Not unless you make your wood into furniture.
“The industry is a huge one. In 2010 we produced $4.5 million worth of lumber,” says Jim Henson, proprietor of Henson Wood. He estimates he used over 90 percent of his own profits to produce a year’s worth of wood, not including the costs of raw material processing and shipping.
“We make one product,” he says. “It’s only a few months after we manufacture, the next thing you know it is all over the world. If you look at the numbers we get, you will get a real sense of what the industry is like.”
According to Henson, over 30 companies now supply parts like flooring, windows, floors, trusses, casters, trim, beams, doors, and doors. Some of them provide wood for furniture, but a few more, in particular a company by the name of Lumber, offer furniture, doorsets and cabinets made of reclaimed wood.
Henson recently opened a new store in Columbus, Ohio, just across the county line from Columbus at the former J.S. Johnson & Son Inc. Plant. It will have over 25,000 square feet of retail space in Ohio and Washington.
“This company has done outstanding business over the years. We have been here many years and the customer relations and quality have been excellent,” Henson says. “We have had customers in the US, Canada, France, Austria, Germany, South America, and other countries.”
The store will allow customers to get wood work done without having to travel, and can still sell tools and other work supplies once the furniture pieces are delivered.
“We now operate in a different industry. You don’t think you can sell a piece of lumber and make a profit,” Henson says.
His business is a success, however. Henson’s father, Thomas, took over the company in 1975, after he sold his stock in the wood products supply chain. Today, he makes money on the sale of wood. His father still owns 40 percent of the company. Henson started this business in 1997, but he hasn’t really grown the business, in large part, because customers have been able to purchase wood directly from Henson himself, instead of going through his distributor. At one point he used to ship around 100,000 board feet of reclaimed wood per year.
“It was always difficult to sell reclaimed wood on the street. But they
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