For Episode 25, our guest is Tom Loeschner from GreyWood Design.
GreyWood Design specializes in commission based furniture and some milling work. Tom provides a ‘tree to table’ service which is very popular with customers who love the concept of having a table crafted from the tree in their backyard.
Tom has a strong background in metal work which translates to his furniture pieces, almost all of which have metal bases.
Tom used to live overseas in West Africa doing consulting in sustainable forestry practices and advising on the proper running of sawmills. This inspired Tom to create his own slabs back at home in the United States.
While Tom’s primary line of product has been live edge slabs, he is currently diversifying into metal and wood designs and expanding into different types of wood for his furniture making. Along with the much-favored pine, Tom is producing items made from red and white fir trees and experimenting with textures and surfaces.
Having a mill of his own allows Tom to control the process of furniture production straight to the customer without the need for outsourcing. It also allows Tom complete control over sizes and specifications and more room for bespoke designs requested by clients.
Tom started with a Granberg chainsaw mill before moving up to a Wood-Mizer LT15 Wide sawmill and mobilizing it with a trailer.
Tom benefited from the Sawmill Business marketing course, it helped him realize the importance of putting time and effort into the proper marketing of his business, something not all sawmill companies do but they really should in order to be successful.
The current demand for sustainable and urban forest products and quality handcrafted goods is a golden opportunity that will bring good returns with commitment.
Tom talks about some of the positive takeaways from joining up to the Sawmill Business course, how it gave him a thorough understanding of how marketing techniques from other facets of business can cross over into the sawmill industry. Tom continues to use the private forums set up as part of the course to ask questions to peers and build a value-rich network.
Other takeaways from this class include the inspiration for Tom to hire a photographer. Tom now understands how professional images of his work can boost sales through his Instagram and sending them to potential clients.
Since taking the class, Tom has gone on to capture his biggest job to date, a large commercial order for 20 tables. He invested in a skid steer and GreyWood Design is now on the brink of being cash positive. A properly targeted campaign on Instagram is pushing up the followers and a steady network of Sawyers is growing by the day.
Tom recommends the Sawmill Business course for sawyers who don’t have a strong understanding of the digital realm. The clearly laid out worksheets and how to’s that form the curriculum of the course offer a precise path to marketing a sawmill business effectively to generate real profit.
Visit him at http://greywooddesign.com