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Forum topic by nate22 posted 01-29-2011 08:39 PM 1489 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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475 posts in 2843 days

01-29-2011 08:39 PM

I was just curious on how busy you stay in your area that you live. Where I live it is slow for me. And when people do call or email me about my furniture they want it cheap or free. No one around where I live wants to pay the price for good furniture. But I just wondered how busy you guys are where you live.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

10 replies so far

View Colin 's profile


93 posts in 2778 days

#1 posted 01-29-2011 11:18 PM

Hey Nate,

I’ve never worked in your niche but I have a friend that was fairly successful. When I asked him about getting into making furniturer, he told me it requires a lot of travel. He finally gave it up not because he wasn’t making money but because in order to make money he had to be on the road the majority of the time.

The most successful marketing for him was attending high-end furniture shows. That was where he made his contacts. He only did a couple pieces a year, if that, for people that lived in our community. This was a while back when the economy was better so I would imagine that now it would be even more necessary to get out there and show your work. In other words, waiting for calls/emails and only selling locally probably won’t generate many sales.

The other thing I’ve been told is you have to market to the high end when making furniture. Bringing quality furniture to the average consumer is usually not a winning strategy. Again, not talking from personal experience but just repeating what I’ve been told by several people that have made a successful business out of making furniture.

Exporting is becoming a very real option, even for smaller shops. That’s more of an add on once you have an established business here though.

If you can find your niche, there is work out there. My business is growing because I found something that not many people want to do. Wood screen doors. I do entry doors as well but focusing on screen doors has helped me grow faster since there is not much competition.


View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 2912 days

#2 posted 01-29-2011 11:58 PM

I don’t do furniture like you but rather personalized items for children, babies and adults.
Last year sales were up over 7% from the previous year. and yes that year was up from the year before.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 2929 days

#3 posted 01-30-2011 12:16 AM

Nate aren’t you building for eureka and how is that doing? Is it down Also? I don’t try to make a living doing wood work, I’ve always felt it is a hobby. Although I did get wrangled into doing some roll top Desks year ago and made a little money but began to feel like I had to work and that took the fun out. Haven’t done one in 12 years now. Sorry to hear things are slow.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 2928 days

#4 posted 01-30-2011 01:33 AM

move over to belgium, in front of my villages woodworker shops there’s a collection of the latest bmw’s, juguar and porsche’s

View cabs4less's profile


235 posts in 2730 days

#5 posted 02-05-2011 09:20 AM

cabinet biz in my area is non existent did three kitchens last year and aint lookin to top that anytime soon.

-- As Best I Can

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3493 days

#6 posted 02-05-2011 05:09 PM

I have been rehabbing houses in Chicago for the past few years instead of building furniture full time. It pays the bills and for the higher end customers, I have been building furniture to go in the houses.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View Gator's profile


383 posts in 3644 days

#7 posted 02-17-2011 01:25 AM

I honestly believe that you have to build something unique to get your name out there, and then try and make a living teaching other hobbyists to refine their skills. The money is in teaching others, more than it is in building for others. Just my opinion.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View woodworksbyjohn's profile


87 posts in 2659 days

#8 posted 02-18-2011 05:12 AM

I’ve been making one of a kind furniture pieces and shown in a couple of galleries. I retired from teaching thinking that now I could go full time but the economy retired at the same time! Whereas I used to have a few projects every summer while working full time that hasn’t held true. I live in Las Vegas which is not a good market for fine furniture. Like someone else mentioned, most folks want it free and yesterday! I have had some success but not what I was hoping for. Keep your skills honed and when the market returns you’ll be ready.

-- John Visit my Blog:

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18249 posts in 3643 days

#9 posted 02-18-2011 05:47 AM

John, If you look at what is happening in Wisconsin, you’ll see why you have no market. Most people are wondering how to keep the house and eat. High dollar, hand made, fine furniture is the last thing on their minds these days. I was working on several rental units owned by a couple who have 2 restaurants in Seattle. They are wondering how to pay off the remodeling mortgages on the rentals and buy gas to get to work.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3861 days

#10 posted 02-18-2011 06:23 AM


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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