Recent Posts

CMA site updated and new discussion forums unveiled

The Cabinet Makers Association (CMA) has updated the design of its website. Its intent was to clean up the look and also the visitor experience, ultimately making information easier to find. Unfortunately during the transition to the new site, the CMA members only discussion forums were inaccessible for a short time, the association … [Read More...]

E-letter: What’s not to love?

So, here comes Valentine's Day, and what's not to love? Sure, the world's politico-economic environment has more knots in it than one of my dry-fly backcasts on a windy day, but such things never change. I have mentioned before that I beat the Valentine's Day Guilt Month 25 years ago with what I consider to be divine inspiration. I decided, … [Read More...]


Time Lasting Craftsmanship

Like salmon fighting upstream in the rivers of British Columbia, one shop in Vancouver is bucking the flow of cheap, mass-market products into Lower Mainland homes. By creating hand-crafted … Read More

Solid accomplishment

Profile: Brenlo Custom Mouldings, Mississauga, Ont. As noted in this issue's "From the Editor" department, there is a feeling in the industry that the glory days of solid wood are over. The … Read More

Colclo Custom Woodworking, Markham, Ont.

Seeing history through a window   Every once in a while Brent Colclough gets sentimental, and, when he looks down at the shop floor through the window of his upstairs office, he sees … Read More

Reader Forums


  • E-letter: Outsider tradingRick Koehn" Kerry, i have always enjoyed your writings as they offer a fine balance between our... " Jan 14, 9:59 AM
  • Bang for your duesBob St. Cyr" I have just retired from 20 years working in the industry and then 20 years... " Jan 02, 9:09 AM
  • The heart of a liberalJean-Claude Prefontaine" Hi Kerry, I truly enjoyed your article 'the heart of a liberal'. It is very... " Nov 11, 8:30 AM
  • The heart of a liberalAnita" What a great read! It pretty well sums up what so many have experienced and... " Nov 10, 1:58 PM
  • The heart of a liberalSteve" I really enjoy looking through the wood industry news and recieving the newsletter so I... " Nov 10, 11:55 AM

Line item: Safety — the cost you must afford.

A shop accident can blow up a business launch faster than a visit from a Ministry of Labour inspector. When embarking on creating a new wood shop, or even just keeping the doors open, ignore health and safety issues at your peril. Norm Keith, litigation partner at the Toronto-based legal firm Fasken Marteneau, advises that shop owners ask themselves “what are the direct and indirect costs of making you're sure you're compliant with the health and safety laws.” These costs are important t … Read More

Palm power: Ecommerce and the wood industry

In a vintage cartoon, Bugs Bunny wants to impress Daisy Lou and instantly delivers nylons using animation magic. “Your teeth are like pearls, real ones, no dime-store phonies!” he woos. Similarly, today when Joe Millennial taps a screen on a mobile device, he expects prompt delivery of his desired furniture. Daisy Lou, anxiously awaiting that new RTA armoire, is dutifully impressed when it arrives by delivery truck the next day. It does seem that these days the wood industry business is ope … Read More

Millennials: New perspective on customization

If Paul Revere was making a midnight ride these days to alert you, he’d probably be shouting, “The Millennials are coming, the Millennials are coming!” Actually, they are already here, so get armed to meet them head on. A global market research study by the consulting firm Accenture calls Millennials “a potent force” that spends US $600 billion annually now. By 2020, says Accenture, this will grow to US $1.4 trillion every year. That will represent 30 percent of total retail sales in the U.S., Ac … Read More

Face-to-face: Find the marketing mix that connects

To play on a famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, believing you build the best cabinetry, doesn’t necessarily mean customers will come. Keeping the pipeline full requires some form of marketing. In the internet and digital age, there are more marketing tools, avenues and opportunities available to you than ever before — from your website to Twitter and Pinterest; to Google Adwords; to referral marketing; to traditional direct-mail marketing and print ads. The challenge is figuring out the … Read More