“Tiny, but mighty” to win $250,000 for small and medium businesses
By Karen Binder and Julie TatePublished Apr 06, 2018 10:24AMThe $250 million “small business” prize in the first annual Small Business Innovation Research Awards has been awarded to a small business whose products were so effective at improving customer satisfaction and service that it was the best-selling piece of hardware in its industry.
The Woodcraft Company, based in California, won the award, the first of its kind, in recognition of its innovative designs and customer-focused approach to sales, according to Woodcraft founder and CEO Brian H. Woodcraft.
“This award was an honor for our team and our customers, who made Woodcraft the best business in the world,” said Woodcraft CEO Brian Woodcraft, whose company made its name in the 1990s and has been growing steadily ever since.
“They gave us a lot of work to do, and we’re very thankful.”
The award, which will be presented to Woodcombs CEO Brian P. H. Dickey, was announced in an online ceremony in New York, with Woodcraft and other winners also being recognized at the 2018 Woodcraft International Show.
“The WoodCraft team is very proud to have won the Small Business Innovations Award,” said CEO Brian Dickey.
“It shows that Woodcraft is at the cutting edge of what it means to be a successful small business.”
Woodcraft started with a simple idea: how to make things that make people feel better.
“When we were kids, we were taught to have fun, and if you can get people to be happy, that’s the whole point of doing anything,” said Brian Woodcraw, who founded the company with his father in 1992.
“We didn’t know it at the time, but that’s where we were heading.
And we did that at a time when the economy was struggling and we didn’t have much money.”
In 1995, Woodcraft created the first electric chair, a portable metal box that can be used for up to six hours, which was sold for $400 to help reduce the nation’s prison population.
It sold about a million units and became the No. 1 selling chair in the country.
“People were coming in from all over the world, asking us for a chair for their family, and that was a big part of our business,” Woodcraft said.
In 1996, the company launched its first home improvement store in Santa Monica, California.
The store attracted more than 400,000 customers and was the biggest of its time, selling more than 4 million chairs.
The company also pioneered a new generation of high-tech products and services that included cutting-edge 3-D printing, laser printing, and laser scanning, and eventually expanded into a new line of furniture.
“In the early 2000s, we had a hard time finding good-quality furniture, and in 2005, we started Woodcraft in order to address this gap,” Woodcrow said.
Today, Woodccraft is the second-largest furniture manufacturer in the United States, with over 1,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The company also offers furniture and home accessories through a network of more than 100 retail partners, including Macy’s, Target, and Nordstrom.
“Woodcraft has a very deep commitment to its community and we are grateful to the people of California for making this award possible,” said Leland L. McFarland, the Woodcraft chief executive.
“This award recognizes Woodcraft for its innovative solutions, and the people who made it happen.”
The awards were awarded to the Woodcrolls, the second of the company’s four co-founders, who each have worked for Woodcraft since its inception.
In addition to winning the award in the hardware category, the award also recognizes the Woodcos and the Woodcovers, who were selected based on the success of their products.
“The Woodcros are the backbone of Woodcraft,” Woodcorner CEO Brian G. Woodcorver said.
“I was fortunate enough to work with them in the early days, and I’m extremely proud of the work they’ve done over the past decade.”
The company was founded by Woodcraft co-founder Brian H., his brother, and longtime partner, Brian P., who grew up in California.
Brian H.’s father was the president of the California Air Resources Board and Brian P.’s uncle, Michael P., is the former CEO of the U-Haul trucking company.
Brian P.- who was born in Wisconsin- was a U.K. Army officer in World War II.
Brian H. was also the first chief executive officer at a large public company in his field of expertise, said Woodcorcorner Chief Executive Officer Dan Hough.
“Woodcraft is a leader in its field of business and in the technology space,” he said.
Woodcorner’s business operations include real estate, manufacturing, and construction.
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