When Newport resident Scott Shumake posted a video on TikTok of his one-of-a-kind, welded fire pits in front of Riverfront Park in Spokane, it garnered more than 50,000 views.
That was just the beginning.
Shumake, who founded Solid Fire Pits in 2018, was selling his sculpture-like fire pits at farmers markets, RV shows and barter fairs before joining TikTok to grow his business.
More than two years later, Shumake has sold fire pits to customers in more than 26 states as well as internationally and amassed more than 102,000 followers on TikTok.
One video received more than 1 million views in a day, landing a sale of 14 custom-made fire pits, Shumake said.
“It has allowed me to reach people all across the country and other countries,” Shumake said. “Without TikTok, I wouldn’t have met a patron who spent $20,000 in the last couple of years. He recently bought my largest sculpture for $10,000. Right now, it’s being shipped all the way across the country to Arkansas.”
Shumake’s fire pits start at $500 for the minimalist D12, which is about 2 feet in diameter and includes a grill and hook to hang a Dutch oven from its metal tripod.
Shumake’s largest fire pit, the 800-pound Dohemoth, costs $20,000 and is 7 feet in diameter with a 17-foot tall tripod. He also creates custom-made fire pits for to meet specific customer requests.
Shumake’s fire pits have a spinning feature incorporated into their design.
“Initially, I had intended that as just a novelty feature,” Shumake said. “But, it actually kind of rotates the air, stokes the fire and creates a little vortex of oxygen.”
It takes anywhere from a few hours to a day for Shumake to weld and paint a standard fire pit, depending on whether he has already cut metal parts, he said.
Shumake partners with Liberty Lake-based Paragon Metal Works to cut parts via machine for custom-made fire pits, he said.
Shumake, who began welding in high school, drew inspiration for his unique fire pits from a class project while attending Spokane Falls Community College.
“Our final project was to create a light and shadow sculpture, where the shadow would be the focal point of the artwork and the object itself would be made from repurposed materials,” he said. “What I’m really passionate about, besides artwork, is sacred geometry. So I used sacred geometry as a framework for the design.”
Sacred geometry is the study of spiritual meanings of various geometrical shapes and patterns.
Shumake took some of his fire pits to a barter fair in 2017 in Tonasket, Washington, and quickly sold out. That’s when he decided to start a business, he said.
“I was like, ‘Man, I really am on to something,” Shumake said. “Ever since then, it has been a game of getting into something as simple as farmers markets, shows at the convention center, RV shows, outdoor shows – literally just any opportunity to exhibit my work.”
Shumake will continue to post on TikTok, in addition to selling fire pits at in-person events, he said.
The most rewarding aspect of operating Solid Fire Pits is seeing reactions from customers via photos or videos online when they receive their orders, Shumake said.
“When they get it, they’re just so excited,” he said. “I love getting user photos because you see them in their element – in their own backyard, camping or on the beach and it’s just really cool.”
To learn more about Solid Fire Pits visit the company’s website shumakedesigns.com.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.