Winter of 2016- LW Story, Post 3
Jobs through family and friends and community connections had kept us busy up to this point. New designs and creative ideas were plentiful and we took most any job to see where it would lead us. From day one, the most common question thrown to us has been, “Can you make this?” And our quick answer is “Yes!”, even before we know how we were going to make it happen…(not much has changed in that area and we love it!) The most complex designs have been coming our way since the beginning and we jump at the chance for those fun projects.
At this baby stage in our business, already starting to see that we really enjoy the design side of builds and the challenge of creating custom pieces. The mass production arena just didn’t do it for us then yet sometimes you just have to do the not so glamorous stuff to get to the fun stuff. We knew the small items in large batches weren’t going to take us to the next level. If it didn’t bring in good money or scratch our always creative itch, it’s never been within the vision of LW. That vendor fair opened our eyes to the vast array of options in woodworking, beyond what we were presently building. We weren’t sure where we were going yet knew this was a dream worth chasing!
We also quickly realized how time consuming the vendor booths were and that it was quite an undertaking to do them. Especially since we were doing them infrequently and each one was like learning all over again each time we loaded up for a vendor event. Early on we saw that the vendor booth lane of business may lead to great business connections and that was the main reason we keep going. And we were confident we would get better over time with making small items and get tuned in to the items that people will actually buy. So we could then sell more and make new relationships.
So to this point, we have figured out 1) we don’t like mindless. repetitive projects, 2) vendor fair lane is not our bread and butter 3) we thrive off being creative. So we have nailed down was is not our niche. But did we know what our niche was? Not at all. Being Creative is pretty broad… So we continued to do a few booths and got better each time. Pursued the connections we made at each and every booth. And we were confident that making connections were the secrete sauce. Beyond building cool stuff, a focus was put into pursuing those bigger connections with open eyes and ears.
Speaking of connections that led to BIG opportunities, we were looking for a reclaimed wood supplier at that time. Current projects had an immediate need for larger quantities of reclaimed wood so we found a lead through a Craigslist ad and set a time to get a load so we could get rolling on a fun build. Nick and Ryan went to get materials and what did you know… Ryan knew the business owner! An old friend from high school had just started this business so a partnership was quickly made with Old World Timber.
And they are still today our preferred reclaimed wood supplier today! We have collaborated together on many projects over the years and love their mission. Another one of those divine moments in the LW story . Great people to work with and this connection has helped us mutually grow our local community focused businesses. We both have big visions for the future and we love working with these guys. Who knew a Craigslist ad would point us to this awesome partnership?!? Just another part of the intricate weaving of the LW story!
The reason for needing that large load of wood was for our first large scale project in Spring of 2016. A local Event Planner and Rental company reached out to us to make a custom table design that would be more portable. We jumped at the chance to work with these friends of ours on this cool build. If you fast forward, this connection has lead to a super fun list of unique builds. Like a ticket booth for a PGA Golf event, Wedding arches, Wooden swing for wedding pictures, wedding centerpieces and more. This is definitely a connection that is right up our alley!
Check out pt. 4 HERE.