North America’s Largest Woodworking Event | Tuesday–Friday | August 6–9, 2024


IWF Woodworking Today

The Dawn of Individualist Manufacturing

The trend of hobbyists and small businesses growing into wood manufacturing has been gaining momentum in recent years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. This trend is being driven in part by the growth of social media platforms and advancements in automation technology, which has made it easier and more affordable for small businesses to scale their operations and compete with larger manufacturers.

One of the key advantages of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube is that they allow small businesses to highlight their products and reach a wider audience. By using social media to engage with customers and build relationships, small businesses can establish a loyal following and increase sales. Social media also allows businesses to keep up with trends and customer preferences, enabling them to adjust their products and marketing strategies accordingly.

Trade shows such as IWF and automation technology have also played a significant role in the growth of sole proprietors and small business manufacturing. By investing in automated industrial machines, small businesses can increase their production capacity while minimizing labor costs. This enables them to take on larger projects and orders, while also improving efficiency and quality control. Automation technology has also made it easier for small businesses to introduce new products and expand their product lines, giving them a competitive edge in the market.

Some small businesses are taking advantage of the trend toward reshoring and bringing manufacturing back to the US. By investing in advanced manufacturing technology and processes, small businesses can compete with overseas manufacturers and offer faster turnaround times and higher-quality products. This also allows them to support local economies and create jobs in their communities.

Another factor that is driving the growth of both small businesses and sole proprietors in the wood manufacturing industry is the increasing demand for custom and handmade products. Many customers are looking for unique and personalized items that cannot be found in large retail stores. Small businesses are well-positioned to capitalize on this trend, as they have the flexibility and creativity to produce custom and handmade products that meet the needs and preferences of individual customers.

The trend of hobbyists and small businesses growing into wood manufacturing is a testament to the power of innovation and entrepreneurship. By leveraging social media platforms and automation technology, small businesses can expand their reach and capabilities, while also supporting local economies. This trend is likely to continue, however, it will not resemble the traditional ideals of manufacturing decades ago. With a younger generation questioning lifetime employment and technology leveling the playing field of manufacturing. The era of “individualist manufacturing” is upon us.


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Show Hours & Location

International Woodworking Fair
August 6–9, 2024

8:30 AM–5:00 PM*
8:30 AM–2:00 PM*

*Building A opens 7:30 AM Tue-Fri

Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd
Atlanta, GA 30313

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