Green Tree 2002
When Jenifer and Don Green – co-owners of GreenTree in Delhi – decided to expand their furniture and accessories production, they looked at how their company had evolved and discussed how they wanted it to grow. The couple remodeled their studio and was producing well-built, attractive pieces on a regular schedule. But they wanted to design a whole new line for GreenTree, so they developed a plan to hire a technical apprentice to assist with day-to-day production. It was a big step for the Greens. Over the past ten years, the two of them built the business on their own. Don designs and creates the tables, candlesticks, and cabinets that established the GreenTree look and reputation for quality. Jenifer develops and launches marketing campaigns and business strategies to bring GreenTree products into peoples’ homes. “Don needed an employee just to handle the production end of the business,” Jenifer said. “When the Watershed Forestry Program granted us the funds to establish the apprenticeship, it freed Don to develop the new line.” And because the one-year grant to GreenTree covers the entire cost of the apprenticeship program – from advertising for the right person to salary and benefits to specialized training – it didn’t set GreenTree back financially.
Throughout the Greens tenure in Delhi, they have always used local vendors to build their business. Catskill Castings in Bloomville supplies the company with metalsmithing needs. They purchase wood from Pawlikowski’s Sawmill in Delhi and Wightman Specialty Woods in Portlandville, among others. And Galene Studios in Treadwell serve as GreenTree’s principal photographer. By hiring Delaware County native Steve MacClintock as their technical apprentice, the company continued its commitment to forging local ties and improving the economic climate for area residents.
Today, the apprenticeship program is past its halfway point and the Greens have already seen a big difference in the company’s productivity. “Our sales are up 20% from last year’s figures,” Jenifer said in late November 2001. “The grant enabled Don to devote more time to creating our new Studio line and Steve is an essential part of the team now.”
The next step for GreenTree centers on marketing the new line that Don has developed. In October 2001, the Watershed Forestry Program made a second grant to the company to cover the costs of photographing the pieces, producing a four-color catalog, launching a web site, and showing the new work at New York City’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May 2002. “It really helped us to take gigantic steps forward,” Jenifer said about the second grant from the WFP. “The show in New York is really the show for contemporary furniture and with the new catalog and booth, we are going to be fully prepared – on a professional level – to take GreenTree forward.”