Lowell Innes founded American Woods in North Dakota's Red River Valley, with a steadfast focus on quality materials and customization.
Over the years, Lowell Innes' entrepreneurial spirit led him to create several successful businesses, from building homes to outfitting them with his own cabinetry. In 1982, Lowell opened his woodworking company, American Woods, in his lifelong hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota. With vast open land and endless farm fields, it's a place where people like to work and everyone waves at you from their trucks. "It's a great place to have a family and put down roots," says Lowell.
Lowell's high standard of craftsmanship continues with the long-term woodworkers who create the furniture with amazing attention to detail. For example, one artisan can beat the computer for optimizing wood use. Another has an unrivaled talent for color matching, though he humbly says, "I just know what 'good' looks like." To achieve a consistent natural wood beauty, along with overall strength and stability, woodworkers select and apply all of the wood veneers. "We don't use veneer that just meets industry standards," says Mark Cutshaw, the company's general manager. "We rely on relationships with suppliers we trust to find the most interesting grain patterns for our walnut or the perfect creamy color for our maple."
American Woods also draws on Midwestern practicality to reduce its carbon footprint. The concepts of zero waste, re-use and recycling are ingrained in the culture of the company. They use as much of the quality wood as possible, while saving scraps for other uses. And the facility is heated during harsh North Dakota winters with wood dust stored in seed bags throughout the year.