Building Eco-Friendly Bird Houses!
WoodLives has been building beautiful eco-friendly birdhouses since 2017, and we will take a look behind the scenes and see what it is like.
*Tell us about your small business!
I am running WoodLives since 2017 and since then, I have sold my handmade products across the world, from Australia, Singapore, and Europe, to USA and Canada. WoodLives uses mostly reclaimed materials to keep the embodied energy of the products lower. I have never even thought that I could run a small business, but after being encouraged by so many friends, and supported by the Business Wales, I took a plunge. WoodLives grows slowly but continuously, I am careful when making decisions that reflect the business and customers. Without appearing as conceited, I have never received a review lower than 5 stars.
*Tell us more about yourself
My name is Boris and I`m in my mid-30s. Since I was a kid, I had somewhat different views on life and was obsessed with Nature. At the age of 14, I started my own organic garden on 500 square meters and fell in love with entomology (science about insects). Next 10 years, I spent reading and learning about Nature and was deliberately bad at school, always on a “pass” level, except for my challenge’s most difficult subjects. My dreams fell apart when I couldn`t study what I wanted, so I graduated in Naval Architecture but have never developed a career in that field. In 2014 I have moved to Wales, and a new chapter of my life began. Wales is my home now and an eternal source of inspiration for my creations.
*What were you doing before you started your business?
After moving to Wales, I had to sort my life out and start from absolute zero again. In the meantime, I have changed a few jobs, developed my skills, and made connections. At the moment, my main job is working for an amazing forensic company and developing WoodLives. Needless to say, how busy I am, I also have 2 gardens, a demanding dog, and friends that I want to dedicate my time.
*What made you want to do this / How did you get started?
Friends. Whoever visited the house and saw the reclaimed wood wall that I have built in my living room, said that I have to start the business. I absolutely didn`t believe that I can do this, but after meeting with Business Wales, I found myself running my sole trade business. Needless to say that I was confused and scared, but truly believing in my dreams and visions paid off.
*What does a typical day look like for you?
After coming back from work, I dedicate my time to WoodLives, which is not just cutting wood and making products, but also collecting the materials. You will often find me on the local beaches collecting driftwood and old pieces of metal, also dragging palettes and old wardrobes in my small car. If you open up my PC, you will find a lot of open tabs about woodworking and websites to supply materials.
*Where do you want to end up / what goals do you want to achieve?
That is a very difficult question for me, as I don`t have the ultimate goat yet. I watch WoodLives grow almost daily, and I enjoy the progress that I have made. On this journey, I have learned a lot and have met many people, which makes me happy and grateful. I also remind myself to stop so often, reflect back and recognize how much I have actually done in my life so far.
* What are some of the more memorable obstacles that you’ve had to overcome?
Definitely my perfectionist mind. And also, my visions are often different than they “should be”. Very often I have to walk against wind, but I have mastered this skill since I was a kid and if I really want something, I`ll move the mountains to get where I want to be. Daily technical obstacles are easy to manage, the best is to leave the project when you get stuck and return to it another time when the mind is fresh. And use Facebook groups to ask questions.
*What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
If you truly believe in your idea, do it! Live your dreams and make them come true. Dream daily, get lost in your mental clouds, imagination is the beginning of creation and life is a canvas for our imagination. Always follow the heart, even if you fail, that doesn`t mean that you should stop dreaming more and more. Contemplate daily, ask people for constructive feedback, but don’t get offended by them, use them as supporting pillars for your own growth.
*What is your favorite thing about your business and what you do?
The fact that WoodLives gives me freedom, and an ability to express and engage with people. I also love the fact that WoodLives is very organic, I believe in what I say to my customers and the main motivation is creating and developing. I`d rather call WoodLives my extension rather than the business. WoodLives stands for people, art, and sustainability!