Business Spotlight: Black Forest Wood Company
Black Forest Wood Company is a woodworking supply store that also sells custom tables and doors. They stock the largest variety of lumber species in Canada and are dealers for woodworking tools and supplies from top brand names such as Laguna, EcoPoxy, Tuff Tooth, King, PROXXON, Powermatic and more. Black Forest also teaches courses in woodworking, wood turning, and carving.
What is the Secret to Success for Black Forest Wood Company?
"The two main driving factors behind the success of our business include our unmatched knowledge and skills in the woodworking field combined with organic social media marketing," says Dylan Thomas, manager of marketing and design.
However, woodworking is a traditional medium, while social media is part of an evolving technological revolution. At Black Forest Wood, it took some time for the two worlds to come together.
"Looking back, we would have made the switch to social media marketing over traditional marketing methods much sooner," says Dylan. "Over the past two years it has been the most influential factor to our success and allowed us to grow much quicker than we were used to."
However, he points out that some things are better left unchanged.
The Black Forest Commitment to Quality Goes Unchanged
"We would never change our commitment to only using solid wood to craft our products. Many of our competitors use composite material, plywood, or particle board with a wooden overlay to cut down on costs. Not only does this diminish the craftsmanship, but it also greatly reduces the life span of the piece. Working only in solid wood allows us to provide a product that we know will last for generations."
Dylan continues: "On top of our commitment to only working with solid wood, we also pride ourselves in being very open about our processes. Many other competitors in the industry believe in trade secrets to maintain their competitive edge. We take the opposite approach. Utilizing our social media, we share every step of our processes and answer every question that our clients have. We believe bringing value to the community will have much more payoff to us in the long run than keeping secrets."
Succeeding as a Small Business in an Unstable Economy
Being a niche company can be hard when the economy fluctuates, but Black Forest's creativity in their products and processes keeps business thriving.
"Alberta's unstable economy over the past few years has forced us to become more innovative with the products we produce and the way we market them," Dylan admits. "Before we integrated social media into our marketing, 95 per cent of our jobs were for local Calgary clients. After the integration of social media, we now send about 90 per cent of our products internationally!"
Even with the international success, Dylan and his team know there is no place like home.
"My favourite thing about Calgary is the way our people love to support other Calgarians. It humbles us that our local customers have expressed how happy they are about seeing a Calgary company being recognized around the world. With our work being recognized internationally, it is always an inspiration to be able to represent our home town of Calgary."
Staying true to working with solid wood while being innovative and creative is now a hallmark of the brand.
"Our creative process always begins with the piece of wood. We select pieces that will fit the dimensions of the desired project and begin to analyze the piece, trying to establish how we can do it the most justice. Our goal is to showcase the natural beauty of the wood by carefully pairing it with other mediums such as resin," notes Dylan. "Our tables have been recognized by high profile brands and celebrities, allowing us to complete projects for clients such as Holt Renfrew, Marriott Hotels, Cadillac, EA Sports, and more."
Their courses continue to be in demand too.
Sign Up for a Woodworking Course at Black Forest Wood Company
"When you come to a course at Black Forest, our goal is to have you leave equipped with the skills and knowledge to complete your own project. Our courses provide hands-on training and are taught by individuals with years of experience."
This year Black Forest Wood has some exciting new projects on the go, including some that will be featured in the city's public spaces for everyone to enjoy. You can learn more about the company on their Facebook and Instagram (@blackforestwoodco). Also, stay tuned to YouTube for their soon-to-be-launched channel.