Recently animal lover and home décor enthusiast Angela Smith found herself fulfilling the old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and came up with a clever solution to a rather indelicate problem which she has called Dazi-Kat. However, before I tell you about the item she has dubbed “the purrfect place to hang,” I want to tell you about Angela the person, as well as her family.
I have often said both in print and in person that one of my favorite things about publishing Athens Now is having the opportunity to meet and tell the stories of people in Athens who love God, people, America, Athens, and their work. Angela is one such person. When I entered the office of Angela’s Fabrications, I did not know that “fabrications” meant more than Dazi-Kat. I quickly learned that the Smiths have many things going on, and are a creative bunch.
Born and raised in Athens, Angela is the daughter of the late Judge Bobby W. Thornton and Betty June Barksdale Thornton Moore. In 1977, her dad died suddenly in office while she was still in high school. Her mom later remarried and fought a long, difficult battle with Parkinson’s disease, succumbing to it in 2003. When Angela is having a tough day and needs inspiration, she goes to a shelf in her office where she has a favorite pot of her mom’s, and the old wooden stamps her dad used to stamp documents, and basically “leans on the legacy” she was given by her parents. They were great parents, and she misses them, especially when she needs advice.
Her husband, Jerry is a metal fabricator and expert welder, and worked at Delphi. When Delphi closed, they decided to strike out on their own, start a business in the worst of the recession, and Jerry named it “Angela’s Fabrications and Designs.” They began in a small and humble industrial building in 2010, and moved to their new, large and inviting location in 2013. Angela’s Fabrications is located on the corner of US Hwy 72 and Bledsoe Rd., in the same building as Mid-South Trailers. The address is 14265 Bledsoe Rd,, Athens, AL 35613. On the wall of their office, which is decorated in Western décor are three framed black and white pictures of their original location. “We are blessed, she said, “and I don’t ever want to forget where we came from.”
Jerry does farm welding, heli-arc welding, CNC plasma cutting, custom metal work, hand rails, and has his own mobile “shop” where he can do on-site welding. They started out with individual accounts only, and have grown to have corporate accounts and many referrals.
The Smiths have two daughters, Monica and Alyssa. Monica is married to John Newby, and they have two grandbabies, Bella and Jack, and Angela had that look of love that is the private domain of grandmothers when she showed me their pictures. Alyssa is starting her own fabrication home décor business, which is also located at the shop.
Now, on to the Dazi-Kat part of Angela’s story. She has been a lifelong animal lover, and claims she gets her tender heart for animals from her dad. “He used to bring home strays and animals he had found that had been hurt, and neither one of us could stand to see an animal in pain,” she said. She’s always had dogs and indoor cats, and her two current feline friends, Daisy and Ziggy, were the inspiration for Dazi-Kat. So, what exactly is Dazi-Kat? It is a cat-shaped metal piece of home décor that is designed to live near your litter box. It has a hook on the back, and that’s where you can hang your “pooper scooper” out of sight. They come in all kinds of metal colors, are custom ordered and decorated with everything from sparkles to paint jobs tailor made for the customer. “Basically, Angela said, “I solved my own problem. I looked everywhere, and there’s not much on the market that is designed to meet the need.” This is her flag ship product, and she has more to come. She wants to produce a line of cat treat boxes, custom litter boxes, and any other items a client would want in order to take care of the needs of cat owners in a stylish way.
Obviously, Dazi-Kat has a very specific market niche, so if you want your kitty litter box scooper to be stylishly hidden, accessible, and part of your home décor, you need to come see Angela at Angela’s Fabrications, and let her create just what you have been looking for.
Angela’s Fabrications and Design/ Dazi-Kat
14265 Bledsoe Road, Athens, AL, 35613
Website: (under construction) www.dazi-kat.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner