HOW THE BUSINESS STARTED
Today, we’re talking to Steve Timmermans from EverWoods Designs. Starting part-time in early 2000, Steve decided to acquire his own logs for lumber at the same time that live edge was making a comeback. As a former biologist with a background in ecology, he transitioned from this profession into the woodworking career by gradually building his business over the past 13 years.
Steve started sawing slabs back in 2002, and in 2014 he decided to go full-time with his business, EverWoods Designs. Starting with a staff of two additional employees to help build the business, they were off to a great start.
In the beginning, they were milling mainly for their own supplies. It came naturally for them to source their own logs and this kept them pretty busy. Staying primarily on site, they were able to saw enough logs to sustain their own sales and furniture division.
The first piece of equipment that Steve bought was a Granberg Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. Using a double ended bar with a Makita 70cc on each end, he then synchronized the throttle on those by using a hand throttle and was able to get even RPMs that way.
Using the Granberg, a Woodmizer, and their Nile kilns, storage to protect these valuable tools became essential. In the beginning, they were fortunate enough to have a large pole barn that they used as their warehouse. As the business grew, they added to their space by erecting buildings known as “hoop houses” for further storage. They now have about 200 linear ft of hoop houses covering some of their inventory and increasing their expansion ability.
TRANSITIONING TO FULL TIME
Since the business has been developing gradually, the transition to a full-time focus on the business happened very organically and without much of a conscious decision. Keeping an eye on the markets and following the business trends in the industry, Steve kept at his work until it became a financially sustainable business. He also found it helpful that he continued to hold onto side-jobs that provided partial income while the business grew, in addition to his wife working full-time in her career.
Depending on the time of year, EverWoods Design has between 3-8 employees. Recently, in March of this year, they added a showroom to their business. The 7500 sqft showroom is located in St. Thomas, and it’s a sight to behold! This expansion has brought in quite a bit of exposure and interested clients, as well as beautiful Instagram posts! Located about 15-20 minutes from their milling site, it’s not too bad of a drive either.
FUTURE PLANS AND CURRENT CHALLENGES
Steve hopes to develop things further so that they have a smoother business flow that enables them to better serve the furniture and slab industry. As far as personal desires, EverWoods is hoping for increasing autonomy to use their own creativity with products and create one of a kind items- the kind of items that help “drive the ship” and define a business. Of course, they are still always interested in taking on their client’s custom requests!
The number one challenge at EverWoods Design right now is making choices about the future. Steve says that It really comes down to deciding where one wants the business to go. With this in mind, he notes that sticking to a business plan, deciding if you want to go bigger or stay small, and looking at the future while planning for the day is sometimes tough. However, the company is looking forward to what the future has in store!