The Buzz Behind Locally-Sourced, Salvaged Lumber

Take a quick look at an advertisement, and chances are you'll see a strategically placed buzzword like, "state-of-the-art", "craft", "limited edition", "artisinal or "small batch".

Basically, these words evoke exclusivity and, when effective, tap into some deep seeded need to feel or appear "in the know", so we are more inclined to buy.

These types of buzz words are different than, say "organic" or "fair trade" which (if being adhered to properly) follow an industry practice which is measurable and standardized.

Truth be told, that fancy jar, artisinal peanut butter, may just be peanut butter, no matter how you spread it. BUT, what if we could dive deeper into the buzz, and really understand the makers, local products and services around us?

Lately, I've found myself doing more and more marketing for Content's overnight accommodations and John's woodworking. And, inevitability I find myself pondering the same buzzwords that make our grocery bill higher from time-to-time.

New Jersey Shaped Cutting Board - Ambrosia Maple

For instance, here's our NJ Shaped Cutting Board made from locally-sourced, salvaged Ambrosia Maple.

But, aside from the hype, there are real benefits to these buzzwords- and yesterday, I had the opportunity to bring "handmade", "locally sourced" and "salvaged" to life with a trip to John's favorite sawyer - named Bob.

  1. 1.
    a person who saws timber for a living.

John & Bob

Bob's lumber yard is exactly as you would imagine. A half-dozen, bearded men, cutting and moving lumber into strategically stacked piles, that literally go on for acres.

I asked Bob how he kept it all straight, and he replied with a chuckle, "When I figure it out, I'll let you know..."

For John, this is a punch-drunk, pin-up, wood grain dream sequence.  But, it's also the core of Content Woodworking.

The wood John uses is all from New Jersey, and has been salvaged by Bob. "Salvaged" here means wood that was not harvested to be lumber, but ends up being cut down as a byproduct of some other initiative like, clearing a lot for construction.

I realize that buying local is not always an option, but when it is there are a ton of reasons why it's beneficial. Buying local strengthens our communities, directly supports other local small businesses (like Bob), creates and maintains local jobs, and reduces our carbon footprint.

So, buy local! Because chances are their buzzwords are more than just hype.