It all started with a barn and social media.
Jake & Lupe Latvala, owners of Ol Loggin Sawmill, have only been in this business for a short time and are already making huge moves along with their awesome team. Ol Loggin's team is considered famous in their field, creating works of art from damaged wood, epoxy, and a little bit of pigment. That’s not all though, as they now distribute materials and teach others how to be successful. Jake gave us a tour of the property and talked to us about their processes, products and team members, and we were blown away!
In the beginning, Jake was milling wood as a fun side gig while working for Walmart corporate. He milled his first 500 board feet of oak, decided to put it on Facebook marketplace, and 15 minutes later he sold everything he had. He told Lupe, “We might have something here!”
Jake noticed that he could create desirable products from damaged wood that no one else wanted. “People only want fresh, fine lumber. Holes and cracks are perfect for me because I can get free lumber and turn it into a work of art.”
By utilizing social media and the support of Jake’s family and team, this ‘side gig’ grew into a full-blown business selling and distributing wood and epoxy all across the United States and Canada. The Ol Loggin name quickly became known in this industry. When Jake first searched for an epoxy manufacturer, he found that there were only 3 in all of North America and 2 of them had their distributors whitelisted, so there was 1 left for him to take a chance on. He reached out to talk to them about what he was doing. Before he could even get the words out, they stopped him and said, “Jake, we need you more than you need us.” With Lupe's support, the relationship became official and the rest is history.
With the success of Ol Loggin Sawmill and Ol Loggin Epoxy, Jake and Lupe’s next project is bringing the team’s custom furniture and epoxy artwork into a real estate investment property that is available for short term rental on Airbnb and VRBO. The property is filled with unique custom pieces – wall art, sculptures, cutting boards, and anything else they create. Each item will be equipped with a QR code that guests can scan to purchase items that they like and bring them home after their stay there.
As you can tell, Jake, Lupe, and their talented team at Ol Loggin are far from stopping. He often hears, “Why are you telling people all your secrets?” His response is, “Because that’s not the bulk of our business. I want people to learn this stuff because they’ll buy their materials from us. I want to help people succeed.” Even their team is made up of entrepreneurs that are utilizing the Ol Loggin platform to build their own businesses while working there, welding and milling their way to success - and Jake couldn't do it without them.
With everything this team has accomplished in the wholesale world, Ol Loggin also provides products and kits to the general public. They have even produced a reusable mold that allows you to make your own cutting boards and serving trays. Although custom orders have a longer production time given the demand, they can recommend woodworkers that use their products to customers seeking a quicker turnaround. No matter what you get with Ol Loggin, you can guarantee it’s good.
Jake wants to leave a legacy that motivates entrepreneurs to do anything they dream of. He says, “You can make money at basket weaving if you want. There’s a following out there. But you have to wake up early in the morning and strive all day long every day to get to where you want to be.” He also wants people to remember that they don't have to do it alone. He is so thankful for his beautiful wife, family, team and the business they have all built together, and it all started from a hobby.