Devon Evers worked on his family’s farm while doing carpentry on the side. Requests for his carpentry items grew quickly so he did some praying, saved some money, and opened his full-time carpentry and preservation business called Crossgrain Woodworking in January 2014.
With advice from Evan Blakely of the Crawford County Chamber, and business assistance from Todd Rausch at the Western Iowa Tech Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Sioux City, Devon successfully grew his business.
Todd went over the basics of starting a business, helped Devon with financial projections and marketing strategies, and helped Devon find a good location for his woodworking shop in Schleswig. “I love working with Todd,” says Devon. “He appreciated my talent and kept pushing me to grow my business.”
Expanding his business, Devon hired two employees and, by his second full year in business, had doubled his sales. Sales increased by another fifty percent the next year and Devon anticipates doubling sales again this year.
Devon’s company doesn’t just make furniture. He says, “There are furniture builders and there are people who can take old barn wood and make furniture. We are a design company that works to represent your home or business and make it unique and what works for you.” Devon produces modern furniture with rustic elements, plus preserves wooden pieces and their history.
Most surprising to Devon is how many different people he meets and seeing what comes next. He trusts in God and keeps on taking bigger jobs like the huge project he did for The Stables at Copper Ridge, a wedding event venue in Denison. They hired him to build all their interior doors, stage flooring, tables, and more. It was a massive job for his business and a great showcase for his work.
The most challenging aspects of expanding Crossgrain Woodworking were opening a new shop, buying new equipment, and hiring his first employees. Devon said he couldn’t have done it without the advice and encouragement of the SBDC.
Devon definitely has future plans for his business but they change daily. He would like a showroom and design studio, wants to arrange finished pieces together in the showroom to show people how they can be used together, open a larger woodshop, and hire more employees. Devon isn’t worried because he knows he can go back to the SBDC anytime for more advice.
“The SBDC is the next step for anyone who has a vision or a hobby that they want to turn into a profitable business,” says Devon. “They know where the resources are and they provide the necessary connections.”