Local business owners find success, give back to community

Local business owners find success, give back to community (Image 1)

A Nashville couple that is committed to giving back has found success over the years with their creative ideas.

It all started with a single door knob. Angie and Robbie Cook were replacing the front door of their home.

The replacement door was older and came with an assortment of doorknobs, including a good-looking brass knob.

“My husband Robbie picked up a door knob and put it on top of a bottle and said, ‘Wow, this would make a great wine stopper!’”

That’s how it all started for the Cook family business, Hester and Cook.

Over the years, many ideas followed, including paper products, linen, and lighting. Robbie says the family is constantly inventing new products.

“We went from our basement, maybe a hundred square feet of working space to 1,800 feet of working space, to 55,000 now. It’s kind of crazy.”

They now ship a large amount of their special blend of trendy and vintage items all over the world. They sell everything from lighting fixtures, to paper placemats, table runners, to wine stoppers.

Many items were handmade right here in Tennessee.

For Robbie, it’s all about preserving the past. “The craftsmanship is unparalleled,” he explained.

The battle to build a business is only half of the story for the Cooks. They have an 11-year-old son, Will, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was just two.

After a four year battle, Will is now healthy and happy. Angie used that difficult time to turn heartache into hope.

“We knew there was something we needed to do to help give back. We’re not doctors we’re not nurses, what can we do that makes some significance?”

The Cook’s answer to that question was The Wonderful Life Foundation. It is a charity they started and fund to help families deal with the expenses that come with treatment for a child with cancer.

“We pay for rent, we pay for car payments sometimes, we pay for airline tickets to get the children to the different hospitals they need to go to, and we support those families who are going through cancer treatment.”

A percentage of every item the Cooks sell goes to the cause.

To see which stores carry their products, click here.

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