Founder and artisan woodworker of The Wright Edge, Doc Wright talks all things custom woodwork and building a dream career from scratch on the Woodpreneur podcast with Steve Larosiliere. Listen to Episode 133 of Woodpreneur on your favorite podcast app.
Originally published on Woodpreneur:
On this episode of the Woodpreneur podcast, we have the pleasure of listening to Doc Wright of The Wright Edge Custom Woodwork. Specializing in handcrafted custom woodwork & exotic live-edge tables, Doc has made a name for himself in the high-end custom market in less than 4 years of operation.
Doc studied geology at Texas Tech University and immediately began working in the oil industry. He always enjoyed working with his hands and began doing woodworking on the side as a hobby. Approximately three months after that, he was offered a job for $134,000 to build five custom conference tables, each with a different style and made from a different material. At that moment, Doc made the decision to take a risk and jump into woodworking full time. His client was so impressed with the work, they immediately commissioned a sixth table as well.
After completing this first project over the course of seven months, Doc explains that he had a panic attack and realized he needed to figure out how to make this new leap into a fully-fledged business. Despite enduring condescending remarks from friends and family, Doc recognized that he did not want to build small projects for small prices, he wanted to remain focused on the high-end custom market. This self-awareness paid off as he ignored the negative noise from others, and spent his time and money developing the image and business practices of his company. As he states, “If you want high-end clients, you have to look high-end.”
With his background in science and research, Doc focused on refining the aspects of the business to remove bottlenecks. By reducing the time spent harvesting, milling, and drying his wood he was able to focus on build times and acquiring clients. With this early understanding of his vision and investing time and money into his high-end brand, from business cards to his website and marketing materials, Doc was able to secure contracts from large companies like Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott.
Doc has learned from experience how to connect with the right people to do business in an appropriate manner. He was originally importing wood from a company in Los Angeles who would sell him a full container, which he would pay for as he used it. After almost two years, The Write Edge became their largest buyer, and he attempted to negotiate prices every few months. He was then approached by his current friend and associate Bernardo, who’s transparent business dealings helped Doc cut his overhead by almost half by simply bypassing the middle man. This sense of honesty and transparency is important to Doc and The Wright Edge and guides their business practices.
Doc explains that The Wright Edge is not a furniture maker; They create an entire experience. By taking pictures, and videos and providing updates to their clients of the entire construction experience, and subsequently providing those materials along with the actual product to their clients they create a true emotional connection to the finished creation that sets Doc and his team apart from their competitors.
Some of the best advice Doc was given comes from a friend in the high-end menswear industry. He was taught never to offer discounts or sales on his products, as that ultimately shows that they are not worth the marked price. He was also taught that when times are good, plan for the bad times, and when times are bad, be prepared to upscale when things turn around again. Doc’s understanding of who he is has allowed him to find the success that he has achieved, and as he moves into the new year, The Wright Edge will continue to grow and flourish with each step they take.
Learn more about Doc Wright and his works of functional art by visiting The Wright Edge Portfolio.