you have a show room? Where is your business located? Just
recently I was given a gift certificate for your business.
I’d like to see your entire collection and I am hoping
to get a furniture piece for our baby’s room. (Our
first is due in a few months.) |
on soon becoming a parent. I apologize, but I really don’t have a show room and I don’t
keep a collection for viewing. I only make items that are
ordered (sold), and as soon as they are completed, they are
shipped. My product lines are viewable via pictures on the
web site. Most of the wood I use is common in the cabinet/furniture
industry. I do have a digital file with all the items I have
made. My shop is in a small town outside of Hartford, CT.
Gift Certificates are specific to an item, serving trays,
tray stands or file cabinets.
I went through your web site and see what
you do. It seems that the gift certificate is the Oak four-piece
serving tray set. I prefer Mahogany wood, which costs a bit
more. Is it OK if I pay the difference?
Your assumptions are correct. Order processing is as simple
as mailing the Gift Certificate along with a check for the
Do you make custom items and how do you price
I used to do custom design work. This work had inconsistent
work volume. Either demand was too high or too low.
How do you handle returns?
I don’t have returns. (Knock on wood!) It may seem
odd, but my clients are sophisticated enough to know that
the work I do requires a special talent, skill and desire.
The items I market have been through years of design and
product enhancement. These items are carefully packaged prior
to shipping. I have never had an item damaged in shipping.
In the event damage does occur, e-mail me the nature of the
damage. The owner can return ship the item in the original
packaging to my attention. If I can’t suitably repair
the damage, then I will replace the item at my cost. The
buyer is responsible for return shipping the item and return
If I send you the wood material, would you
make any of your items for me?
Yes. I have done this in the past and will continue to do
so. The biggest challenge is making sure the amount of wood
you ship me is sufficient to make your project. It takes
several email correspondences to verify material required
to make the item you desire. I do this every month or so
and the products are limited to Serving Trays and Tray Stands & Folding
If I want something made in a particular
type of wood that you don’t carry or don’t have
inventory in, would go purchase the wood to fulfill my order?
I sometimes have. It depends on my shop schedule. If you
want a walnut file cabinet and there is an opening in my
schedule for another cabinet, I may accept. To price this,
I calculate the board feet required, price the material to
market and email you a quote. If you accept, then we are
on our way. If my backlog is several months, as it is in
the fall, I may decline.
Do you sell any of the wood you rescue?
I sometimes sell wood. Depending on the type of wood, thickness,
length, quantity, etc. A number of local wood carvers and
wood lathe turners send me requests for blocks to use on
their projects. I get occasional requests for people who
are looking to repair a hard wood floor or furniture piece.
Do you have project kits that you sell?
No I don’t. I have thought of kits and decided that
I really don’t want to be in that market. The only
product I make that could be kit form is the tray stand.
In years past, I have made this tray stand out of pine, shipped
assembled, so it could get taken apart, painted and re-assembled.
I have made pine wood derby cars for cub scouts when they
had a mini-disaster in making their cars.
You only really have five products that you
sell. Why do you limit your product selection?
Actually if you were to look add up the different size products,
wood types and wood variations, there are over 250 different
items. In my earlier days, I did not have a product list.
I made what people wanted built for their use. Items ranged
from desks, dressers, entertainment centers, cabinets & chests,
cedar chests, bookstands, etc. Each project differed so significantly,
that there was absolutely no efficiency in my production
capability. Scheduling was difficult to manage & control.
The material I used, the lengths, widths and thickness’ led
to a lot of waste.
I am always looking to expand the product offering, only
if it can fit within the current materials range I have established.
It would seem that your business is at the
mercy of discarded wood. How often do you turn down orders
due to limited supply and do your ever have to buy wood to
save an order? How reliable is your wood source?
are only two reasons I have turned down work. They were and
are specific to shop schedule and material inventory.
Shop schedule may not have openings to prepare an item in
the time required, as many items are gifts for a specific
event. I accept work when people want to send me the wood
to make an item. People have sent me Walnut, Elm, & Catalpa.
My wood sources are extremely reliable. I currently have
enough pallet material for over a year’s production
in Oak & Maple. Every week I go out “hunting” at
my favorite sites. I have a source that sets aside Cherry
for me, rather that put it into a dumpster. His office has
a few of my products, donated in appreciation of his support.
Over the years, I have become very selective in the pallets
Do you have pricing for non-profits and tax-exempt
organizations? Do you ever submit bids for your work?
Pricing for non-profits and tax-exempt organizations is
the same as everyone else. When anticipated orders exceed
$ 2,500, I submit a written quotation that details work scope
along with a shipping schedule.
Why don’t you discount pricing for
non-profits and tax-exempt organizations? Wouldn’t
you agree it would be a good business practice?
When I first started my business, I donated pieces to fundraising
auctions, which are non-profit. I was charged to attend,
even though I made a contribution. This situation was certainly
intriguing, when all I really wanted to do is get a sense
for the value and interest of the item I created.
I could say that when I donate a piece for a fund-raiser,
I am more than discounting my work. (Also, the IRS does not
consider discounts as a valid tax deduction. However, a donation
How does an organization solicit an item
for donation at a fund raising event?
Just ask me. I do have some criteria that is used to evaluate
where and when I make a donation. I like to know the business
nature of the organization requesting an item.