Mary Spiking is the President of the King City, Missouri, Chamber of Commerce, the owner of Country Creations Floral, and, with her husband, the owner of a 300-acre farm.
Melissa Miller is also a chamber board member and owns Miller’s Rustic Sawmill with her husband. Together, they have a 60-acre farm outside of town in the county.
In short, they are typical King City entrepreneurs—no one day is exactly like the other, and they seem to manage it all effortlessly. (They laughed at me when I said that to them).
The Chamber of Commerce
The King City Chamber consists of Mary (President), and four other board members. However, the chamber is not a full-time organization, as King City has approximately 1,000 people and the county, a little over 6,600.
“We’re all volunteers for the chamber,” Mary said, “we mostly promote local businesses as best we can, contribute articles to the newspaper, and work with the school to coordinate the annual Easter egg hunt.”
The Chamber organizes and runs a twice-yearly trash removal, which helps people dispose of large items that are often hard to remove—taking up space, like an old refrigerator or washing machine.
The chamber also coordinates with 4-H when they do trash and litter removal in the city and along the highway.
“We’re all very proud of our community,” Mary added, “and we’re always looking to grow and be better. We just completed the construction of a stage!” she adds enthusiastically.
The Chamber financed and built an outdoor stage for different festivals, and the old Lucille Theater from the 1890s reopened.
“We have plays put on now, and we love it,” Mary told me.
When I asked Mary and Melissa what they were excited about this summer, they quickly mentioned the 2nd of July celebration. Day at the Museum will be on July 2nd and will feature music, food, and fireworks.
“Now,” Melissa said, “let us tell you about our first annual Sawdust Fest!”
She explained that her business is putting on its first big event and that it’s expected to draw people to King City from around the country.
“We specialize in live edge hardwoods, and many of our customers are the DIY type. They purchase the locally sourced hardwood from us and create their own projects, but then we also get people looking to get an heirloom piece made, or something else unique and special to them, so we do that, too.”
Melissa owns a shop in town and a sawmill on their farm. “Sawdust Fest will see all kinds of artisans descending on King City,” she said. “Knifemakers, scrollsaw artists, chainsaw artists, and more. Plus, there will be woodworking demonstrations, shopping, and…” she paused and laughed a little, “we’re having belt sander races!” (Belt sander races are what they sound like; ridiculous and fun!)
There will also be a unique artist there known as a luthier, a person who crafts stringed instruments out of wood, and a local is coming back to town from Oklahoma to demonstrate how to make pottery with sawdust.
Sawdust Fest will be held in King City on June 17-18, Father’s Day weekend.
In addition to their website, Melissa started a Facebook group for customers to show off their creations called Millers Rustic Showoff Group. It’s proven to be popular.
Family and Future
Mary and her husband Larry have three boys, three daughters-in-law, and nine grandchildren. On the other hand, Melissa and her husband, Bucky, have a blended family of six kids. Both women agree—it’s future generations that motivate them in their roles for the chamber and community.
“We’re all looking forward to the future,” Melissa said before Mary finished the thought, “We do need more young people to get involved in promoting the town, but we’re seeing a new trend that we like. People that grew up here are coming home to raise families here, and that has been wonderful to see.”
A medical clinic is opening in town in 2023—Mary expresses her excitement to see a growing town. “More growth, more businesses opening, more everything! The future here is terrific,” she eagerly states.