Chaulk’s Rebrand Draws Global Opportunities
Chaulk Woodworking is marking its next chapter. After 15 years of operating in Northern Ontario, the Minden-based cabinetmaker has embarked on a rebranding and online expansion to reframe its services and reach markets beyond its cottage country locale.
Recently, founders and owners Trevor and Angela Chaulk unveiled their new logo and condensed name, Chaulk, as part of their bid to bring renewed attention to their custom cabinet manufacturing business. After years of adapting to meet the needs of its varied customer base, the duo felt it was time to clear up any misconceptions about what the the company’s name represented.
“In the beginning, I produced log furniture and did various woodworking projects out of my father-in-law’s garage. Over time, though, we started expanding into high-end custom cabinetry and other work,” recalls Trevor.
Eventually, the shop began taking on various low and high-end projects, drawing a diverse range of customers to their shop. This enabled the team to move into its current 5,000 sq. ft. shop, expand to a nine-person team, and step up its operations. Yet, while business was good, confusion over Chaulk’s product offerings began to creep in.
“Some customers started thinking we were just high-end cabinet makers and wouldn’t come to us for smaller projects, while others thought we were kitchen remodelers or contractors because of the woodworking part of our name,” Trevor says.
Further misconceptions arose when the enterprise opened up a new showroom location on the other side of the county called Chaulk Design Studio, which catered even more so to high-end custom projects. Initially, business at the new outlet grew by 40 percent annually, thanks in large part to clientele looking for big-ticket items. Over time, however, walk-in traffic began to taper and the Chaulks made the decision to close the showroom. “What we discovered after all those years of playing with our name without doing an official rebrand or relaunch was that it allowed for confusion to build up,” says Trevor. “Over time, people didn’t know if we only did only high-end, low-end, or both.”
“With this official rebrand, what we’re trying to do is change the narrative within our local service area and show people that we welcome all business,” he continues. “Whether you ask us to build one cabinet or a thousand, we’ll do it. Come on in.”
An E-Commerce Upgrade
Chaulk’s simplified name and fresh logo are only one component of the company’s rebranding. The team is also in the process of building its e-commerce platform to sell pre-configured packages (e.g., modular desks, TV entertainment centres, laundry and garage cabinetry, etc.) to buyers around the globe.
“We’re going to be offering a whole miscellaneous line of cabinets and accessories,” says Trevor, explaining, “but further to that, we’re going to be getting into where they can fully order their entire kitchen online.”
Eventually, Chaulk’s e-commerce platform will be enhanced to streamline and simplify the customer’s journey. This includes offering deeper customer support when it comes to design, sizing, and understanding the pricing options across various styles and materials.
Trevor also hopes that the website will draw attention from beyond Canada’s borders, noting, “this is our way of going head-to-head with overseas markets and getting the word out that we provide affordable, high-quality, and Canadian-made cabinets to anyone in the world.”
A Welcome Reception
Chaulk’s new images and e-commerce ambitions have been well met by its customers and community. With advice for other woodworking companies hoping to assert their brand, he notes, “whatever it is you do best, do more of it. Through all the years of us trying this and that, and flipping and flopping, we’ve found where our strengths are, and we’re more focused than ever.”
As for what comes next, the brand is confident that their refresh will clear any lingering misconceptions about what they offer while bringing new opportunities into their shop.
“We put out 100 kitchen cabinet projects last year, and within the next few years, our goal is to stay in that space and get up to about 250 kitchens a year,” Trevor declares, noting, “we’ll re-evaluate our strategy as we get deeper into things, but we don’t want to go too fast.”
For now, he adds, the company is intent on growing in the right direction and offering the level of service and product quality that people have always trusted the Chaulk name to deliver.
Matt Bradford is a writer, editor, and longtime contributor at MediaEdge, publishers of Wood Industry e-digest and magazine. He has spent years reporting on the wood and construction industries and values the opportunity to provide insights into the secondary wood manufacturing community’s successes, challenges, and opportunities.