A Family-Owned Business Rich in History
When you’re looking to buy a new home, you think of square footage, number of bedrooms, size of the backyard, etc. It’s not very often you think of the lumber, the doors, the windows, hardware. That’s where Crosslin Building Supply steps in. They are a full-service building materials supplier, distributing all of the “good bones” of a home: lumber, hardware, plywood, doors, windows, millwork, roofing supplies and more. Crosslin’s been around for nearly 75 years, and the business has been run by generations of the Crosslin family. Franklin Lifestyle spoke with General Manager Shawn McClung.
The family business was once grains, seeds and fertilizer. How did you make the move to lumber and building supplies?
In 1933, Frank Crosslin Sr. operated the business using a peddling truck, selling and trading various products including produce, feed and other general items within the Middle Tennessee community. In the beginning, Crosslin’s strived to offer its community with the essentials needed during the Depression and continued to act as a general store due to the demand associated with World War II. After the conclusion of the war, the focus of our business narrowed to the selling of building materials due to the increase in demand for such products.
After years of honing our skills around building materials, we decided to expand our operation to Smyrna, Tennessee, in 1958. The store was operated by Frank Crosslin Jr. with an entire focus on building supplies and hardware. We eventually opened two additional locations, in Franklin and Spring Hill. All four locations operated until 2007 under the Crosslin family, after which the business was sold. In 2012, Frank Crosslin III (Eddie Crosslin) along with his sister, Mary Elizabeth Crosslin McClung, opened a new company known today as Crosslin Building Supply Inc.
Is it difficult to manage a business model that serves both direct to consumer as well as to everyone from architect to contractor?
No, because we operate the business under the philosophy that an individual needing a single two-by-four today may be building their home tomorrow. We appreciate their business regardless of the size of their project.
What are you most proud of?
We have built a great team of people. Our staff consists of some of the best people within the industry. We have employees with many years of industry experience and a wealth of knowledge in product application and building advice. We also endeavor to employ individuals new to the industry with modern ideas and diverse viewpoints. We strive to be a very efficient company through the use of new technologies and procedures, which allow us to offer competitive prices and excellent service. Our goal is to solve our customers’ unique needs.