Timbered Dreams: From Teaching to Crafting Wonders

Nothing is more fulfilling than pursuing the choice of your dreams. But often we feel confused about the easier and the daring moves and it takes courage to cross that energy barrier and reach out to the dreams that we saw. A childhood curiosity, a random article that we see, an accidental exposure, we wonder of the ways in which one finds the right niche. And here is an entrepreneur who turned his childhood fascination for wood into his profession.

In conversation with Aslam Muhammed Yaseen, who after venturing out into teaching gathered the courage to reach out to his dreams of starting a business. With his brainchild, he delivers fine furniture, personalized home decor, and amazing crafts, to add a tint of your flavor to your homes.

Brief us about yourself, your services, and your products.

I am an entrepreneur, running CK Wood Industries. I am an MBA graduate currently doing my Ph.D. in Marketing. I have a history of academic teaching. I have worked as an Assistant Professor in a college under the University of Calicut before I took up my dream of venturing out to a business of my own.

My grandfather and father were in the timber business. I was familiar with wood and timber, as I grew up watching it. As a child, I used to make things with waste pieces. And somehow gradually this idea came to my mind. But I didn’t have enough courage to start it on my own. I had qualified UGC NET during the final year of my MBA. So I decided to start off my career with teaching.Along with teaching, I learned about the wood industry and two years later, when I gained some confidence, I quit my job and started my venture, CK Wood Industries.

We provide all interior and exterior design works, using traditional wood as well as with wood substitutes such as plywood, multi wood, particleboard, etc. Each item we produce is 100% customized and personalized.

Where do you derive inspiration for your designs? Do you have a role model in this regard?
I love clients who let me choose the designs. The freedom that such a project gives you unleashes creativity within you. Whenever I get such a chance, I think about it day and night, and suddenly something amazing always comes up. Inspiration can be from anything…..from a pond to a piece of scrap wood lying on the floor.

As a role model, I don’t think I have any particular person. My ideas and methods are mixed. They come from many, not one particular individual.

Could you tell us about the team that helps you with the process of manufacturing and delivering your products?
We are a team of 7 people, including me. We started out as a group of just two. All except me are professional carpenters. Every one of them is truly loyal to the company, and the company is loyal to them too.

Where do you source your raw materials? Do you prefer working with the local woods or imported ones?
We have our own sawmill. We purchase local wood from the land itself. Then we bring it to the sawmill and cut it as per our requirements. Apart from that, we have several suppliers from different parts.. Working on both local and imported wood is fine. The knowledge on how to choose the right wood is what matters.

Your industry is such that wastage of resources can have serious repercussions. What are the steps taken to ensure that the wastage of resources is minimal?
We have a zero-waste policy. We are very adamant about the fact that we don’t take a step knowingly that could possibly have an irrevocable effect on the environment. Actually, you can’t possibly waste even a piece of wood. We use wooden pieces without proper shape for epoxy resin furniture. Very small pieces are sold to bakeries. And even the wooden dust is sold to plywood companies which will be reshaped to particle boards or MDF. So we are an environmentally conscious group of individuals carving out the beauty in woods.

Could you give us a sneak peek into what goes behind a product, right from design to delivery?
First, we have a long and detailed discussion with the client that ends with finalizing the design, material, price, and delivery date. Here, we take care of all their suggestions, and attention to minute detailing by the client is important so that the end product brings a hundred percent satisfaction to the customer.

After the advance payment, the next thing is finding the most suitable wood. The right wood is very decisive in the way a product comes out. Next, the work is allocated to the carpenter who has expertise in the respective field. Once the project is completed, it is delivered to the client

People are often concerned about the accessories that decorate their homes and office spaces. What are the products that you deliver under home decors?

We don’t have a menu as such for the home decor that we deliver. We never wanted to have one. We are the client’s designer. We try to deliver whatever is there in the minds of our clients. We offer everything including Kitchen cabinets, Epoxy furniture and arts, wooden handrails, furniture, and literally anything in wood. There was an instance when we even confirmed an order for a wooden curtain, which I believe is not a common request from a client.

Could you brief us about the epoxy resin furniture that you deliver?

Epoxy resin furniture is relatively a new entrant in the market. We are one of the first manufacturers of epoxy resin products in Kerala. The material made me so inquisitive that I learned myself spending several months and money on it, and I love working with epoxy resin. I am positive that we deliver the best epoxy resin furniture in Kerala and possibly south India.

Among all the projects completed, do you have one such project that was the most challenging and truly tested your limits? Could you explain why that holds this position?

Several projects come up in mind. Still, one wooden handrail work tops the list. That order came from a former client with a really challenging recommendation. The client wanted to finish the handrail in 7 days. We were not ready to accept the order, but due to a high recommendation from our friend, we had to take it. We worked around the clock to finish it. It was during the 2018 floods of Kerala. Many roads were blocked, with heavy rains and the power supply wasn’t consistent. We still managed to finish the work on time. The client was really happy, so were we.

What are your future plans and visions for your venture?

Our new workshop is under construction. That will allow more workers to work together with highly sophisticated pieces of machinery. My vision is to be one of the top in this business, providing personalized services in the industry. Making entirely different items each day is not an easy task. I want my company to specialize in that area.

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