Like most entrepreneurs, Unique Woodworks owner Timothy Smock has faced success and struggles throughout his business career. Now, he is faced with a fresh challenge of starting a venture in a new state.
Smock has learned what to do and what not to do after being his own boss. He has also discovered an enormous opportunity for his woodworking passion.
Unique Woodworks is known for custom wood signs, furniture, and myriad replications, as well as custom works with 3-D imprints, LED signs (glass/plastic), carvings and illuminated lithophanes. The lithophanes are a Unique Woodworks specialty, because they are one-of-a-kind. They turn his customer’s memories into tangible reminders that can last a lifetime.
Thanks to the expertise of the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for the Metro East at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, Smock has transformed his hobby into a growing business.
The SBDC was there to assist and reassure his needs and concerns of running a business in Illinois. He met one-on-one for a confidential, no-cost counseling session with SBDC Director Jo Ann DiMaggio May.
DiMaggio May supported Smock with referrals to accountants, attorneys and website design. They discussed marketing ideas, as well as some of his business goals.
Smock says, “Working with the Small Business Development Center has helped me launch a great start-up company in southern Illinois, and I would recommend its services to all who want to start a business in the surrounding area.”
Smock has been actively woodworking for four years. In April, he decided to pursue his woodworking hobby into a thriving business.
“Smock is highly skilled in his craft, and enjoys making beautiful wood and glass pieces,” says DiMaggio May. “His number one priority is customer satisfaction. I can’t wait to support Tim as he grows his business.”
All pieces are handmade, one of a kind and can be customized to your liking.
Smock’s products can be purchased online and at retailers in the surrounding areas. Retailers such as Stix & Stones in Edwardsville, Vintage Walls in Litchfield, The Almost Famous Boutique in Wood River, Highland Arts & Crafts in Highland, Farmer’s Market on the weekends in Maryville and Troy Produce Patch in Troy.
The Illinois SBDC for the Metro East assists start-up ventures like Unique Woodworks as well as existing businesses headquartered in the nine-county region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE as a service to Illinois small businesses.
By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the Metro East by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining new jobs and encouraging new investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.
To learn about the SBDC, contact the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at (618) 650-2929.