I would like to welcome you to LumberJocks.com. I was born and raised in a small town centrally located in Slovakia. Brezno, my hometown, got its name from the Slovak word “breza” for birch. Arts and crafts are abundant in Slovakia and just as much a part of our history as they are today. Artisans influence our culture with wood carving and architecture. Craftsmanship in architecture, such as wooden churches as well as craftsman homes can be seen throughout our small town. My father, the owner of a construction company, influenced my love of architecture.
I began web design as a side job while attending university. During this time I discovered that designing websites was my true passion. I gained much web development experience after becoming a partner in the newline Creations LLC. My skills and responsibilities expanded to web applications and development, in addition to web design.
At that time in my life my fiancé and I moved to our new home, in much need of finishing. I spent many hours with my father‘s company as they transformed our living space. This renewed my interest in craftsmanship and interior design. It also sparked my interest in the amazing ability of woodworking artisans as I watched the process involved in renovations and in creating our custom furniture pieces.
This began the merge of my two passions, a passion for hands-on projects and a passion for building websites. I noticed while browsing home design and woodworking websites that while there were lots of similar forums, none were offing a high quality gallery worthy of displaying the wonderful creations and the steps involved in such craftsmanship.
I then realized, just as my father; the builder of homes and communities, I too would be a builder; a builder of online communities. My dream was to build project-based, user-friendly websites that would act as a gallery in which craftsmen would feel proud to use and showcase their talents.
After many months of drafting and planning, in 2006 the foundation was laid for LumberJocks.com. At this point, LumberJocks.com was merely a frame offering only projects. The website was launched and I was full of excitement as I sat and waited for the community to arrive.
I was suddenly standing in front of my biggest life challenge; I realized that building a community was more than simply erecting a structure. With no budget and just a dream, I would have to find ways to entice woodworkers who would understand the potential of this new website and encourage them to be the first to join my community.
Little did I know that my first members offered so much loyalty and support that they actually gave me the encouragement. These first members (you can still find them among our most active members) also provided lots of ideas for further development. Our community was growing.
In the first year, I expanded the site’s core features by adding Forums, Workshops and Blogs. These additions turned LumberJocks.com into first project based social network for woodworkers. We ended the first year with a rapid growth in membership and content.
In the meantime, my most active member Debbie Pribele, offered to me help in community management so I officially included her to my little team of two. Debbie has brought her great positive attitude and enthusiasm to our community and I feel this has attracted many of our members.
As with any community, growth and features comes with increasing expenses and the need for revenue. In 2007, I realized that participating in ad networks would not be the best long-term plan for LumberJocks. I wanted to ensure that high quality non-invasive advertising was being offered to our members.
I decided to find a dedicated advertising manager to establish relationship with LumberJocks.com as well as our advertising clients. Judie is doing an excellent job; as a result we already have many loyal advertisers that contribute to our success.
My little foundation had grown into a community, practically a small city of over 6000 members and yet I am still amazed at the friendships that have formed, the positive attitudes of our members and the community spirit that shines through.
Again, I would like to thank all of our members for their great community spirit and willingness to share information, experiences and endless knowledge. It is because of this immense community spirit and the friendly nature of all our community members that we have grown to be such a success.
I intend on continuing to lay the groundwork for more online, project-based social networks. In 2007 we’ve launched GardenTenders and later HomeRefurbers, both sites are managed by my friend Michal Bulla. There are more plans, more visions and more dreams.
I will continue in my efforts to create user-friendly project based websites and I am optimistic that our current and future members will sustain our great line of sociable common-interest communities.
In the beginning of 2011, LumberJocks Joins Escalate Media.