Carolina Farmhouse, Cecil Mack, Sam Utt-Grubb Design and now.... FARMHOUSE SOUTH


I want to preface this post by saying this - I had decided sometime back that I was not going to be writing a blog post with the update to the findings on the Utt-Grubbs bankruptcy.  But...I changed my mind.

The Utt-Grubbs were granted bankruptcy in November 2013.  The thousands & thousands of dollars that many customers lost is lost for good.  Unfortunately for all of us it was a pretty draining experience.

I think it says a lot about our system and how it works.  The message I got from this is entire experience... (and believe me I read/heard stories from so many different customers that would literally make your stomach turn, along with hearing from neighbors & locals that emailed me that between new cars, eating out & vacations they didn't understand how this could happen).  

Oh yes...the message I got is this - You can open up a business, run that business poorly (using the money from orders to go on vacation, buy new cars, go out to movies, etc instead of purchasing materials to build the orders that are already fully paid for), get into financial trouble for multiple reasons, and then file for bankruptcy.  So I can take in custom work, take your money, use it for myself, not have enough money to buy materials to finish or even start what you already paid for.....and then after enough time file bankruptcy and never have to pay you back!  Oh and then open the exact same type of business under a different name.

And, then change my name not once, twice but THREE times with each time using the same photos of the same furniture, using the Extreme Home Makeover and the other great media coverage that helped push their business in a manner that any of us small business owners would dream of having.

I received this screenshot from an anonymous person that knows the Utt-Grubbs

I was emailed a screenshot last night of their new business name - Farmhouse South.  It has a new logo, but it's all the same.  

The whole experience made me rethink buying local or from a small mom & pop shop.  This is sad because guess what? I am a small business owner!  I also like to cheer on small business owners & see them succeed!  In fact, I'd much rather buy & support local, and/or small businesses for many reasons!!  Bottom line is do your research, read up on not only the company, but the owners (operators/founders).  It is easy to change a logo & a name of a company, to even change the address or location.  

You as the consumer have the right to make your decision based on reviews of a business and even the ones that run it.  My reviews on any purchase I make is only to help someone else make their own decision on whether or not to spend their hard earned money.  

I have received emails from people from all different walks in life - an attorney that represented a client against the Utt-Grubbs.  A family that pretty much bought every single new piece of furniture to be put in their brand new home.  Several that had saved each & every penny (some that went without a vacation, or gave up eating out & packed lunches, going out to movies, etc) in order to be able to purchase custom furniture.  I've even recently received emails from different consumers who read reviews, found my blog, and emailed me to say thank you....thank you!!

A group of us pulled together a document that was over 100 pages with evidence of reasons as to why the Utt-Grubbs should not be allowed to own or operate another furniture business.  We sent it to the North Carolina Attorney General, the District Attorney, the bankruptcy court.   It was all comprised of factual documents sent directly from customers and taken directly from websites that were updated by one of the Utt-Grubbs.

This is why I say that I have lost faith in our system.

So...  Farmhouse South was founded by Kelly Utt-Grubb that Sam Utt-Grubb is the furniture designer (which according to their Facebook page shows started on September 2013...which means they are using the old Sam Utt-Grubb design page).  The Utt-Grubbs started Carolina Farmhouse, changed the name to Cecil Mack and then Sam Utt-Grubb design.  Kelly Utt-Grubb & Sam Utt-Grubb d/b/a Carolina Farmhouse filed bankruptcy and was granted in November 2013.

You can also read an article that ran in the January issue of Angie’s List Magazine as part of the annual “Best/Worst contractors” package. Here is a link to the online version:

All my best!

To make it easy to find additional posts -


  1. Lynn, If you go to and scroll down, you will see an image for Carolina Farmstead. Go to that same website. Very strange....what is this other company that looks very similar to Farmhouse South? Did Kelly Utt-Grubb make their website and then make another website using the same branding for Sam Utt-Grubb?

  2. Thank you Lynn, for warning future customers that may fall into the Utts' furniture scheme that so many of us did last year. Sam and Kelly Utt lied to us, took the money we had saved and never delivered the furniture that they promised. They just stole our cash and disappeared. We regret the day we were fooled by their website and their false claims. We grew weary with their Carolina Farmhouse (and later Cecil Mack) lawyers until finally they filed for bankruptcy. It appears that they are attempting to do it again under the name Farmhouse South. Hopefully your blog will prevent other potential customers from falling into their trap. Sam and Kelly Utt are serious crooks.

  3. Seeing this latest business by these crooks makes me sick. I just can't believe they are at it again. People need to be informed about who they are and what they do. I often wonder what they did before the days of CFH and has this happened before? Then Utt-Grubs are completely delusional, they have never had any remorse for steeling from people. These people are criminal and need to be stopped.
    Please do your homework before ever paying for something before you receive it.

  4. I have just learned of their new 'endeavor'. I am wondering if it is legal for them to use a picture of my CRACKED dining room table that I purchased way back when it was Carolina Farmhouse. They went bankrupt before anyone could come around and fix it. This does not sit well with me.

  5. I was enough past customer who was burned by the Utt-Grubbs. Karma will get them though...

  6. So frustrating! We are yet another customer that ordered a table, listened and empathized with their personal stories about family hardships, and NEVER received our table. It was supposed to be our first custom piece of furniture that we had to scrimp and save for. I cannot believe they are allowed to open a new furniture business!!! Buyers Beware of anything with the Utt-Grubb stamp of dishonesty!

  7. The Utt-Grubbs open new businesses as often as they change underwear. Kelly is particularly good at marketing and branding, AKA scamming hard working and honest people looking to support local businesses. Don't trust anything with the Utt-Grubb name attached to it! They used lie after lie until they eventually claimed bankruptcy. They even used a family member's death as an excuse to not getting us our furniture, but never delivered even a year after. This isn't a case of good people going through a rough time... they continue to fool everyone with several different business fronts. Shame on them.

  8. UGH! We were similarly screwed by the Utt Grubbs - and never did get our table that we paid for. We are in the market to finally get one and lo and behold who is selling custom tables? Check out what Kelly Utt Grubb is up to these days: More in our online Artisan Store at Social media @thenameandi.

    I am so saddened as we saved up for this dream table and also wanted to support a small business. I will not lose faith in good decent people despite this horrific experience.

  9. I'm terribly sorry to hear that you were also taken advantage of by Kelly Utt-Grubb & her husband Sam Utt-Grubb. It's truly sad that they did this to many people. I hope you find the table of your dreams.


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