By Trish Holder
Why I’m So Glad I Sourced Locally
From seed to completion, my kitchen cabinets never left the state of North Carolina. Not many people can say that, but I can, and it makes me very proud.
I’m a North Carolina gal with generations of North Carolina blood pumping through my veins. As goofy as it sounds, I’m happier in my kitchen because I’m surrounded by a product that was grown and made in my home state.
My cabinet boxes are made from North Carolina made plywood that happens to be made from North Carolina grown trees. My cabinet doors are made from North Carolina grown maple. My kitchen island and bar both have gorgeous wooden countertops made from North Carolina oak. Most, if not all, of my cabinet hardware was even manufactured in North Carolina.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Geez, who in the world is going to go to all that trouble to build their cabinets?” but it really wasn’t hard. I simply asked. Once my kitchen designer and cabinetmaker understood that I was trying to source local materials, they were totally onboard. They conferred with their wood suppliers about local choices and presented me with the species options. Done.
Was it more expensive? Not really – not when you compare it to the cost of any other custom kitchen cabinetry. Prefabricated, mass-produced components that almost never come from anywhere close by are cheaper. But people choose to have custom cabinets made all the time and when they do, selecting locally sourced wood can actually save a little money in terms of shipping costs and possibly even materials.
The “Feel Good” Factor
I have some really great North Carolina companies to thank for their help and enthusiasm for my initiative, including Distinctive Designs, Blackstone Cabinetry, Wurth Wood Group, Signature Custom Woodworking, and Columbia Forest Products (If only all my contractors had been so eager to satisfy my whims!). But North Carolina wood people are generally good, down-to-earth people and they had a true appreciation for what I wanted to do.
China (and other low cost countries) have not been kind to the wood or furniture business in North Carolina, and that includes the small family-owned growers, the wood mills, and the manufacturers. Building my home brought me closer to their stories and their plight. Suddenly it became very clear to me how one simple decision can impact so many. That’s when selecting my kitchen cabinetry became more than a decision about form and function. It became more meaningful. As a result, I feel differently when I walk into my kitchen.
There are literally hundreds of opportunities to support local industries in the building or renovating of a home, no matter what state you live in. I highly recommend giving it some thought and some time. More often than not, these choices carry less of an environmental impact as well. Most of all, they may just end up making your house feel more like a home.