June 24 2021 – Sam Barnes
Man oh man, with all the whack supply chain issues and the cost of wood going through the roof, we have to ask ourselves: "Are we crazy for making wood art?". The answer, if you ask Michael or me, would be a resounding "YES!". But is crazy so bad really? While this whole company started long before the wood decided to board an international flight to Tahiti and go SKY HIGH, it still feels like a valid question to ask ourselves.
So, as a small company, what can we do? Well, we have one choice really and that is to adapt. Or of course, we could choose to be swallowed up by the gears of the industrial economic machine. But, that doesn't sound too fun, so I guess adapt it is.
You know the cliché about needing pressure to make diamonds? Well, it seems like we should be able to crash the diamond markets with all the external force we've worked through over the years. Anyway... all the ranting aside, this whole supply chain issue actually produced something cool. An opportunity we wouldn't have otherwise seen.
As you may know, we are located in the absolutely stunning town of Sisters, Oregon. While this is a beautiful area surrounded by some of the most pristine nature the country has to offer, last year (2020), the land was ravished by forest fires. This led to a lot of downed trees which also led to an opportunity this year to repurpose otherwise destroyed wood.
While looking for a new wood supplier to create our Pine Pallet Art, we discovered a mill that was giving second life to these trees. It immediately stood out and was the perfect solution to our issue while at the same time giving another chance to the otherwise forgotten fallen trees. I'm happy to say that now we are getting rough-cut boards and re-milling them to create art out of destruction.
The stars must have aligned or maybe a butterfly flapped its' wings across the Atlantic because at the same time we started a Small Business Partnership with the National Forest Foundation (NFF). Suddenly, it became a full circle.
The process became this: we use downed trees from the Oregon fires to create art, we then sell the art, and with each piece sold we donate to the NFF. The NFF in turn, plants trees where they are most needed. Spoilers: areas with big fires typically need new trees planted because the fire, well, burns them.
You know what? It seems like all the cliches about producing something good through hardship may just be true.