Hamlet-Based Business Handles a Variety of Services
Writer / Angela Cornell
Simon’s Speed Shop is a family-run store with rustic curiosities of all sorts. From the moment you walk in the door, the establishment seems to exude all things country, from the music that’s playing to the merchandise available.
Jason and Shelly Simon, along with their two daughters and their canine customer greeters, have grown the business into a go-to shop for metal fabrication, vinyl stickers, T-shirt and mug design, as well as memorable antiques.
“We sell vintage hot-rod parts – buy, sell, trade – and we have a fabrication shop, plasma cutting, T-shirts and vinyl graphics,” Jason explains.
They have several popular customizable items including their custom fire pits.
“We ask what you want on top, then send you a proof,” Shelly says. “You OK it and we start from there.”
Although some fire pits they create have a traditional round or hexagonal shape, others are more creative. Some look like cars or trucks, or feature unique designs like guitar shapes.
“We’ve done a full-sized deer that looks like a deer standing in your yard, but it has a cooker in the belly,” Shelly says.
Their ability to customize doesn’t end there. Beside unique fire pit shapes, the Simons can also cut designs within the fire pit walls. Just like the overall shape, these designs can be just about anything, from a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to a surname and anything in between. Because of the assortment of options available, these fire pits are often purchased as gifts.
“We do a lot of wedding gifts,” Jason says. “It’ll say something like ‘The Cooks, est. 2021’ or something like that. Just about any design that anyone wants, we can put it on there.”
The custom metal work they can provide is creative, and the options are almost unlimited.
“We can custom build bars, rocking chairs, rocking benches, standard benches, fire pits and signs,” Jason says.
They also have a wide variety of metal decor that is available to purchase off the shelf. Plaques come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from 4-H clovers that can fit in your hand to extra-large American flags. These can be painted, left plain or given a rusted look.
“We have something for everybody,” Shelly says. “For men we have the fire pits. We have a lot of people get those for Father’s Day and birthdays. For women it’s more butterflies and garden art.”
Simon’s Speed Shop is also an antique dealership. However, the relics they sell aren’t glassware or toys. These items are all hefty, durable products left over from vintage and retro eras like tools and metal signage, as well as larger items like cast-iron stoves, Coke machines or school desks.
“Every time people come into our shop they’ll find something new,” Shelly says.
Working with family is both Jason and Shelly’s favorite part of the business. Their daughters, who are 13 and 15 years old, also work at the shop, and are starting to create a niche for themselves in the business by custom printing standard-sized mugs and 20-ounce tumblers, all of which are dishwasher safe.
“They have their own thing going,” Shelly says. “They can put names or anything on them.”
The Simons also recognize the importance of staying involved with their community. For Oregon-Davis schools in particular, they print a lot of apparel and sports banners.
“It comes down to the coaches,” Jason says. “A lot of the teachers prefer to use us because we’re close.”
They also have booths at the Power From the Past show in Winamac and the Scarecrow Festival in Wanatah, as well as a few other local, small-town fairs. They also hope to eventually start hosting events of their own in the Hamlet area.
“The first one’s going to be a car show,” Jason says. “We’re going to call it the South of 30 Rumble.”