“Innovators Set the Standards Imitators Attempt to Follow”
When we first began manufacturing reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring and paneling there were only a handful of competitors who sold outside of their local area. In fact, we received many long distance calls because we were one of only a few companies who advertised in Fine Homebuilding at the time. When someone called Goodwin from Boston, California or places far from Florida, we often became friends. We talked a lot and truly got to know one another in the process of understanding their expectations and needs in a reclaimed wood product.
This was the 1980’s, well before the advent facsimile machines. The Internet and all the information and benefits it offers started to take hold in the 1990’s. That is about the time we hired a marketing consultant. Her first actions were to understand the competition so she could highlight our differences. After a couple of weeks she said, “I wouldn’t buy antique wood if I didn’t need it. The industry is too confusing. There aren’t any grading standards and a number of companies talk badly about their competitors.”
We did not like hearing this news. Goodwin adheres to the original standards from 1904 for our River-Recovered heart pine and cypress and 1924 standards for building reclaimed heart pine (the last published). Our grading terminology talks about plain sawn or vertical, specifies maximum knot sizes, growth ring minimums and other characteristics. Should we be calling our products by sexier names? Not us! But, we did dive into forming the Reclaimed Woods Council, a group of professionals dedicated to preserving the integrity of our industry.
What a great experience. We visited our good competitors and had the support of the National Wood Floor Association. We eventually came up with a list of ‘guidelines’ for about a dozen species of reclaimed woods and published some articles, particularly for heart pine, the most frequently specified reclaimed wood. The largest player ultimately became concerned that standards would enable companies to claim they met standards even if they did not. Thus, the Reclaimed Wood Council disbanded.
Although it is not mandatory to adhere to recommended guidelines and standards, Goodwin always has and always will. When you purchase a Goodwin, take comfort in knowing that you own a floor manufactured above and beyond the highest published standards. We invite you to put our wood products up against any other wood product available on the market and you will quickly see, feel and experience the “Goodwin Difference”.