Whole Log Lumber Company Increases Profits by Recycling Antique Wood

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Company sales have soared, thanks to environmental stewardship and help from North Carolina's Small Business & Technology Development Center.

For almost 20 years our customer referrals were our only advertising

Whole Log Lumber Company -- based in the small mountain community of Zirconia, North Carolina -- is having a banner year and enjoying robust sales despite the economic doom and gloom that grips many American businesses. The innovative company recycles and sells authentic pine flooring and other gorgeous woods that are used in some of the most gracious homes in the USA.

Whole Log Lumber -- an active member of the North Carolina Green Building Council -- was recently featured as one of the top 10 client success stories in the annual report of North Carolina's Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC). With support from SBTDC the company has grown, expanded, and received vital financial and professional resources and strategic planning assistance along the way. The firm offers a beautiful diversity of authentic reclaimed and recycled woods including maple, oak, fir, redwood, and even rare chestnut.

"But long leaf yellow pine flooring -- also known as heart pine -- is our specialty," explains Jim Stowell, who founded Whole Log Lumber. "We have been operating our antique pine lumber mill on the Green River in Western North Carolina since 1984," Stowell says.

Antique and reclaimed wood is generally superior when compared to new growth materials because of its unique strength and stability. Clients can feel happy about supporting the environment, too, because no new trees have to be cut down to harvest the building materials.

In 2006 the Stowells began working in partnership with the SBTDC. After an initial Strategic Needs Assessment they set up a strategic planning retreat. "The retreat was wonderful," says Loy Lauden-Stowell. "It showed us how to identify our desires for the business and what we needed to do to get where we wanted to go. It provided a renewed synergy in the company by involving our management staff in the planning process."

The rest, as they say, is history. Whole Log Lumber's sales have soared, and now a number of new clients have been added to quite a respectful list of established clientele: from architects and builders to rock stars and sports celebrities. But remarkably the company thrives by word-of-mouth. "For almost 20 years our customer referrals were our only advertising," says Jim Stowell. "And repeat business is evidence of complete customer satisfaction."

To learn more please visit http://www.wholeloglumber.com, the company's web site.


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