schedule. I love blogging and 3D printing was never on my radar, but when this blew up I couldn’t ignore it.”

Honoraville resident Leesa Massey purchased engraved cedar earrings and ornaments from Tucker in 2022. As a friend of Tucker’s, she appreciated the quality craftsmanship and the opportunity to support a small, local business.

“She custom made the ornaments from a photograph,” Massey said. “She printed the image, names, and the date on the ornament. It was a very special Christmas gift. I wanted something special from a local crafter. I made a special request that she add where they were made on the back. That was just very special to me.”

To learn more about Tucker’s products, visit her South Made Simple shop on Etsy or check out her blog at