Take To Heart owner Keith Starling with some of his specialty products. Middle: a worker in the mill.

Take to Heart carves out niche in specialty market

From timber frames to trim, Take To Heart fills specialty market with high-quality milled wood products.

It was a coup for Big Eddy-based Trapper Snowboards. Superstar snowboarder Travis Rice dropped by their manufacturing shop and picked up one of their Revelstoke-made snowboards last season. The clear topsheet is a feature of many Trapper snowboards. The see-through coating highlights the quality, locally-milled wood that makes up the core of their boards; it’s far superior to mass-market cores, which are hidden away behind graphics on purpose.

For Revelstoke specialty mill Take To Heart, who manufactured the core, it shows that there is a market and appreciation for high-quality craftsmanship combined with great workmanship.

I toured the company’s Westside Road operation earlier this year with owner Keith Starling.

Their small, four-person milling and finishing operation sprawls on an old warehousing site used to build the Revelstoke Dam.

Starling started peeling logs when he was a high school student, and has worked in many aspects of the forestry business since then, including bush and mill work.

Now, he concentrates on niche products like timber frame materials, high-quality finishing woods such as base and crown mouldings, snowboard cores and a range of made to order specialty woods.

(continues below photo)

PHOTO: At work in the mill. Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Times Review photo

This spring, Take To Heart was honoured with a special mention at the 2013 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards for their work on a high-end log home in Revelstoke. They helped develop an all-natural, insulated wood wall system, which was cited by the judging panel, “as an exemplary example of a truly green building. Constructed of solid-wood-wall panels and assembled with wood screws, the result is a highly-efficient building with little impact to the environment.”

Starling explains his success is based on intricate working relationships with the local industry.

He knows the suppliers and the suppliers know him; they help him find and access the right high-quality wood at the right price.

Flexibility is a key strength to his business. He can turn his operations on a dime to produce whatever the customer needs, and is available to do special orders and custom jobs.

It doesn’t look like Starling is done his journey through the industry. He shares his plans to make inroads the home manufacturing business and sees lots of potential to create a great, contemporary product that fits with the market’s demand for healthy homes.

 

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