When a security guard uses a handheld metal detector at the just-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, chances are that it was provided by a small company based in Spotsylvania County.
LT Business Solutions, located at 4820 Southpoint Drive, won a roughly $100,000 government contract to provide the museum with gun safes, key locker systems and other security equipment, including the metal detectors, earlier this year.
“They did a search for a small, minority-owned business, an 8A government set-aside company, and called us,” said Teresa Moppins, LT’s CEO. “They asked if we could provide some of the products. We could. It was pretty exciting.”
Earlier this year she did a walk-through of the newest Smithsonian museum, which opened Saturday, to see where the equipment would go. While there, she got to see the reconstructed set from Oprah Winfrey’s TV show and the museum’s atrium theater that’s named after her. Winfrey was one of the museum’s major donors, giving it $21 million.
“It’s like, ‘Wow!’ It’s really nice,” Moppins said of the theater. “The museum is really out of this world.”
The $540 million National Museum of African American History and Culture rises in three tiers inspired by a Yoruba crown. It sits on the last undeveloped museum site on the National Mall. According to the museum’s website, it is “a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African–American experience.”
Moppins said it was “really exciting for a small business like me to be a part of it … Now I’m waiting to see how it came out.”
She said that she’s planning to take her 18-member staff to the museum soon.
LT Business Solutions has come a long way since Moppins started the company in her home 11 years ago. A graduate of Hagerstown Business College with a business administration degree, she’d previously worked for Permatreat in Woodbridge and then handled national accounts for Bayshore Allied, a moving company with offices in Dulles and Newark, Del.
Her fledgling company initially concentrated on provided administrative services, but branched out into government procurement after meeting someone in the State Department’s contracting office.
“I was telling them what I did, and they said, ‘Do you think you might want to give us a quote on some products?’ “ she said. “I said, ‘OK, what products?’ “
It turned out that the quote was for tactical equipment. Moppins said that she didn’t know anything about it at the time, but is a quick learner. She researched everything she could about the products, talked with vendors and submitted a quote.
“It took off from there,” she said.
Today LT Business Solutions provides administrative services, relocation and move management, warehouse management and logistics, and sells a variety of products such as tactical equipment.
“It’s all about relationships,” she said of her business’ growth. “I’ve done a lot of networking over the years. Once I got a contract or two, people recommended me for additional contracts.”