Passionate Hobby turned into Business
When Mike Crowder, founder of MRC Wood Products, was studying Management in college, he wasn’t quite sure where that would lead.
“Woodworking was a hobby I always enjoyed – it allowed me to work with my hands and be creative,” shares Mike. “In college, my roommate wanted to make an ambitious shelving project and we worked together to figure it out. We began watching episodes of ‘This Old House’. This sparked an interest in me.”
After graduating from college, Mike worked with his family to flip houses during which he perfected his building and construction skills. Soon after, he began designing and producing custom molding and specialized trim – a hobby that he transformed into a profit-making business by selling his work on eBay. This laid the foundation of core values for his current business as he provided quality, handcrafted work and excellent customer service.
“While I was selling trim and molding, my family out for my grandmother’s birthday to this ‘hole in the wall’ restaurant. After talking with my dad and shooting around some ideas, something my dad said stuck with me. He said, ‘Businesses grow by diversifying’. I decided that night to purchase a CNC machine. After researching on Etsy and seeing that no carved signs existed – I saw an opportunity.”
In 2010, Mike started his MRC Wood Products Etsy shop with his flagship product – personalized family name signs. Now, six years and 85,000 customers later, MRC Wood Products has grown into an operation with full time employees and a warehouse. Each product is carefully sanded and finished by hand allowing for several quality checks along the way.
Speaking to the core value of family within MRC, not only do they create and design family signs they also incorporate their own family into the production process.
“Family has always been hugely important to me. My wife works here as well as my mom and mother-in-law. We consider our customers an extension of our family and treat them as we want to be treated – with integrity and respect.”