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Meet Christian Spencer of Atlanta Specialty Woods in Kennesaw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christian Spencer.

Atlanta Specialty Woods was founded in January of 2009 by G. Christian Spencer a native resident of Marietta, Georgia. After 10 years in the golf business Mr. Spencer finished his Communications degree at Kennesaw State University and went to work for a business reclaiming antique heart pine. He was the general manager for the 30-year-old company and helped it grow from $600K gross sales to $1.7M in just 2 years. After 3 years with that company Mr. Spencer left that company and started his own company with new ideals and a totally different mindset. In January of 2009 Atlanta Specialty Woods was born. No different from many new companies, ASW began operating with no warehouse and just a few samples in a pickup truck. Clients began to put a premium on choosing material in person and the search for the first warehouse was under way.

In 2010, an 800-square foot warehouse was found in Marietta, Mr. Spencer and a contractor/friend of his moved in together to share the space. Mr. Spencer selling wood and the friend was in the glass cleaning business. As the owner of a brand-new business, all of the responsibilities fell on Mr. Spencer. Experiencing steady growth of his new business, Mr. Spencer needed help and found it through friends and local staffing agencies. The company continued to grow and the two roommates found a building in Kennesaw, GA which was 4 times the size. They shared that building and ASW kept growing. So quickly that the roommate was forced to find a new building due to the growth of ASW and how it was taking over 75% of the Kennesaw building which was supposed to be 50/50 split. ASW continued to be the best source for reclaimed wood within 100 miles of Atlanta. Clients were wanting projects to be built by ASW, so it began fabrication in 2013.

“We have gotten better people and better equipment in place since then and the products are amazing. Now in 2017, ASW has reached $1M gross sales and are still growing. We’ve gone through dozens of employees and feel that finally, we have a great crew.”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Putting policies and procedures in place is difficult. Hiring and firing staff is difficult. Managing the exposure and ever-increasing expenses and costs are difficult. Trying to make everyone happy is difficult.

Trying to balance time spent at the business and with the family is difficult. Trying to manage the books and the reports as the owner are new and challenging. Trying to get the most out of your staff all of the time and keeping them motivated is difficult. Dealing with multitudes of sales people wanting to sell you insurance or office cleaning services or credit card processing or whatever is a waste of my time and difficult.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Atlanta Specialty Woods – what should we know?

We are heavily involved in the reclaimed lumber business and specialty new wood products. We specialize in timber mantels, beams, barn wood walls, barn doors, custom furniture, custom welding, solid wood for shelves, custom finishes, installation and more. We are currently adding an entire line of stained glass capabilities. What separates us is that we have over 60 years combined experience. We know construction and we know our products and how to best implement them in any space. Our products are only the best possible materials from the barn on a piece of property to the 1M+ square foot cotton mill that has stood for over 100 years employing the whole town and when it comes down, we procure the best materials from it to use in our projects.

I have been extremely proud of our consistency in communicating with clients either responding to inquiries in a timely fashion or submitting samples for pick up at our warehouse or taking them to the client. We are very much interactive with our clients and getting them the materials they are wanting for their custom project. We have design services, which allow the client to work with our designer at the space to guide them in the best direction for both aesthetic purposes and budget consciousness. We have done projects for Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Stars and Strikes Bowling Center, countless restaurants and custom homes, the new Braves Stadium (SunTrust Park), Dolly Parton Productions and the list goes on.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our product knowledge and fabrication skills, our consistency to do what we say we are going to do and not over-promising anything to anyone.

That can be a death-sentence when companies start making promises that they cannot keep. The word gets out and their reputation suffers and the business suffers.

We have an incredible staff that works directly with the client to get them exactly what they came to us for.

Our products are hand-picked for quality and history that allows us to provide only the best in reclaimed and specialty wood products. It is essential that we do not fall in love with every piece of old wood that is available as most of it is full of insects and rot and will lead to sub-standard quality and overall dissatisfaction from the client.

This is a very high-end, custom business dealing with a very discerning clientele and we have what it takes to keep them happy.

Pricing:

  • Reclaimed Timber Mantels – up to 6′ long – unfinished – start at $550
  • Reclaimed Oak Barnwood (kiln dried to kill bugs) – $10 per square foot random widths and lengths
  • Reclaimed Beam Packages – all kiln dried timber – $10 per board foot
  • Cypress Barnwood (not reclaimed product) – $9 per square foot random widths and lengths
  • Custom Barn Doors – customer picks material, finish, design – $35 per square foot
  • Custom Wood Shelves – customer picks material, finish, design – up to 2″ thick and 12″ wide – $55 per linear foot

Contact Info:

  • Address: Atlanta Specialty Woods
    3097 Carter Circle,
    Kennesaw, GA 30144
  • Website: www.atlantawoods.com
  • Phone: 770.710.8966
  • Email: info@atlantawoods.com
  • Instagram: @atlantawoods.com
  • Facebook: @atlantawoods.com
  • Twitter: @atlantawoods.com

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Image Credit:
Atlanta Specialty Woods, LLC

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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