Alabama Sawyer (Alasaw) is a field-to-studio furniture company based in Birmingham, Alabama. We transform salvaged, local hardwoods into enduring pieces of furniture and designs.
What makes your business one of the best small businesses in your community?
Our business and community engagement earned the state’s Chamber of Commerce’s “Best Emerging Small Business.” A table from our first offerings won Garden and Gun’s Made in the South Awards, bringing attention to Birmingham as a fast re-emerging city. We regularly collaborate with local artisans. Our solid first team, includes woodworkers with varied skill sets, including from a rehabilitative vocational program, and an associate from Venture for America, attracting new talent to the region.
Alabama has no municipal programs to reuse fallen trees. Many of these trees clog landfills. As trees decompose, they release carbon into the atmosphere. Alabama’s vast urban forest, the second largest in the nation, holds 41 million tons of carbon, approximately the same as 250,000 vehicles on the road for a year. By preserving fallen trees as wood products, Alasaw helps to decrease our country’s carbon footprint, making us a responsible to our community, locally, nationally and globally.
The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.
How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?
Victor is Alabama Sawyer's constant companion. He coached out business through Alabama Launchpad, activating his network of collaborators and previous benefactors. He read out business plan and arranged multiple practice presentations with a range of experienced mentors. He has counseled me through partner issues, funding needs and is always keeping me focused on future growth. We are currently working on finding a mentor for me and funding for our business to add jobs and to move into a larger space, appropriate for scaling our business.
Please describe the specific ways that your business has been successful and how it will grow in the next year.
We surpassed our 2017 gross sales goals by almost 100%. We upgraded equipment and already shown those efficiencies affecting the bottom line. We hired blue and white collar positions and have excellent employee engagement. We added health care and a entry level benefit offering for 2018. Our product line is growing as we integrate CNC capabilities to our process and knowledge base. In 2018, we expect to grow by 75%, move into a larger space where we can take on more volume, more efficiently. We have exciting dialogs with larger companies to provide product to existing marketing, distribution and warehousing channels, to simplify some of our growth channels.