Husky Cabinet Company builds ‘dream’ kitchen
EAGLE-VAIL – “The class is designed to teach students how to run a small business,” says Battle Mountain woodshop teacher Eric Smith. The class he’s referring to is the “woods” class at the high school that requires two pre-requisite classes of wood technology before students are eligible.First, the students meet with potential customers to find out what those customers want in a kitchen or bathroom layout, or in a cabinet selection. Then, the students suggest possible changes, showing options and features of which the costumer may not be aware.Some of those options may include pull-out trash can, roll-out shelves, tip-out trays in front of the sink and turn tables. “Our designer then goes to the computer to do a … layout. She does a series of elevations of each wall as well as an aerial view of the cabinet layout,” say Smith, referring to designer Robyn Rickert.
After meeting with the customer and verifying the design, the customer signs off on the design and the entire class is involved in the pricing, ordering, mark-ups, door costs, labor costs and spread sheets — coming up with a competitive bid price. If it’s a go, the customer is then asked for a 50 percent deposit which allows students to begin the process of ordering, building, finishing and preparing cabinets for those customers. “We use cabinets as the selling product to let students understand the concept of how a person might start and run their own business,” Smith says.Rickert says that the class has very beneficial. “Not only have I been able to learn about carpentry and how to run a small business, but it has given me the opportunity to have a job while at school,” Rickert says.
“Also, I know the profits I make will go straight towards my education in the upcoming years. I have enjoyed this class immensely and hope that future students will have the chance to have this experience,” Rickert says . The students use all 3/4-inch melamine box construction on a 32MM Euro-style box and use BLUM hardware. “Using the 32mm-system incorporated in these cabinets make it easy to put hinges and hardware in,” student Joe Valdez says. The large selection of door designs and wood species offered are inticing to customers. “We feel we can give any client the best cabinet for the value and we are competitive with other suppliers in the valley,” Smith says. Profits made on the cabinets are returned to the students as scholarships at the end of the year or used to purchase trade tools for their future career path.
“Taking this class has shown me how to run my own small business, which maybe someday I will do,” student Ruben Carmona says.The program is supported by Thurston’s, Discount Cabinet and Appliance, North Star Lumber and Edwards Building Center.Vail, Colorado