Published On: February 8th, 20241482 words7.7 min read

Folding Table Risers?

The C.O.D. Street Fair, food court, 2010.

The C.O.D. Street Fair, food court, 2010.

The C.O.D. Street fair, food court, 2010. At that time, we were already three years into our dominance of the food count serving up hundreds of all-beef hot dogs and award-winning brats every week-end. We were proud of the business we built, but we had a problem: our workers, standing to prep food from our folding tables, were complaining about back pain. Initially we thought the worker just had a bad back. But then the younger worker had the same complaint.

At that point, I decided to go and observe what was happening. Why were my people complaining about back pain? After hanging out in our mobile kitchen, the issue quickly became apparent: It was the tables; they were simply too low.

It made sense. The folding tables we were using to chop onions and provide condiments to our customers were designed to be sat at. We were using the tables in a standing capacity. The question then became: how can we raise these tables to the proper working height?

My online search revealed nothing to buy. My search expanded into visits to other stores to see what they were using. I remember going into Sam’s Club at that time and seeing what the food demonstrators were using. To my disbelief, I saw they were using tables propped on 39oz. cans and pallets! These solutions wouldn’t work for us because they were unsafe as the tables could be easily knocked over, they were unprofessional looking, and they were not practical for us. Our solution had to be safe, professional, durable, AND easily portable.

So…we went to work in our “warehouse” (our garage!) and Lift Your Table® folding table risers were born!

Lift Your Table® folding table risers - folding table before and after being raised.

Lift Your Table® folding table risers – before and after.

Folding Table Risers!

The result: our people loved them, other vendors at the street fair saw our risers and asked for sets for their booths. So, in between making snow cones and hot dogs, we were making our “table legs” in the garage, first for other vendors, and then for customers we were attracting online. It quickly became clear we weren’t the only ones with this problem!

Flash forward to today and thousands of sets later, it is mind boggling to appreciate this simple idea we came up with to help our own employees is shipped every year to all 50 states and two dozen countries helping people work longer and allowing them to pursue their passions by raising the height of their folding tables. Our risers save thousands of backs every year and the number of people we are able to help by improving the ergonomics of their work stations continues to grow exponentially!

You’ve Already Been Given It

I vividly remember a sermon series our pastor was teaching, the gist of which was this: “The LORD has given you a special gift. In fact, you already have it. It is up to YOU to figure out what it is.”

At that time, we were working our tails off with our street fair/catering business and I could see the physicality of this business had an ending. Our kids were growing up and would before long  be moving away, and it was a family business for which we depended on their help. The other issue in my mind was, while our business was sustaining our family, we were just barely making ends meet and I had BIG DREAMS. Dreams that needed to be funded. All my life I have been a benefactor of various scholarships for camps and schooling, and I am committed to playing it forward in a big way. I asked the LORD to show me what had been entrusted to me that would align with the visions I had for my life.

One night in 2013, in the midst of this “seeking”, I was awakened from my sleep with a jolt in the middle of the night. I shook my husband, Bob, awake who asked what was the matter? I said, “the table legs!” He thought I had flipped my gourd, but said, “let’s talk about it in the morning, Honey.”

At that point I had seen it clearly. Folding tables have been around long before any of us, but they were designed to sit at. We, and millions of other people, were using these stables to work from. But working from a table that is too low causes back pain; we KNEW about this problem firsthand, and I could see how big this solution would become!

Once we figured out how to list our brand on the world’s biggest marketplace, our business exponentially took off. Not only that, but we were contacted by companies, big companies, who needed solutions in their backrooms, showroom floors, reception areas, warehouses, and security checkpoints for their companies. Quickly, our folding table risers were generating more revenue than our catering company and it was on!

The Worldwide Pandemic

Something unexpected happened in our company soon after the world-wide pandemic initially shut everything down. Soon after things stopped, our sales shot up. We discovered businesses were using our risers to create safety (distance) barriers and to lift the sanitation stations they used to screen employees and customers and our business continued to grow. Even Amazon purchased our risers for their guard shacks!

Lift Your Table® folding table risers used to create a raised sanitation station barrier.

Lift Your Table® folding table risers used to create a raised sanitation station barrier.

In the midst of that period of time, we also expanded out of our home-based business into our own corporate offices! We hired two employees, added contractors and we expanded into new avenues of distribution. We expanded our focus from online marketplaces to BTB opportunities, and we expanded our product line to include custom, Longer Length Tablecloths to answer our customer’s needs. Looking back, there is no doubt the pandemic profoundly impacted our business and personal lives in many ways. It is humbling to consider our little brand was used in a big way by so many as a safety product to allow people to get back to work and to keep people safe.

Growing this brand is a labor of love for us – we just LOVE saving people’s backs! One of our favorite things to do is just read our product feedback. It is such a great feeling to read how our seemingly small thing we’ve brought to market has helped so many people in such a big way work longer and pursue their passions. As we gain more insight on how we can get this important safety product into the hands of more people who need it, we decided an important step to begin this process is to tell our story…

Bethany Smith, Co-Founder | CEO Lift Your Table® folding table risers, 1971.

Bethany Smith, Co-Founder | CEO Lift Your Table® folding table risers, 1971.

The Girl on the Bike…

Recently, I stumbled across this photo of the tough little girl, age 5, on the too-big-bike (that was just right for me), in the alley on Waverly Street in Pittsburgh. (I still remember Christmas morning when I got that bike; it was my dream come true–it didn’t even need to be kid-sized!😊) That was also about the time I started my first business.

Who remembers when comic books (I loved Archie!) had little ads in them? I sent in one of those ads and started selling seeds to my neighbors! As far back as I can remember, when I grew up, I wanted to create my own business… I just didn’t know what it could be…

My journey has taken me from major consumer products companies (P&G, Bausch & Lomb, and Johnson & Johnson) to the creation of a real estate investment company, a catering company, and now, a consumer products company that helps people all over the world.

I know I’m blessed to be able to use and grow my gifts in a way that not only benefits society (we ORIGINATED the folding table riser/extender category which will continue long after I leave the earth!), but also gives me the opportunity to sow into others’ dreams as we grow along…

I am convinced: Your dreams are possible. May my words encourage you to seek your own purpose. Somebody is literally waiting for that idea, big or small, that has been uniquely entrusted to you!

Thank you for your support of this woman-owned manufacturing company and that little girl’s dreams. We couldn’t do what we do without you.

Also, if you use folding tables in your workplace, we hope you will reach out to us for more information. We’d love to help you too!

May 2024 be a year that you crush your goals and achieve every dream!

Bethany Smith, Co-Founder | CEO Lift Your Table® folding table risers, 2023.

Bethany Smith, Co-Founder | CEO Lift Your Table® folding table risers, 2023.

Bethany Smith, Co-Founder

Lift Your Table® Save Your Back!


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