Based in Scotland, JB Woodworks came from humble beginnings and has grown over the last seven years to become the huge success it is today. We speak to the company owner, Johnny Burns, following its receipt of the prestigious title for Best Woodworks Company 2021 – Glasgow.
JB Woodworks was founded in Glasgow in 2014 by Johnny Burns and specialises in manufacturing high quality custom wood pieces, including a range of gift ideas, watch boxes, wedding gifts, bar and restaurant items, custom interiors, furniture, bespoke wall panelling and signage.
It all began when Johnny moved into his first home and wanted to create something individual for his kitchen. He decided on a large butcher’s block with a simple tree design.
“Many of my friends and family began to ask where I had purchased it and upon learning that I made it, I had a few friends asking for their own custom design for weddings and gifts,” he explains. “From here on, orders from friends and acquaintances came flying in for their own personal designs and ideas.”
Johnny very quickly branched out into trying his hand at more elaborate builds and his business grew and grew from there on in.
“I owe my growing success to my friends, family and clients for challenging me with new ideas.”
The majority of Johnny’s work is bespoke one-off items that people want for their homes and cannot buy off-the-shelf. He makes a lot of personal items for clients to gift to loved ones, such as watch boxes, wine racks and memory boxes. Other clients are business- minded and want to add a little more to their own company, perhaps by having some unique furniture created, a feature wall designed, or bespoke signage which Johnny can brand himself using pyrography – the art of burning a design into wood.
As a one-man operation, Johnny faces the usual challenges associated with being a sole representative of his own business, however he is hoping to one day be able to bring more staff on board to help further develop and grow the company.
“I would like someone to add something different to my skillset,” he says. “Perhaps a steel worker who can work alongside me!”
But for now, Johnny remains a lone worker and, although he likes being accountable for his own success, he is quick to sing the praises of people who were there to help him when times were tough, such as the recent Covid-19 pandemic and the struggles associated with Brexit.
“Brexit saw material costs continue to climb, as well as a shortage of materials available too,” he explains. “A lot of my custom gifts are sent across international waters, which has become increasingly difficult with delivery costs and new regulations.”
In regard to the Covid-19 crisis, Johnny took the opportunity to grow his business and diversify his services and product offering.
“I figured that, with there being not an awful lot to do in my spare time out of work in lockdown, I’d be daft not using that time to take on more work and allow the business to flourish.”
And that’s exactly what he did! Now Johnny is in a great place for the future and has big plans to offer a much wider range of exotic hardwoods and linings. He also wants to develop and extend his line of watch boxes to aim at the luxury watch collector market and has an innovative idea to make his products even more desirable. “I would also like to include watch winder mechanisms for collectors looking to have their automatic mechanisms keep time when not in use.”
As he sets about bringing his plans to fruition and celebrates success at the SME Business Elite 2021 Awards, it is clear that the future is bright for JB Woodworks Glasgow.
For business enquiries, contact Johnny Burns of JB Woodworks Glasgow via www.jbwoodworks.co.uk.