By Anna Grace Moore
Photos by Untold Imagery
Autumn brings forth a plethora of hues–burnt oranges, crimson reds, crisp browns that crunch beneath the weight of the world’s footsteps. The air, fresher in this season and with a hint of apple cider cinnamon, feels like a brisk breeze against chilled skin–bundled beneath layers of clothes.
Children say goodbye to the dog days of summer, as they embark on new educational adventures. Football fans rejoice for the glory that is college football–especially down South–has finally returned.
But, what autumn also brings that many often take for granted during other seasons is the beauty and warmth and fellowship that the Earth’s oldest element provides: fire. Fire is a binding element whose seductive warmth can consume any one room’s claustrophobic feeling, making every corner feel cozy–like home.
Autumn, often more than any other season, sees people sitting out around the fire, roasting marshmallows, watching football games and enjoying one another’s company.
Alabaster residents and artists Brian and Sarah Evans have managed to capitalize on such blazing beauty, creating a business that brings people together over a “simply lit” flame. Simply Lit Fire Pots was born from a desire for both Brian and Sarah to live the American Dream, with both of them leaving corporate America to work for themselves and provide for their precious family.
“It all started for our own personal enjoyment,” Sarah says. “Fire is relaxing. Fire is a conversational piece. It’s something that doesn’t require technology. To sit by a fire and it be without a T.V. or without additional entertainment gives one a calming effect–an escape. That’s what got us going.”
This dream turned into a reality in October 2022 when the dynamic duo created their first fire pot as a couple’s craft project. Brian’s brother soon requested two custom-made fire pots for his neighbors, igniting a catalyst for the creative thinkers to erect what is now a patio luxury.
“We used to like to relax by a wood fire,” Sarah says. “Through the process of building it and cleaning it up, at times [I thought], ‘Man, I wish we had something easier.’ When this idea came to be, we created it so it requires no prep, no cleanup.”
What makes Simply Lit Fire Pots different from ordinary fire pits is that first, it is entirely handmade of solid concrete. Brian creates his own proprietary formula and churns the concrete before molding it into shape and drying it in a climate-controlled environment.
The whole process just to make one fire pot takes about 30 days with about six-to-seven days spent on making the concrete, alone.
“They’re all handmade by yours truly,” Brian says. “When we do our pours, we can’t walk away.”
Sarah agrees, talking about “nurturing the pots into perfection.”
“We can’t do a batch and forget about it,” Sarah says. “You have to babysit it. You have to do certain things to get the product. When it’s done, it has to sit and cure for so many weeks before we can sell it retail.”
Another reason the fire pots are unique from mainstream fire pits is that the fire pots are cylindrically-shaped with a hole in the middle and require only a few ounces of isopropyl “rubbing” alcohol to be poured in and lit. The fire pots will stay lit based on the amount of alcohol poured in.
“The fire comes up out of the middle, so the fire is exposed to create ambiance and light the area around it,” Sarah says.
The “Sasquatch,” which is a five-inch-tall by eight-inch-wide fire pot that holds up to seven ounces of rubbing alcohol, will stay ablaze for about 45 minutes at the same height when filled three quarters of the way full. Normal charcoal fires will burn down quickly, only staying brightly lit for moments at a time.
“When you light a wood fire, you have a lot of light that’s given off at first,” Brian says. “Eventually, it burns down, unless you add more fuel to it. With the alcohol if you want a longer burn, we recommend filling it up to three quarters of the way full–max. [The flame] never burns down like a wood fire. It keeps your patio lit the entire burn.”
Wood fires let off an exuberant amount of smoke as well and require constant poking to keep the flames lit, Sarah says. Simply Lit Fire Pots require much less maintenance and keep up the ambiance a fire fabricates for several more hours, too.
Brian and Sarah’s best-seller, the “Phoenix,” is what they call their “table-topper.” The Phoenix is a four-inch-tall by five-inch-wide fire pot and can hold up to five ounces of rubbing alcohol.
The Sasquatch weighs 15 pounds, but the Phoenix only weighs 10 pounds. Either, they say, are a gift that one only has to buy once, one can use everyday and that one never has to replace–making the fire pots the perfect gifts for any person.
One of Brian and Sarah’s best customers called them after purchasing her first fire pot to purchase a second. She claimed she loved them so much and didn’t want to keep transporting them between her home and lake house.
Simply Lit Fire Pots may have started in Brian and Sarah’s garage, but the business has since expanded to retail stores including Alabama Goods in Homewood and Huntsville, Blair Pharmacy in Alabaster, Gifted in Pelham, The Florist in Chelsea and The Wooden Anchor in Leeds, too. When Alabama Goods expands to the Stadium Trace Village shopping center in Hoover, Simply Lit Fire Pots will be one of the first products available for purchase at the new location.
Although the couple is now busier than ever, they say they’ve never been happier, working together as a team. The only downside to their business is that they often have a lot of “heavy trash,” Sarah jokes.
“We work really well together,” Brian says. “ We love what we do. I don’t have a Monday anymore.”
While Brian focuses on the formula and bringing the products to fruition, Sarah markets the products, managing booking events and social media coverage.
“Our motto is that we’re better together than apart,” Sarah says. “We like to work, and we work hard for what we have.”
When asked if they would do anything differently, Brian and Sarah both say no–they’re happy to love one another well and love what they do, making products for other people’s enjoyment.
“Knowing that customers enjoy something that we create feeds our hearts and souls,” Sarah says. “It validates what we do.”
Their customers, Brian and Sarah say, are why they get to do what they love to do. To share something as sweet as working with the love of your life is an opportunity one should never pass up, and they have their customers to thank for that, Sarah says.