A Recipe for Success

by Nov 9, 2021Business, North Brunswick

How Adam Lewis of Backyard Barns and Beyond turned a side hustle into a thriving full-time career.

Adam Lewis was a full-time Wilmington police officer in September 2018 when he was approached by the territory manager for Old Hickory Buildings inquiring if he would be interested in becoming an authorized dealer for this area.

“I did some research,” Lewis says. “I was very impressed by the quality and craftsmanship built into each wooden building by the Amish and Mennonite carpenters that construct them, and the excellent warranties Old Hickory Buildings provided for their products.”

One month later, in October 2018, Lewis had incorporated Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc., obtained a lease on a property in Winnabow, taken delivery of the first buildings and was off and running.

Dawn Adam Backyard Barns

Much to the delight of Old Hickory Buildings and their territory manager, Jeffrey Shingleton, Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc., achieved membership in the Million Dollar Club their first year in business, all while Lewis was still a full-time Wilmington police officer and he and wife, Angelina, were busy raising two boys and a girl. Native Wilmingtonians, the Lewises relocated to the Winnabow area and settled in. The business was so successful that Lewis resigned as a full-time police officer in October 2020 to focus on expansion (although he is still an auxiliary officer with the Wilmington PD). Lewis credits Angelina’s support for enabling the business success.

“Angelina was a special needs teacher at Roger Bacon Academy for seven years,” Lewis says. “She recently stepped away to be a stay-at-home mom, and the stress that she has relieved from me has allowed me to become even more focused and productive. Everything that I do is for my family.”

The two met at church in 2004 and have been married for 11 years. Besides running the business, Lewis has always been an active dad in his children’s lives. He attends dance classes and recitals for his youngest child, daughter Annie Kate, age 3. The boys, Brantley, 11, and Zachary, 8, benefit from their dad’s support and participation in their love of playing baseball and riding dirt bikes. Lewis even found time while a full-time police officer and simultaneously growing the nascent yard barn business to coach Brantley’s baseball team.

Backyard Barns Building Leland NC

Why put so much effort into a business when you have an established career as a law enforcement officer? Lewis explains: “The sky is the limit with Backyard Barns and Beyond. I can do so much to secure the future of my family through the affiliations that I have made through the business and in the industry.”

Lewis says that Old Hickory Buildings backs their products with some of the best warranties in the business. He admits that the quality of the product and reasonable cost helps sell the buildings. He has sold 1,100 wooden buildings in just three years. The best sellers are the 10’ x 16’ lofted barn and 10’ x 20’ utility shed. But, according to after-market research, Lewis’s customer service is a major factor in customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business. A products-oriented business can only succeed by building these types of consumer relationships.

When customers began asking Lewis to sell metal structures, he again did his homework before affiliating with Steel Buildings and Structures to sell their products in October 2019.

“We can provide carports as large as desired, including 20’ tall models that can accommodate Class A recreational vehicles, large boats and even 18-wheel tractor-trailer rigs,” Lewis says. “These buildings can also be fully enclosed to create a garage.”

Like Old Hickory Buildings, Steel Buildings and Structures provides impressive warranties on their products. Lewis has sold 130 steel structures from Steel Buildings and Structures since October 2019.

Backyard Barns and Beyond

Lewis admits that he couldn’t keep the business humming and growing without the two women in his life. In addition to Angelina, he relies heavily on his “right hand woman,” Dawn Shafer.

Shafer is cherished for “her enthusiasm, attention to detail and customer relations. This is what helps me drive the business. I get constant complements from customers about her,” Lewis says. A neighbor of the Lewises, Shafer as the first employee Lewis hired. Initially intended to handle daily sales and understand the product brochures, she advanced to managing sales, scheduling and acting as the office manager.

Lewis has expanded the footprint of Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc. to two additional locations. Each of the three locations has an employee on site to answer any questions and to help with placing an order. After hours you can drop off an interest form and someone will get back to you the next business day.

Want to know more?
Backyard Barns and Beyond, Inc.
6335 Ocean Highway E., Winnabow
3070 Andrew Jackson Highway, Leland
6294 Ocean Highway W. Ocean Isle Beach
(910) 240-2276
All three locations are open from 9:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays.