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Meet Brian Grasela of Made Lumber in Morena Blvd Area

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Grasela.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, the business started like most, out of my garage about 6 years ago. I would advertise online and meet up with people after work, selling them slabs of hardwood for different projects. As time went by I noticed more and more popularity so wrote a business plan, crunched the numbers, found a building, and opened Made Lumber. The advantage I had was I spent a year in Fort Bragg, Northern California at a furniture building school called College of the Redwoods. The school taught me how to build furniture from these beautiful slabs of hardwood. In my free time, I would drive all over trying to get my hands on more and more material that I could eventually bring home to San Diego after school ended and, well it hasn’t really stopped. The only difference now is I don’t limit myself to Northern California anymore, I get material from all over the US.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’d love to say it’s been tough and a struggle but all in all its been pretty smooth. From day one people responded well to what we do, keep coming back, and spreading the word along the way. The biggest struggle that we do face is finding quality dry wood that has been handled with care. The main problem I’ve run into is when something becomes popular everyone jumps on board. I get a lot of calls from people all over the US saying they have slabs to sell me but they don’t realize the time and care it takes to dry the material. The rule of thumb is every inch of thickness is 1 year to dry, that being said most of our slabs come in at 2 1/2-3 inch thick. This takes about 3 years to become marketable….. that’s a lot of time to sit on an investment. The main issue with drying is people have been trying to rush the process by kiln drying material and this only stresses it and creates issues for the builder. We really try and get the best quality products out there because we aren’t only selling to builders, we are builders ourselves.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Made Lumber story. Tell us more about the business.
Made lumber is not only a lumber distribution, we are a fine furniture shop. As much as we enjoy selling wood to customers, giving advise and educating them about the wood, we love building as much as possible. Since not everyone is hands-on and wants something custom we try to help out if we can. We are probably most well known for our live edge tables, kinda comes hand in hand with selling large slabs. Even though that’s what we are known for it’s not entirely what we limit ourselves too. Our builds include bed frames, seating, side tables, mantels, desks, and just about anything that sounds fun to construct. As a company, I’m most proud of the response we get from our customers. Its really fun working in a place every day that brings smiles to peoples faces, as cheesy as that sounds.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Good question and a tough answer. I’d like to say we continue to move forward and grow creatively as a company. Since in the end, the building is what leaves a mark, I’d like to continue to see our designs and furniture in more places throughout Southern California. I know with all businesses trends are a concern but wood has always been a huge building material incorporated in peoples lives since the beginning of time. Its possible the live edge tables will lose interest but again I feel strongly people would much rather look at a beautiful piece of wood than anything else. Wood has a soul, its natural and no two pieces are the same….. how can you beat that?

Contact Info:

  • Address: 5334 Banks Street
    San Diego CA 92110
  • Website: www.madelumber.com
  • Phone: 619-260-8229
  • Email: info@madelumber.com
  • Instagram: @madelumber
  • Facebook: @madelumber
  • Yelp: Made Lumber Supply


Image Credit:

Chris Park http://www.chrispark.com

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