South Made Marketing Finds New Home in Happy Holler

South Made Marketing, 1531 N Central St. March 2024 (Photo provided by South Made Marketing)
South Made Marketing, 1531 N Central St. March 2024 (Photo provided by South Made Marketing)

Melissa Lushbaugh, co-owner of South Made Marketing, didn’t pursue a business degree in college with the goal of one day owning her own marketing firm. No. She went to school to become an educator, and for ten years, she taught high school English and was a cheer coach. In the early days of social media, she was tasked with figuring out how to make that platform work for her athletes. And that’s just what she did. She used it to get them recognized, leading to scholarships and publicity. She was good at it, and though she loved teaching, she found there was something else she was passionate about.

Her husband, Derek, had been deployed with the military, and when he returned home, he taught himself how to build websites. This determination inspired Melissa. Melissa’s sister, Jenn, is a graphic designer. All the stars aligned, and Melissa and Derek created South Made Marketing, combining Melissa’s social media knowledge, Derek’s web design skills and Jenn’s graphic design talent.

They started in a small ReMax office with four full-time employees and eventually found a space in the Old City next to Awaken Coffee to occupy with five full-time employees. Melissa said they loved being in the Old City. She feels they have watched it grow and evolve into an extension of downtown that is creating a bigger, better footprint for the city.

South Made Marketing, 1531 N Central St. March 2024 (Photo provided by South Made Marketing)

However, within four years, South Made was outgrowing their space. With now 13 full-time employees and multiple part-time employees, they began looking for something bigger. I asked Melissa what she believed helped them grow so fully and quickly. She attributes that to their positive work culture of fun and appreciation, as well as ensuring she is tuned in to what her employees want to make the workplace a positive place.

Melissa also talked about her client philosophy. South Made Marketing wants each client to feel like the marketing firm is an extension of their company. She sees it as a partnership in which everyone’s success lifts the whole group. She treats the clients’ businesses just like she treats her own and is grateful to be trusted with that partnership. It has paid off. In addition to their Knoxville hub, they have offices in Marco Island, FL, and Naples, FL, and have clients worldwide.

South Made Marketing, 1531 N Central St. March 2024 (Photo provided by South Made Marketing)

South Made Marketing found its new Knoxville home in Happy Holler at 1531 N. Central St. The space has lots of natural light, making it ideal for their photography team to create great content. It has a historic and old urban feel that fits the company. The new space allows this full-service team to work more efficiently. Clients have access to all aspects of the marketing world with South Made. Social media, photography, graphic design, printing, branding and strategy, web design, and more can all be done under one roof.

Melissa is excited to be in the new location and hopes to see more businesses invest in the area and beyond to be part of the city’s evolution. She’s excited to see Happy Holler grow like she watched the Old City grow in her time there. 

You can follow along with their growing (and impressive) portfolio by following their social media outlets or visiting their website.

South Made Marketing, 1531 N Central St. March, 2024 (Photo provided by South Made Marketing)