We cover the business and marketing side of the woodworking, sawmill, tree service, furniture making, Urban Wood, and woodworking industry. If you're a woodworker, sawmill owner, or any other entrepreneur and/or business owner in the wood industry, you need to check out this podcast.
Each week, we interview business owners, large-scale companies, entrepreneurs, makers, and designers while also offering marketing and business advice that will help you grow your business and increase your profits. Tune in every week!
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Carrie Nelson: 4 Chicks Furniture & Wood Art
“I could figure out how to make something out of, and kind of just one thing led to another, and a friend of mine suggested that maybe I start doing this for other people.”
Welcome to a brand-new episode of the Woodpreneur Podcast. Today, your host Steve Larosiliere is joined by Carrie Nelson from 4 Chicks Furniture & Wood Art. Carrie shares her inspiring journey from woodworking enthusiast to successful business owner. We delve into Carrie's origin story, her entrepreneurial spirit, and the lessons learned along the way.
Carrie's journey into woodworking and entrepreneurship began with humble roots, nurtured by her upbringing in a farmhouse south of Chicago. Learning the ropes from her father, she developed a knack for woodworking, which blossomed further after she found herself as the primary furniture maker following a divorce. With determination and creativity, Carrie began crafting furniture pieces from reclaimed materials, igniting the spark for what would become 4Chicks Furniture.
Listen now and get the whole story!
“Now I keep a very tight schedule, because you know, time is money and clients are waiting, and, you know, so it looks different now than it did then. But yeah, it's kind of like having a newborn.”
Transition to Entrepreneurship:
Despite having a degree in hotel management, Carrie's passion for woodworking led her to pivot from her corporate career to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams. The transition wasn't without its challenges, but Carrie's unwavering commitment to her craft fueled her drive to succeed. Her first client, a friend who commissioned a dollhouse, marked the beginning of 4 Chicks Furniture's journey, which eventually led to corporate projects and a thriving business.
As 4 Chicks Furniture grew, Carrie faced the challenge of balancing hands-on craftsmanship with the demands of managing a burgeoning enterprise. With a keen eye for organization and a flexible approach to scheduling, Carrie adeptly navigated the complexities of project management, ensuring timely delivery and client satisfaction. Despite the occasional setbacks, Carrie's commitment to continuous improvement and adaptability propelled her business forward.
Central to Carrie's philosophy is the belief in empowering others and fostering a collaborative work environment. By providing opportunities for her team to grow and learn, Carrie not only cultivates a sense of ownership but also fosters a culture of creativity and innovation within 4 Chicks Furniture. Each milestone achieved by her team members is celebrated as a testament to their collective success.
While growth and success are important, Carrie remains grounded in her vision for 4 Chicks Furniture. Rather than aspiring for grandiose expansion, Carrie values maintaining a personal connection with her clients and preserving the essence of craftsmanship in every piece created. For her, success isn't measured by wealth but by the ability to sustain a fulfilling livelihood doing what she loves.
Carrie Nelson's journey with 4 Chicks Furniture exemplifies the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and purpose. From humble beginnings in her garage to a thriving enterprise, Carrie's story is a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when one follows their dreams with unwavering dedication. As she continues to craft success, Carrie Nelson serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and artisans alike, reminding us that with determination and creativity, anything is possible.
Want to get in touch with Carrie Nelson?
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Steve Solo: Masterclass On Personal Branding
“You want to shift from social into marketing, your personal Facebook page is more than a social space. It's a marketing asset, this mindset shift is going to be crucial for you. “
Welcome to a brand-new episode of the Woodpreneur Podcast. Today's guest is none other than Steve Larosiliere himself! Today's workshop is all about personal branding, a topic close to my heart. I've dubbed it "Organic Lead Mastery," and trust me, the strategies I'll be sharing have helped my clients generate millions of dollars. So buckle up; we're in for a ride!
Personal branding isn't just about promoting your business; it's about amplifying your growth, nurturing client relations, and maximizing cost efficiency. Your personal brand is your beacon, guiding opportunities not only within your industry but beyond.
It's time to hear the complete story now!
“Once you start putting limits to life, or conditions in which you operate in this world, it makes it really hard to just just exist. Okay, big thing, document versus create. So sometimes you're like, Oh, my God, I don't know what to create, I don't know what to put out there.”
Understanding Your Audience
Your ideal audience holds the key to your success. Take a moment to reflect on your past clients – what do they have in common? Understanding their demographics, psychographics, and preferences is crucial in shaping your brand's narrative.
We'll delve deep into crafting your ideal customer profile, from age and income level to lifestyle choices and values. Remember, falling in love with your ideal client is the first step in building a meaningful connection.
Building Your Online Presence
Now, let's talk about leveraging social media for branding, with a spotlight on Facebook. With 2.8 billion active users, Facebook is a powerhouse for personal branding. Your Facebook profile isn't just a social space; it's a marketing asset, your digital storefront.
When it comes to content, aim for an 80/20 split – 80% personal, 20% business. Share insights from your woodworking projects, but don't forget to sprinkle in personal anecdotes, funny memes, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your life.
Crafting Your Story and Unique Selling Proposition
Your story is your most powerful tool. Craft it well. Share insights from your projects, celebrate successes, and embrace vulnerability. Remember, people want to do business with people – not faceless entities.
Optimizing your profile is crucial. A professional photo, a compelling bio, and a well-crafted intro can make all the difference. Showcase your work, highlight your skills, and engage with your audience authentically.
Want to get in touch with Steve Larosiliere?
Contact him through:
WoodpreneurNetwork Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/woodpreneurnetwork/
Acres of Timber Website: https://www.acresoftimber.com/
Stoked Website: https://www.stoked.org/
WoodpreneurNetwork YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@woodpreneurnetwork
Mathew Roth: Hawthorn Builders
“ We got to let people know who we are, and started talking to folks and we had some success doing, you know, like, we had some, we started talking to people and we just started to make connections. “
Welcome to a brand-new episode of the Woodpreneur Podcast. Today, your host Steve Larosiliere is joined by Mathew Roth from Hawthorn Builders. Mathew Roth's journey into the world of real estate began soon after college. With a background in investment development from NYU, he initially ventured into the realm of real estate analysis in New York City. However, it was his move to Boston that paved the way for something truly remarkable.
Teaming up with his neighbor and business partner, Mathew embarked on a journey fueled by ambition and a desire to carve their path in the industry. Their initial foray into flipping properties was met with challenges, yet they persisted, honing their focus on the suburban landscape outside Boston.
Listen now and get the whole story!
“We've had a pretty successful business now, for a long time it took a while to get it up. But we've been doing, you know, we've been grinding.”
From Flips to Flourishing Design-Build Firm
Their breakthrough came when they identified a niche in their local market, focusing on the school districts in Needham. By controlling properties and building homes tailored to the needs of the community, Hawthorn Builders found their stride. This marked the beginning of their transition from property flipping to a full-fledged design-build firm.
With strategic partnerships and a dedicated team, including the invaluable contributions of individuals like Jessica, who spearheaded their design endeavors, Hawthorn Builders flourished. They evolved from catering solely to their immediate market to collaborating with architects and designers, expanding their horizons while maintaining a commitment to quality and craftsmanship.
Embracing Evolution and Emphasizing People
Throughout our conversation, it became evident that Hawthorn Builders' success is not solely attributed to their business acumen but also to their unwavering focus on people. Mathew emphasizes the importance of cultivating a team and fostering an environment where individuals feel valued and supported.
Their journey underscores the significance of adaptability and resilience in the face of challenges. As Mathew reflects on the past 19 years, he acknowledges the unexpected twists and turns that have shaped their trajectory. From navigating market fluctuations to embracing sustainable building practices, Hawthorn Builders continues to evolve, guided by a steadfast commitment to excellence.
Looking Ahead: A Balanced Perspective
In an industry often characterized by relentless pursuit of growth and profit, Mathew's perspective offers a refreshing insight. He highlights the importance of finding fulfillment beyond monetary success, emphasizing the value of appreciating the journey and maintaining a sense of purpose.
As Hawthorn Builders charts its course forward, Mathew remains grounded, acknowledging the inherent complexities and uncertainties of the business. Yet, amidst the challenges, there's an unmistakable sense of optimism and determination—a testament to the resilience that defines their ethos.
The story of Hawthorn Builders serves as a testament to the transformative power of perseverance, innovation, and, above all, a commitment to people.
“I've found that what I've learned through therapy was, like, I don't have to, I can ask for help, like, and I don't have to shoulder everything, like I don't that's, and it's actually kind of dumb to shoulder everything. “
Want to get in touch with Mathew Roth?
Contact him through:
Michael Barrett: BarrettHomesChicago
“I knew all the neighborhoods and what people were doing and I still do that like that is market knowledge is almost free. and you just have to spend the time on it. And it's invaluable. “
Welcome to a brand-new episode of the Woodpreneur Podcast. Today, your host Steve Larosiliere is joined by Michael Barrett from Barrett Homes, Michael's journey from a college student to spearheading a company that boasts approximately $200 million in sales is not just inspiring but also a masterclass in perseverance, market savvy, and the art of building not just homes, but trust.
Barrett Homes was conceived in the dorm rooms of college, an idea that took physical form with the help of Michael's father. He supported Michael and his brother in forming an LLC and building their first spec homes. This early venture into the world of homebuilding, despite Michael and his brother taking different career paths initially, laid the groundwork for what Barrett Homes would become.
Listen now and get the whole story!
“We tried to just say a little bit ahead of what people are expecting. And, you know, the quality speaks for itself, almost every one of our homes that have resold the people have made quite a bit of money on the resells. “
Navigating Through Economic Downturns
The 2008 recession was a turning point for Michael. As the housing market trembled under economic uncertainty, Barrett decided to delve back into building spec homes. This decision, risky yet calculated, paid off. Selling their first project for about $1.4 million in such turbulent times was no small feat. It was a testament to the resilience and forward-thinking that would come to define Barrett Homes.
Establishing a Recognizable Brand
Over the years, Barrett Homes has carved out a significant niche in the Chicago homebuilding market. Michael emphasizes the importance of being visible and accessible, contrasting the anonymity often found in the industry. With a prominent office location, Barrett Homes invites people to connect, fostering a sense of community and trust.
Learning from the Ground Up
Michael's Chicago roots run deep. Born and raised in a city known for its architectural marvels, he drew early inspiration from his father, an Irish builder. This hands-on learning experience, combined with formal education in construction management at Purdue and invaluable industry exposure, laid a robust foundation for Michael's career.
The Art of Scaling and Differentiation
Scaling Barrett Homes involved strategic decision-making and leveraging connections. Early reliance on quality subcontractors, inherited from family connections, and a keen understanding of supply and demand dynamics enabled Michael to navigate the company through its nascent stages. Differentiation came from an intimate knowledge of the market, a dedication to innovative design, and a commitment to quality that resonates with clients.
The Team That Builds Dreams
Barrett Homes' growth is also the story of strategic partnerships and internal growth. Michael's brother joined the business, bringing his expertise to the fore. The hiring of a seasoned project manager from their father's network was another pivotal moment, highlighting the blend of familial legacy and professional acumen that underpins the company.
A Future Built on Values and Innovation
Looking ahead, Barrett Homes is poised for continued success. Their approach, deeply rooted in understanding community needs, market trends, and fostering relationships, not only with clients but within the team, sets a blueprint for sustainable growth.
Want to get in touch with Michael Barrett?
Contact him through:
Matt Outlaw: 731woodworks
“The misconception is, you can't do it. And then there's others that believe they can't, and they're the ones that believe they can, or they're usually the ones that succeed. You just have to be willing to put in the time and effort.”
Welcome to a brand-new episode of the Woodpreneur Podcast. Today, your host Steve Larosiliere is joined by Matt Outlaw from 731woodworks. In the world of woodworking and content creation, few stories are as compelling as that of our latest guest on The Woodpecker Podcast. A former sergeant with the State Police, our guest has transitioned into a full-time content creator, making significant waves in the woodworking community. His journey, marked by faith, determination, and a keen sense for business, offers invaluable insights into the power of pursuing one's passion.
Three years ago, on our very podcast, he announced his decision to leave the comfort and security of his job with the State Police. A leap of faith that, by his own admission, filled him with nerves and doubts. Yet, as he reflects on his journey, it's clear that his fears were unfounded. Today, he stands as a testament to the fact that with hard work and faith, it's possible to turn your passion into a thriving career.
Listen now and get the whole story!
“I love getting those when somebody says, hey, you know, I watched this video, and it really inspired me or, you know, just your demeanor or your attitude towards things are inspiring. I like those because those kind of fill in the hate to get because you're gonna get that too great, too to get away.”
Building a Brand and Community:
Transitioning from a structured job to the fluid world of content creation required a significant mindset shift. Balancing two full-time jobs at one point, he managed to grow his brand, 731 Woodworks, into a household name among woodworking enthusiasts. His decision to focus solely on content creation has not only allowed him more freedom but has also provided an opportunity for his wife to join him in this venture, further expanding their brand's reach and impact.
Content Creation and Growth:
Over the past few years, the channel has undergone significant changes, most notably in content delivery and frequency. By hiring editors and focusing on scaling, he has managed to increase the volume and quality of his content, thus reaching a wider audience. This approach has proved successful, evidenced by the channel's substantial growth in subscribers and views.
Challenges and Opportunities:
Despite the success, the journey hasn't been without its challenges. Finding competent help and diversifying content have been ongoing struggles. However, by leveraging his community and focusing on continuous improvement, he's managed to overcome these hurdles. Additionally, the introduction of physical products and a focus on diversification highlight his forward-thinking approach to business.
The Impact of Faith and Community:
At its core, the success of 731 Woodworks is deeply rooted in faith and community. The channel serves as a platform not just for woodworking tutorials but as a conduit for spreading positivity and faith. The stories of inspiration, change, and community building that emerge from his audience are a testament to the impact one can make through dedication and passion.
The journey of our guest from a state trooper to a celebrated content creator in the woodworking community is nothing short of inspiring. It underscores the importance of faith, hard work, and community in achieving success. As he continues to grow his brand and explore new opportunities, his story serves as a beacon of hope and a guide for anyone looking to turn their passion into a profession.
Want to get in touch with Matt Outlaw?
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Jim Carrigan: JECO Wood Finishing
“I started to see quite early on a real huge opportunity in this industry. Because there were a lot of makers, you know, small guys, maybe one or two man operations, maybe even grads type builders, that just finishing was not part of their MO and they needed to have somebody a good finishing partner, so that they could provide a finished product. “
Welcome to a brand-new episode of the Woodpreneur Podcast. Today, your host Steve Larosiliere is joined by Jim Carrigan from JECO Wood Finishing. A visionary who has carved a niche for himself in the wood finishing industry. Jim's journey from painting equipment in his early years to establishing a thriving finishing shop highlights not just his personal growth but also the evolving landscape of wood finishing.
Listen now and get the whole story!
“I started slow growing in my first shop, I think there were at most four of us working in it. Today, the shop that I have now has 15 staff, and two shifts.”
From Humble Beginnings to Industry Innovator:
Jim Carrigan’s foray into the finishing world began in an unconventional manner—painting heavy equipment during the gold rush era. This early experience, working alongside his father, laid the foundation for Jim's expertise with a spray gun, a skill that would become the cornerstone of his career. Despite starting in the painting industry, Jim's affinity for wood and the satisfaction derived from working with it led him down the path of wood finishing. This journey wasn't just about mastering a craft; it was about identifying and nurturing a passion that resonated deeply with him.
The Evolution of Jeco Finishing:
Jeco Finishing's inception in 203 marked a significant milestone in Jim's career. His decision to focus exclusively on shop work was driven by a desire to hone his skills in a niche market. This specialisation wasn't just a business decision; it was a commitment to excellence, a promise to bring out the best in every piece of wood that passed through his shop.
The relationships Jim established with carpenters, cabinet makers, and builders were instrumental in the growth of Jeco Finishing. These partnerships were built on trust and a shared understanding of the importance of a quality finish. For many of Jim's clients, a project's success hinged on its final appearance, a testament to the critical role finishing plays in the woodworking industry.
Navigating Growth and Embracing Change:
Jeco Finishing's journey from a one-man operation to a team of 15 staff members working in shifts is a story of calculated growth and adaptation. Jim's initial lack of a clear vision evolved into a strategic approach to business expansion, balancing the risks of rapid growth with the opportunities it presented. This cautious yet ambitious strategy has allowed Jeco Finishing to establish itself as a leader in the industry, setting standards for quality and innovation.
The Future of Finishing: Education, Automation, and Expansion:
Looking ahead, Jim sees significant potential for the finishing industry, particularly in the shift towards pre-finishing. This approach not only streamlines the construction process but also opens new avenues for small makers to compete in a broader market. Jim's plans for Jeco Finishing include exploring automation to enhance efficiency without compromising the artisanal quality that defines their work.
“The best thing that I can think about is do you remember when Steve Jobs would do his, like yearly talks with his, you know, black turtleneck and he'd show his innovation, but the people in the audience were his actual end users' customers.”
Contact him through:
Keep it going guys!
This is a great podcast.. full of knowledge
Such valuable insights!
I love listening to the conversations Steve has on this podcast. This is a really valuable resource for everyone in the woodworking industry.
Great, another middle man
These guys reached out to me trying to sell some sleazy lead generation program. The LAST thing this industry needs are more half-baked business coaches, gurus, and charlatans. Get a real job.