Husband and wife team Truett and Eva Dellow first began their business journey together in 2016. At the time, the couple had great success creating bespoke furniture. It was whilst crafting one-off pieces for clients that they began experimenting with timber bending methods. Realising there was a gap in the market for remarkable designs and creative timber solutions, in 2019 their business morphed, and Curvwood was born.
“We collaborate directly with architects, artists, builders and designers to bring their inspired timber designs to life,” explains Eva of the business.
Innovating the timber business
At the heart of these creations is a timber known as Glulam (glue-laminated timber) – structurally engineered timber that is created by gluing together layers of wood.
“Glulam is our core focus, and our multidisciplinary team is skilled to create all sorts of timber projects from curved to straight, using various techniques and products,” says Eva.
Located in Revesby on the outskirts of Sydney, Eva, Truett and Curvwood’s small team of experts regularly collaborate with artists and architects to deliver first-class design.
Their latest product innovation is a unique timber called Bendywood®, which has undergone a steaming and compression process that makes it highly pliable and bendable.
“It is ideal for curved indoor applications and designs, such as spiral staircase handrails, furniture and art installations,” Eva explains. The product has proved an innovative solution for demanding designers. Eva tells Kochie’s Business Builders (KBB) she and Truett always wanted to operate in a niche market and solve problems that few could or would be willing to take on.
“Ultimately, we have a deep drive and desire to be ‘creative solutionists’,” she says.
Delivering creative solutions to the timber industry
This ambition to be creative problem solvers led them to launch Curvwood in the first place, with a vision of being part of the changing shape of Australian architecture, art, and design. And Eva explains, they also have one eye on sustainability too.
“We are passionate about creating a business that supports the global shift towards carbon-neutral building and construction and creating jobs and personal growth opportunities for our citizens, which all goes towards supporting the Australian economy,” she says.
“We believe that choosing to work with Australian manufacturers over international suppliers, where possible, is a huge opportunity for the greater good.”
Loving life as a family business
As for being a part of a family business, Eva admits it comes with highs and lows, but she says she’s grateful to share the ups and downs with her husband and parents (also co-owners in the business).
“The challenges, the joys, the decisions and most importantly the unwavering commitment and passion – we all share the same vision, values and drive to do whatever it takes to build, grow and thrive. We also feel it is important to set a great example to our kids about what it means to have the faith to back yourself and go for it in life and how important it is to follow their dreams,” she says.
While some may think working with family can be challenging, Eva disagrees, saying the main challenge for her like so many business owners is work-life balance.
“The main [challenge] would be switching off and not talking about work after hours, although I think that’s almost impossible when you run a business with your partner and parents.”
The impact of COVID
Like many small businesses, the pandemic has had a financial impact on Curvwood, but Eva says they always try to look at the positives.
“The main one being that we have been able to weather this storm, allowing us to keep going for our dreams, through and after the pandemic.”
Eva says they have used the state’s lockdowns and restrictions as an opportunity to refocus the business.
“We have used this time to work on our business plans, goals and get an even clearer picture about what we’d like the next ten years to look like. We are now putting things in motion that are big scary leaps for us right now, but we know they are the right ones for our future growth, professionally and personally.”
And as for being chosen as a finalist in Kochie’s Business Builders Australia’s Favourite Family Business competition in partnership with Prospa, Eva describes it as a dream come true.
“We are over the moon and feel so honoured and blessed to be included and recognised. But, at the end of the day, in true Aussie spirit, we are just ‘having a red hot go’, just like all the other nominees who are also following their passions.”
You can read more about Australia’s Favourite Family Business finalists here
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