An Apple a Day: Customer Spotlight

Here at Southern States Bank we are always trying to find ways to not only make sure our customers are taken care of with their banking needs, but to also find ways to just simply talk about how special they are at what they do.

We are starting a series of posts that will spotlight our clients and let you hear a little bit about what their business is all about and what is important to them when it comes to business banking.


This month’s feature is on Mike Gibson, the owner of Appleseed Workshop, a commercial and residential design build company in Birmingham, Alabama.

As taken from their website: “The mission of Appleseed Workshop is to design and build places and furnishings that draw people together in a deeper and more meaningful experience of life. We believe that elegant and refined craftsmanship should be the norm for a builder.  We believe that a deep understanding of – and tenacious fidelity to – the design concept will result in projects that are harmonious and impactful.  

We seek clients who share our commitment to high-level craft, and we build relationships with our clients that generate trust in, and proof of, our abilities. We construct places and furnishings that breathe quality, and that grow in value as their users dwell in and around them, treasuring them more with passing time.”

Here’s what Mike had to say.

1.) What are the top three questions any small business owner should consider when choosing a bank?

We looked for a couple things, and we think it really applies across the board.

-Who are the decision makers, and do they live where you live?
-Does the relationship really matter or is it all about checking boxes?
-Are they service oriented?

2.) What was your first experience like with Southern States Bank?

Our first experience was amazing, they were able to evaluate our company and give us a credit line in a very short amount of time with limited back and forth. There was a clear list of questions and we answered them and then we signed the papers.

In a world of corporate banks that do not care, working with Southern States feels like banking probably used to feel with when farmer Jed needed a loan to fix the tractor to bring in the harvest so he went to his bankers house and knocked on the door and told him the situation and the next day Jed had the money and his tractor so that he could bring the harvest in on time.

3.) Tell us a little bit about starting your company? What were the early struggles you faced, and how did you push through them?

We started it from nothing while we were in school, and we have grown it to a 13 person company. Every dollar in the bank and every piece of equipment we worked hard for, and we still work hard everyday. The biggest struggle we faced, and still face today, is getting people to believe in us enough to take action and lend a hand.

4.) What is the best thing about owning your own business?

Some people jokingly say that the best thing about owning your own company is being able to pick the 100 hours a week that you work. The reality is that you just work all the time. But what makes it worth it is knowing where you stand everyday, and know that your blood sweat and tears are going toward something that you believe in.

5.) If you could do any other job, what would it be and why?
I honestly would not want to do a different job, I just would like to do my Job better and hopefully I move closer to that reality everyday. But I really would like to be able to play the piano!

You can learn more about the Appleseed Workshop and their current projects around Birmingham at their website, or by finding them on Facebook.