Welcome to The Nut Shack! A place where you can find homemade benches and swings for squirrels and feeders for birds. The creators of this cute business are Carter Pennington and Kathryn Hollenberg. These two teens are making all the squirrels and birds in the Tri-Cities as happy as can be. Saving up for college has never been more fun.

The Nut Shack
This is the Squirrel Table. With a cute stuffed animal squirrel for display since squirrels are well, squirrely. Photo credit: Neomii Madison

Carter and Kathryn are both outdoorsy high school students aspiring to go to college and grow together, all while having a blast.

Kathryn has always believed mental health is important and plans to major in psychology. She wants to start her own clinic to help others feel better and healthy. Carter, always interested in business and stocks and with a business-oriented family, wants to major in business himself. He plans to create something of his own. These two are definitely a power pair.

At first, Kathryn and Carter didn’t know what business they wanted to start. Looking on Pinterest was the way to go for them. “What would be fun to sell?” was their main question. They pondered for a while, searching for ideas. Then a post on Pinterest caught their interest.

The Nut Shack
The Squirrel Table also comes with a cute bag of nuts! Photo credit: Neomii Madison

“We found this video of these two squirrels having a picnic on a table, and we thought it was so cute,” says Kathryn. As the planning process began, it seemed clear that what they came up with would be official. Squirrel tables, squirrel swings, and birdhouses were what Carter and Kathryn decided to sell. Their inspiration for The Nut Shack’s name came from a cute play on words. “The Nut Shack is funny, like people saying you’re a nut shack like you are goofy,” Carter says. The name caught their customer’s attention, and they are doing spectacular.

Preparing to launch The Nut Shack and their product, they searched for a specific day to sell. As Father’s Day was coming up, they believed it would be the perfect day to do just that. Since Carter’s mom owns the 3 Eyed Fish Farmers Market, it was the best opportunity to get their new business out there. The 3 Eyed Fish Farmers Market is a fantastic place for artistic and food-creating lovers to sell their creations and develop new customer relationships. In the beautiful environment and with a gorgeous product, Carter and Kathryn were ecstatic about sales.

The Nut Shack
The Nut Shack bird feeder. All different colors, but all an equal beauty. Signature ladybug on top, and comes with bird feed in a cute teacup. Photo credit: Neomii Madison

The pair were surprised when they sold out on the first day. As people kept coming back, they thought this could be their business. This is how The Nut Shack became popular with its customers at the beginning of the summer.

Before each Sunday, Carter and Kathryn ready their products a week in advance, with lovely family members to help them with their product preparation. Carter has a big porch that is helpful. He says, “We just set everything up and get to work,” he says.

As Carter explains the process of making the fun products, he shares what tools they use. A chop saw, nail guns, and stains for the squirrel tables are all set up and ready. These are just a few tools to make the benches, swings, and bird feeders for The Nut Shack that customers know and love.

The Nut Shack
Their adorable Squirrel Swing. For when squirrels would like to just relax in the Tri-Cities breeze and occasionally eat. Photo credit: Neomii Madison

As for future plans, The Nut Shack is a stepping stone for bigger and better things to come. Carter and Kathryn are planning to expand their business to an Etsy store. The 3 Eyed Fish Farmers Market is just the start. These two teens with a fun idea have become very successful, and their starter success is just the exposition of their story.


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