Want to make a profit in woodworking?
I was working at the post office after I obtained my degree. I wanted a career where I would be responsible for making most of my decisions. My dad had built boats, houses and many other large projects involving wood. He used his head and his talent to project his ideas into visual objects. Artists and craft persons were numerous in my family. My wife was an artist and a free spirit, willing to take a chance on her dreams.
My wife spoke and made inquiries to big mail order companies. She finally landed a contract to make the wooden boxes in which the company shipped their variety of candy. We had our beginning. From there we actually sent our own ideas in wood to the company which they eventually accepted and put into their catalog. We did a brisk business selling our products to this company. I was still at the post office. I would work all day at the post office and come home and work until midnight. On the weekends I stayed busy much of the time. The orders grew until I could no longer produce the orders by myself. We outsourced work in order to produce our product in a timely manner. I gained a contract from a local company that had business and were selling products on a national level. These guys were perfectionists and I learned quite a bit from them.
My wife used her artistic talent to incorporate herself into my woodworking. She was as big a part of the company as was I. My wife, being the better business person, used her business acumen to get us contracted as a vendor in one of the showrooms in the world trade center that was located close to our home . We became part of one of the sellers that had a permanent location at the center. Our business sky rocketed. They gave us ideas and we came up with some of our own. We stayed with this company until the owner passed away and our relationship with the new manager began to deteriorate.
We next opened a wholesale business in which we were show cased in 9 show rooms across the country and in some mail order catalogs. Business was booming. We ended up renting 2 adjoining suites in a business district close to our home. I worked in one suite with all of my power tools. We also had accommodating space for shipments of truck loads of wood and other essential items. The front part of my suite was used as a show room to exhibit our products. My wife and about 20 employees worked on the other side in another suite. We outsourced work which we could not handle ourselves. We produced over 350 items which were show cased in our catalogs.
My wife and I had small children and obligations other than a busy work schedule. We combined the two. I thought that we had reached a good compromise in juggling the two different aspects of our lives. Buying school supplies and thousands of board feet of wood simultaneously became routine.
After many years in the wood working business we moved on to other careers. I, like my father before me, enjoyed being immersed in the different fields of wood working. I still enjoy wood working to this day. I have built furniture for friends and family. Whenever there is a project that needs to be done and no one can find the object of their desire at the right price, I am called upon to produce the object of their fantasy. I have built room additions, free standing structures, kids play houses and forts. I have even had time to work on the object of my obsession. I built a hydroplane boat with racing capabilities which was not exactly the fantasy my wife had always dreamed about. I survived that experience. Today is our joint celebration of our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. We are looking forward to many more happy years experiencing life together.