Ad Sachan is an engineer by education, designer by disposition and an adventurer at heart. He went to college for aerospace engineering, left it for the gulf coast for relief work the year hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall. After a year and a half of that, he decided to take to the road to see small town America on his Schwinn. He spent the next few years traveling on his own or with organizations like Invisible Children and Falling Whistles, in cars, vans, RVs, motorcycles or bicycles. He eventually did receive his diploma and decided to start his own ventures, Treeline Woodworks.
How did you come about starting Treeline Woodworks?
I have been interested in reclaimed wood for a long time and been making things for myself or friends for a long time. After leaving the last job, it seemed like the perfect time to take a month off and jump into this full time. I found an investor that believed in the potential and all of a sudden I was in the lumber and woodworking business.
What is Treeline Woodworks all about?
Treeline Woodworks serves to be a fully equipped woodworking outfit based in Los Angeles, CA, specializing in working with reclaimed woods. We started in September 2012. We make a lot of custom furniture, entire interiors (residential, restaurants or commercial) and are in the process of launching our home goods and furniture lines.
How do create your woodwork?
From picking lumber to prototyping to larger scale production, everything happens in our LA space. Our lumber yard, shop and showroom is all in one place. When we start thinking thinking of a new product, it usually looks like this — I think about an idea for a fair amount of time, visualize, test, redesign it as much as I can in my mind and then it is time to cut actual pieces. We have all sorts of machines and the reason is that I don’t like to wait on an outsourced part. If it takes 3 or more days, chances are I’ll lose interest in that design and would rather focus on things I can do in house. Typically I think of an idea in the morning, get my lathe guy or CNC guy to cut the parts by lunch and see how we can put it all together by mid-afternoon. If it works, that’s great. If not, we try again.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future of your company?
We are working hard to create our own line of furniture and home decor and kitchen goods. At some point in time soon, I would also like to get into pre-fab housing and introduce affordable and modular designer homes to the American market. I would also like us to become a one stop shop for design needs of any scale.
What does a normal day look like for you?
There is no normal. Every day is different. The only thing common from day to day is how much coffee I consume. I try to spend as much time in the office/shop as I do outside of it. Be it running errands or making deliveries, or just taking the dogs out on a hike. In the shop, I usually make sure the next job is all lined up before the current one is done with. There’s always lots to do — client relations, operations, prototyping the next idea, locating the next source of lumber, exploring newer markets — if I get sick of something, I circle through it all.
And what do you do when you’re not working?
Finding a place where I can get my dogs off the leash.
What’s the best thing about running an online store?
Ease of use and quick testing of the market. I believe in rapid prototyping and testing. We do a good job in our shop in making ideas happen. An online store serves to be a good way to test the market with our ideas. I think Tictail has a great interface and customizability. I love how easy it is to use and you really can’t beat the price point. It’s good to see a company listening to its user base and be quick about implementing improvements or bolstering the functional or design elements that are already good.
Do you have any recommendations to other stores?
Keep it simple. Keep it clean. Less is more.