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Garrard business films TV pilot

January 31, 2013|By KENDRA PEEK | kpeek@amnews.com

LANCASTER — Rocky Top Log Furniture and Railing, along with owners Tommy and Gwen Mitchell and many of the company’s employees, will soon have their television break, being seen nationwide in a new TV show “LogHeads.”

“We will show them Kentucky craftsmanship at its best,” Tommy Mitchell said.

Media Meld Studios is in production of the pilot episode of “LogHeads,” a docu-series expected to air on DIY Network by summer. It will focus solely on the Lancaster-based company.

The idea for the show, much like the company itself, was a locally grown one, according to Angela Lee, president of Media Meld Studios.

It is the brainchild of the Mitchells’ son, Jason, and, with the help of his college friend, Kentucky-based director Jason Epperson, they were able to get the reality-style show pitched to Media Meld Studios and, ultimately, DIY Network. Epperson is remaining on as one of the show’s executive producers.

LogHeads, according to Gwen Mitchell, was chosen as the name because of their appreciation of the logs used for the furniture Rocky Top makes.

“It’s a name we came up with years ago,” she said, with a smile. “It’s what they call themselves.” She and the employees hope the exposure will create more 'LogHeads' around the world.

The show will revolve around Rocky Top Log Furniture and Railing as it works to build a log cabin from the ground up at Rough River Lake in Breckinridge County.

The family receiving the house lost its home in a fire, according to the Mitchells, and Tommy said he couldn’t say no.

“It’s just something I have to do,” he said in a press release announcing the show.

At the same time, the Mitchells plan to keep the business running as normal while also maintain stores in Dollywood and Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

This is not the first time something from Rocky Top has gained national attention. In 2010, some of its furniture was included in an episode of HGTV’s “The Antonio Project,” when Tommy Mitchell and employees custom-made barstools for a Los Angeles-based bar that was being redone.

The company also contributed furniture to three episodes of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for families in Indiana, Maine and Ohio.

Another project close to the hearts of the Mitchells is working with a wounded warrior retreat called Boulder Crest Retreat in Bluemont, Va. It is a not-for-profit retreat being designed for soldiers who were injured, as they return from battle and attempt to re-adjust to life in the United States.

In December, the Lancaster location received a visit from some wounded warriors, to help with the production of the custom-made furniture, ensuring that it will be easily accessible for the veterans.

Gwen explained they hope the new TV show will help create more jobs in the region, as it could expand their business further. The company began about 20 years ago, out of Tommy’s garage, and now has more than 50 employees and other outlets in Tennessee.

DIY Network is owned by Scripps Networks, based in Knoxville, Tenn.

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