Last month, I visited the home of Paul & Linda Fulcher, publishers of Canadian Woodworking Magazine. (See the first part of this series). This week, I was able to ask some questions for the MsDebbieP’s Company interviews series.
The Canadian Woodworking Magazine was first published in 1995 and was black and white print on newsprint pages. The magazine was, then, a “freebie” given out at wood show, focusing on the province of Ontario for the most part.
Paul and Linda at that time ran the Brantford Wood Show. After eight years with this venture, they realized that their journey was leading them more towards publicity and away from the shows and so they sold the “Brantford Wood Show” business.
The purchaser of the Wood Show business happened to mention, during conversations, that she wouldn’t be able to run the show as well as produce her magazine and would have to sell the Canadian Woodworking Magazine business and, so, in 1999 Paul and Linda purchased the magazine.
The goal of the Fulchers was to use their connection made in the wood shows, their skills and interests in publishing to take the current magazine and make it a national publication. They wanted to work with Canadian writers and focus on the needs of woodworkers in Canada.
Two of the primary strategies to achieve their goal were to travel to all the wood shows, countrywide, to get their brand recognized and to work with a distributing company to get the magazine on the newsstands.
Today, the magazine is indeed available across the country and is published 6 times a year. The magazine is packed with tips, plans, tool review, and much more. Although the magazine is targeted for Canadian woodworkers, they have subscribers from around the world.
The best part of the business for Paul and Linda is knowing that they are able to help others achieve their goals. The feedback received from woodworkers at wood shows reinforces the positive impact the magazine is having.
The Fulchers also find it rewarding to empower their readers to network with others, not only learning from them but providing advice as well. For example, Paul says that when he gets a woodworking question in his emails, rather than simply answering the question, he directs them to the Canadian Woodworking online forum. Not only does he then get the reward of seeing the woodworkers join the forum and get the support they needed but before long they, themselves, become a resource to others, providing tips and strategies.
Paul & Linda go on to say that a third great pleasure is to see couples working together on projects, whether it is a “builder-finisher”, a “designer/builder” or “some other type of working relationship. They love seeing people share their passions, just as they do with their business.
The Canadian Woodworking Forum has been part of the magazine since the beginning but it has seen a lot of changes in the past two years. They have over 2400 members and Paul is proud to point out that they can have over 500 members online at one time.
“What is the vision for the future” is a frequently posed question at planning meetings. Their goals are to 1) draw from the knowledge of the woodworking community and to give back to it; 2) to provide information needed to help woodworkers develop their skills, their shops, and their dreams; and 3) to build better woodworkers.
TIPS FOR LUMBERJOCKS
What tips do Paul and Linda have for the LumberJocks? A direct quote says it best: “Connect with the woodworking community, to both pass on your knowledge and benefit from the knowledge of others. By connecting with the woodworking community you will draw from the traditions of woodworking, which embrace basic skills and techniques. Share inspiration with others who share your love of wood.”
-- ~ Debbie, Canada (http://www.execulink.com/~yohan)