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C.M. Wood Works, Inc.

What is your definition of the ideal business situation? How about owning a thriving business that gets 100 percent of its work via word of mouth, in an interesting and creative industry that you love, all without a commute?

Chris Mazurk’s company C.M. Wood Works, Inc. (CMWW), located in a huge barn on his property in Deerfield, exemplifies this ideal. CMWW designs and builds gorgeous custom entertainment centers, cabinetry, bookcases and a variety of interior millwork.

How do you approach the initial meeting?
I always try to meet in the evening when things are calmer and clients don’t have many obligations waiting for them. Of course, I bring a portfolio, but more importantly I listen very carefully to get a clear idea of what they want. They often have an idea of what they want, but need help expressing it. Pulling out their ideas is really an art and is essential to this business. And since custom work prices are different from pre-fabricated items, I like to ask questions to delineate the difference between form, function and finance. I have found it’s a great way to get the discussion started. Their answer serves as a starting point to determine what is important to them in order to start the design process.

How much time is spent on the financial aspects of CMWW?
At least 30 percent of my time is spent dealing with business issues. I look at P&L’s to bring labor and cost of goods in line with project cost.

What do you see as CMWW’s biggest challenge?
The globalization and consolidation of the construction industry are the two biggest challenges for custom shops. Big companies like Home Depot want to be small too; they want the do-it-yourself market and the custom market. This consolidation of the construction industry mixed with the globalization of labor and materials is definitely tightening the market for custom shops like CMWW.

What do you enjoy the most about this business?
It’s kind of like music; there is always something interesting and creative to do. It’s a great blend of art and business. Every new project is a chance to design and build something new and unique that is functional, highlights the area and brings in some “snap” to the room. There is no greater satisfaction than blending customer ideas with our technical know how together to bring a project to fruition

To discuss any custom woodworking projects, call Chris at (847) 945-7689.