Siam WoodWorks’ manufacturing arm, Thai Fancy Wood, was established in 1974. The company received a special license from the Thailand Board of Trade which allowed it to harvest and export selected timber species. The company selectively harvested trees in Northern Thailand and Laos and then transported the logs down the Chaopraya River to Samut Prakan province near the Gulf of Thailand. A sawmill located on two acres of company owned land adjacent to the river milled the raw logs into rough timbers. Exported to Japan, most of these timbers were carved by craftsmen into Tokobashira, a type of decorative pillar featured in traditional Japanese homes and tea houses.
As the Japanese economy expanded in the 1970s and 1980s, demand for rosewood, teak and other exotic hardwoods increased. The company began to mill logs into higher value added products such as lumber, flooring, and related rosewood veneered products. In the mid 1980s, the company also began to manufacture wooden furniture and housewares for export to the United States.
While supplying building material to Japan was a profitable business line, the company sought to increase revenues by manufacturing and selling higher value added products, such as furniture, into the Japanese market. Siam WoodWorks would be required to manufacture goods that could pass Japan’s stringent import regulations. The company would also need to satisfy the exacting quality standards demanded by Japanese consumers. To meet this challenge, the company retooled its factory with high quality Japanese and European machinery. The company revamped and modernized its manufacturing processes. Workers were retrained to focus more on the quality of their output rather than quantity. An audit department was established to insured high quality control levels on the finished products. These efforts soon paid off. In 1989, the company began to fabricate and export rosewood furniture to Japan. One item in particular, an intricately crafted Budsudan rosewood altar made from hundreds of individually tooled pieces, proved to be very popular in Japan and in other Asian countries as well.
While Siam WoodWorks’ efforts to enter the Japanese furniture market were successful, the benefit of those investments proved to be relatively short lived. By the early 1990s, deforestation in Thailand led to increased costs and reduced quantities of rosewood, teak, and other hardwood species. At the same time, the Japanese economy started down the path of severe and extended economic weakness. This combination of higher input costs coupled with slackening consumer demand caused export sales to slow dramatically. Siam WoodWorks needed to seek out other opportunities.
In the mid 1990s, Siam WoodWorks began manufacturing various handheld percussion instruments and related accessories from the small quantities of rosewood commercially available. These instruments were exported for sale in the United States and worldwide. The company also manufactured boxes and containers for the giftware and housewares trades. As the cost of rosewood and teak continued to climb, the company began to create designs which utilized lower priced and more readily available types of lumber. Demand for these items grew, and eventually developed into the parawood packaging business which continues to this day
Siam WoodWorks continues to design, manufacture, and export high quality rosewood products milled from legally harvested timber under our original license. Siam WoodWorks also has the capacity to manufacture millions of parawood boxes annually. These boxes are popular packaging options for gourmet foods, artisan chocolates, wine and spirits, and tobacco products.