Port Alberni Manufacturer Gains Foothold In Japan With Export Navigator Help
PORT ALBERNI – Timber Tiles is making their products locally, and is now accessing markets globally.
CEO Mark Anson founded Timber Tiles in 2019 to create tiles for walls, backsplash and accents made from sustainably harvested Vancouver Island hemlock. Their tiles have been popular within the region and the company was recognized as the Wood Products Manufacturing Business of the Year at the 21st Annual Grant Thornton LLP Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards, and nominated for a 2022 BC Export Award in their Emerging Exporter category.
Now, with the assistance of Export Navigator, they’re selling their products in Asia.
“We had anticipated that would take two years for us to enter the Japanese markets,” says Anson. “With help from Export Navigator, we exported to Japan in six months.”
Timber Tiles now anticipates that most of their sales will be to the Japanese market.
“Our first sale to Japan was $10,000,” says Anson, who adds they’ve grown to eight employees. “Our next sale is expected to be $100,000. As we grow to 80% of our production capacity, we could experience $6 million in annual sales.”
The past five years of research has resulted in an innovative manufacturing process that showcases the grain and colour of the local wood while ensuring each tile is durable and lightweight.
“Our goal is to provide beautiful unique wood tile to the world,” says Anson. “To date, we have been approached by many interested distributors from around the world. “Each country estimates a demand that could exceed our production capacity from our first facility.”
When it became clear to Anson and his team that Timber Tiles could satisfy the needs of the international market, they recognized they would need help. Anson found that Export Navigator had been endorsed by multiple organizations, including the provincial government, and they started working together right away.
“Export Navigator has a tremendous network and wealth of business knowledge,” Anson states. “Export Navigator has given my company the confidence to seek out new markets, knowing that support exists to overcome hurdles and avoid obstacles. With Export Navigator’s help, you can generate an export strategy or business plan to support your company’s growth.”
By Mark MacDonald