HOW TIM STARTED THE BUSINESS
Tim believes he got into this space by mere chance. He was in a really bad wreck in 2013. He was in a wheelchair for 7 ½ months and during that time is when he started building stuff, which resulted in building some stuff with reclaimed wood. They then contracted their first barn, saw how they were handling their woods and that’s how South East Reclaimed was born.
They’ve done 60 barns in the last 2 years but what’s shocking is that they never find the barn, the barns find them. Aside from being in the barn harvesting industry, they’re also on the manufacturing end. They’re trying to produce wall material by processing the lumber out and process it into wall materials. As a company, they don’t build anything. They stick to the aspect of the barn and that’s by providing the material which they do around the areas of South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
TAKING THE LEAP OF FAITH
He was still working fulltime for a builder until it got too hard to juggle the two. Tim called his manager to share the news that he was quitting. Although the manager was shocked, he let him go and Tim is incredibly happy with the decision because the business is so fun and doesn’t feel like a job to him.
BUSINESS CHALLENGES AND WHAT HE’S LEARNED AS A BUSINESS OWNER.
The biggest challenge to the business has to be moving stock. In South Carolina, it’s risky to leave lumber to sit outside for a day. This could mean getting mildew on it in a few days. So storing the lumber and moving them fast has to be the number one challenge.
Another challenge is educating people on reclaimed lumber. People know of its existence but they don’t really think they can get it. Unfortunately, there are some people who don’t really understand the meaning of barn wood and they’re selling all other kinds of wood calling it barn wood. Tim feels some real education is needed to avoid misinformation.
As a business owner, he’s learned to never lose sight of why he started the business. It gets overwhelming when sorting out aspects of the day to day running of the business, but understanding why you started it in the first place keeps you grounded and the business moving.
In future, they’re looking to diversify more into possibly everything since reclaiming seems to be a passing trend. He believes there are issues in the sawmill industry where the small ‘guys’ cannot be trusted by the big ‘guys’. They’re looking into being a full-service company and cater to the little guys and eradicate the problems they’re currently facing.