A combination of factors increased our sales this year in a multi-facetted global wood products marketing campaign. Sure we have nice wood with a good story, but it is the hard and creative work by Timber Growers staff that has made our small local business a world-wide success. My choice is to hire really smart people, teach them a little woodworking, and give them the freedom to express themselves. My store managers in particular have taken Timber Growers to a higher orbit of sales success this year.
First, Amie Fisher and
Matt Van Susteren have taken our salvaged dead elm, oak, birch, walnut, & cherry timber and created a unique product line that people love to see and touch. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind work of art and love. Amie is a painter and Matt is a potter, but recently they put their minds to woodworking and have thrived.
One year ago they introduced our wood products on a website for hand made products - ETSY.com - and our internet sales took off in the month before Christmas. This year sales of Christmas gifts and ornaments became our main business – with an increase of 500% over last year. We have already hired more workers and I plan to double our production and staff again in 2012.
In addition to retail internet sales, Fisher and Van Susteren have developed a wholesale catalog of our wood products and are quickly developing that market also. Cutting boards and corporate gifts are popular wholesale products. Wholesale shows and working with manufacturing representatives are generating growing interest quickly.
The duo also has taken finished products to Retail shows in Chicago and Vancouver, gaining sales and exposure for their beautiful wood creations.
Local sales in the Timber Growers store downtown Spring Green and the flooring sales at Timbergreen Farm have not been sustainable in 2011, so the diversity of marketing programs and products has been essential to our business growth. We will keep working hard on the store and flooring installation business to promote the use of locally grown and manufactured forest products.
Beautiful, Artistic, Hand-Crafted, Natural, Sustainably-Harvested, Solar Kiln-Dried, Solid wood products command high market demand and value, allowing me to put a growing number of people to work, utilizing just a portion of the trees that naturally die each year in our 200 acre forest here at Timbergreen Farm. I choose to sell products that are as natural as possible, using the smallest tools practical, and maintaining the maximum amount of human touch and love.
Jim Birkemeier – Timber Grower!