In 2009, brothers Luke, Dane and Spencer Adamson sat in their Dallas garage blasting reggae-rock band Rebelution from an iPod, completing the final touches of their first custom made skateboards.
The Adamson brothers’ newfound hobby in that garage would later transform into Adamson Brothers Design, a business they did not know years later would be capable of helping an entire community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The now local company, owned by the three Texas State alumni, designs, constructs and sells protective plexiglass screens to local businesses throughout Central Texas.
“Once the pandemic started and everything started shutting down, we were kind of worried, and we were trying to think of what we could do,” Luke Adamson said. “We just kept seeing all these other stories of people with 3D printing machines making ventilators and stuff, so we [were just] kind of thinking about what [we can] do to help out.”
The brothers got their start in San Marcos when they started building skateboards for people around town during their college years. But the urge to build and utilize their creativity came from their childhood when they often worked with wood and other materials.
“We were building tree houses, and we really liked longboarding and skateboarding, so we started building skateboards for ourselves,” Luke Adamson said. “We’re completely self-taught.”
Now, Adamson Brothers Design takes on a variety of woodworking related projects such as metal fabrication, computerized numerical control (CNC), laser engraving, graphic design and product design.
After receiving acrylic plexiglass from one of their suppliers, the brothers sat down and developed a way to make the screens. Their plan was to produce the screens quickly and sell them for an affordable price, but the process is nothing short of complex.
The first step to building the screens is to visit the business, take measurements and determine if the customer will need a gap at the bottom of the screen. After the measurements are taken, wood is cut down, supplies are gathered and assembled and wood is sanded and stained to the customer’s preference.
A piece of plexiglass is cut and then attached to the wooden frame. The screen is then cleaned, delivered and installed with a goal of keeping two individuals from spreading germs to each other.
Adamson Brothers Design created the plexiglass screens for several local spots around San Marcos including Casa Maria, Gumby’s Pizza and several libraries throughout the area.
“It definitely provided a little bit of social distancing between the customer and our employees,” said Alex Robles, manager of Casa Maria. “It has helped us too. For those that are scared to go out, having those extra measures does make the customer [and our staff] feel safer.”
In addition to giving Casa Maria customers an ease of mind, the protective screens have helped the employees work in more sanitary conditions and keep electronics clean.
Similarly, Gumby’s Pizza, whose dining room remains closed, purchased the screens in an effort to keep the area more sanitary and bar crowds safe when it opens its front doors at night.
“It provides a physical barrier to keep people more mentally mindful of what’s going on but also keeps people literally multiple feet away from our employees,” Gumby’s Pizza owner Adam Higdon said. “We’ve worked with Adamson Brothers on multiple other projects in our store, and they’re just a really good local company.”
Adamson Brothers Design decided to keep prices low for the screens as their main goal is to help businesses during such a challenging time.
“The quicker we get through this pandemic, the better,” Luke Adamson said. “And the quicker that we can get [the screens] out, the quicker the stores can open. So it helps them out a lot.”
In the future, Adamson Brothers Design plans to work on commercial projects, big millwork as well as purchase a CNC machine. Regardless of what new project comes their way, their biggest inspiration remains the same—each other and the community they live in.
“I’m inspired by my brothers,” Luke Adamson said. “We all inspire each other and we love the community. We’ll probably be in San Marcos for the rest of our lives because we love it here so much.”