Franklin Artisan Receives National Recognition

Tn Box Beams
photo from Tn Box Beams Facebook

Kenny Bowling is not about making a name for himself. He’s about making quality products, making a difference in the lives of others, and making TN Box Beams a different kind of business. But despite his quiet dedication and preference for working behind the scenes—he continues to find himself in the national spotlight.

The announcement about his win, released by the Woodworking Network, notes that Bowling is a “successful entrepreneur,” “servant leader,” and “skilled woodworker.” His nominator notes that “his humility is what sets him apart from all others.”

“Without sacrificing the culture, Kenny has led the TN Box Beams team to over 75% growth in sales and manufacturing, while also successfully launching a new product during a world pandemic!” said Bill Spencer, founder and executive director of Narrow Gate. TN Box Beams is a product line of Narrow Gate Trading Co., which is an initiative of Franklin and Williamsport, Tennessee-based nonprofit Narrow Gate, the nonprofit organization that TN Box Beams grew from. “Kenny works hard to serve his customers with selflessness, devotion, and generosity, exuding the core values of our organization.”

Bowling leads TN Box Beams, a Franklin, Tenn., enterprise with a product that hits a sweet spot for home builders and homeowners. Wood beams are a fashionable look–both of-the-moment and timeless. But TN Box Beams aren’t your typical beams. Unlike solid timber beams, they are lightweight and require no additional structural support. Unlike faux beams, they are beautiful real wood. The combination of real wood and easy installation have made them a popular commodity for renovators and won them inclusions in on Property Brothers Buying and Selling and other HGTV shows.

As Kenny has grown professionally, the brand has grown as well. He believes in the impact of the nonprofit he works to support because he experienced it firsthand.

Kenny left his hometown of Canyon, Texas, and came to Tennessee in November of 2015 to attend Narrow Gate Lodge, located about 30 miles from Franklin’s Narrow Gate Trading Co. on 122-acres near the Duck River in the small community of Williamsport. He graduated in June of 2016 and began working at Narrow Gate Trading Co. as woodshop supervisor. Around this time, a local builder asked the craftsmen if they could build a high-quality box beam that would never develop a gap. The artisans developed a unique puzzle-fit design and TN Box Beams was born. Within two years, Bowling promoted to lead the sales effort and a year later was promoted to manage the business.

“With TN Box Beams, I have a rare entrepreneurial opportunity,” said Bowling. “I’ve been given total freedom, but I also have support.”

Bowling was recognized at a virtual Leadership Reception Wednesday, Aug. 26.