If you’re a long-time reader of Woodworker’s Journal, you might recall seeing ads in our pages for starting a home-based woodworking business through a program offered by Eureka Woodworks. It provides the business plan, essential jigs and templates and even the lumber and hardware required to help enterprising woodworkers make and sell outdoor furniture without the constraints and royalties of owning a franchise business. Harry Wilk founded Eureka Woodworks out of his garage in Corpus Christi, Texas, 15 years ago, then eventually moved the business to Dallas. Since that time, more than 500 woodworkers have developed their woodworking businesses using his methods and materials.
While the enterprising opportunities of Eureka continue, the company now has new leadership. Wilk retired this spring, and Marcelo Quiroga has purchased the company from him. But, despite a change in leadership, Eureka’s core business plan will remain as before, providing a turnkey solution for woodworkers who want to turn their home shops into small-business furniture factories.
Quiroga purchased Eureka’s assets — a state-of-the-art woodworking shop and CNC machines — from Wilk in April. He says that, going forward, the company’s five employees will continue to operate out of Eureka’s 10,000 square-foot facility in Dallas.
A lifelong hobbyist woodworker, Quiroga learned the craft from his Bolivian father who made small projects for use around the house. He also recalls spending time with his friends at a local woodworking shop where they made gifts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as other things to play with.
“I got the privilege to be my father’s helper, and that provided me with the very basic woodworking skills of cutting, sanding and drilling … I still have a small wooden red truck that my dad gave me on my sixth birthday,” Quiroga says.
That childhood interest in woodworking led Quiroga to pursue degrees in industrial engineering and then business. Those skills directed him toward leadership roles in both the corporate world and his own entrepreneurial pursuits. Then, in the early 2000s, Quiroga’s professional interests intersected with his woodworking “roots” when he founded Boltimber. It was a Bolivia-based company that developed hardwood forest plantations in Latin America with the intent of importing the resulting timber into the U.S.
“That project didn’t continue due to political instability in Latin America,” Quiroga admits, “but it got me closer to the woodworking world again.”
And those varied business experiences and training will help Quiroga move Eureka Woodworks and its business-owner “producers” forward, he says. “I can now (focus) my expertise in strategy, operations, marketing and finance to the entrepreneurs that invest in Eureka’s business programs and embark on pursuing the American dream of owning their own business and destiny.”
In a nutshell, Eureka offers everything a woodworker needs to get an outdoor furniture business started, aside from the workshop and tools they already own.
“We provide all the know-how, jigs, templates and processes to manufacture the furniture quickly, consistently and with quality. (We also provide) all the sales strategies necessary,” Quiroga explains. “Once a customer becomes a Eureka producer, they become part of the family; they will receive all the technical support necessary.”
One of the appeals of a Eureka furniture business, Quiroga points out, is low initial investment. Quiroga says an entrepreneur can invest anywhere from around $3,995 up to $21,995, depending on the breadth of furniture they’d like to build and offer their customers. That startup cost includes all the jigs, templates and training materials, plus the lumber and hardware to make the first run of furniture.
“Once a woodworker manufactures and sells the furniture from the first run, they’ll recover about 70 percent of their initial investment, making it one of the lowest investments in starting a business available,” Quiroga says. “And after they buy lumber and hardware for the second run of furniture and then sell it, they’ll fully recover their investment and start enjoying their businesses with jigs, templates and know-how for years to come.”
Unlike some other startup opportunities, Quiroga clarifies that Eureka business programs are not franchises. There are no royalties, restrictions or quotas that could impact profit and growth.
Aside from offering startup business opportunities, there’s a second prong to Eureka Woodworks that keeps its shop and employees busy. Before Wilk retired, he expanded Eureka’s efforts into a new venture of building and selling promotional products for other companies. That’s a facet of the business Quiroga plans to continue and grow.
“Our motto is, ‘If it’s made out of wood, we can do it!’” he adds.
Lately, the company has been building everything from traditional racks and displays to logo-branded doghouses and even kids’ lemonade stands. Some of their corporate clients for promotional products have included Bai probiotics drinks, Captain Morgan, Malibu Rum and Skyy Vodka, plus many others.
But, the company’s core business will continue to be helping entrepreneurial woodworkers get their home-based businesses up and running, he assures. “We will continue to add new pieces of furniture to our furniture lines, evolve our jigs and templates and help our producers gain bigger participation in the multibillion dollar outdoor furniture industry that continues to grow year by year.”
Quiroga is also spearheading home-based woodworking business opportunities around the world. Eureka is currently working with woodworkers in India, Colombia and Australia.
“If you share our passion for woodworking, give yourself the opportunity to try our program. Enjoy the benefits of being your own boss, control your schedule and pursue financial independence,” Quiroga says. “Knowing that you can dictate your destiny is the ultimate sensation of stability. A low-risk, high-reward and proven business opportunity is knocking at your door today.”
To learn more about Eureka Woodworks and its business programs, click here.