He found the right suppliers and founded Rare Earth Hardwoods. REH produces everything from decking to custom cabinetry from exotic species of hardwoods. Zero Impact Brazil is REH’s production facility, allowing the company to supply wood directly to customers.
Since founding REH, Paid has gone on to create other businesses connected to his work with lumber. Amazon Timber Frames has become the world’s premier supplier of handcrafted, Brazilian hardwood frames, and Big Wood Slabs offers domestic and exotic wood slabs crafted from dead, dying, or downed tree sources.
“I have always been interested in using resources that are overlooked and thought of as waste,” said Paid. “There has been enough waste left in the forests of Brazil to provide every house built in American with a beautiful hardwood floor or a special piece of furniture.”
As an artist, Paid also appreciates the history and story behind the dead, dying and down resources.
“The ‘perfect logs’ have no soul, you could say. What is left behind or has died of old age is by far the most interesting wood to work with,” he said.
After the economic crash in 2008, Paid had to make some adjustments to his business strategy in order to keep going. For a while he considered selling Zero Impact Brazil’s 2,000 acres of rain forest, but he wanted to preserve the property, protecting it from becoming just another soy farm in Brazil.
His dedication to that preservation inspired Big Tree Adventure Tours, an eco-tourism venture. The tours include hikes through the Brazilian jungle, riding down an ancient river in a traditional wood boat, kayaking, mountain biking, and more. His work to preserve the area has attracted news coverage from National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.
The inspiration for and connections between Paid’s businesses reflect his passion for his work and his commitment to the environment.
“My goal is to find a way to live lightly on the earth and still make art of the incredibly beautiful resources available,” he said.
“My businesses are designed to not exploit the environment or people that live where I operate. I seek to better everyone that is within my circle of influence.”
Rare Earth Hardwood’s northern Michigan showroom is located at 6778 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City. For more information, stop by the showroom or visit www.rare-earth-hardwoods.com.
Big Wood Slabs, Amazon Timber Frames and Big Tree Adventure Tours can also be found online at www.bigwoodslabs.com, www.amazontimberframes.com, and www.bigtreeadventuretours.com.
Karin Beery is a freelance writer, editor and coach. Contact her at Karin@karinbeery.com.
Read the article at Grand Traverse Insider
About Rare Earth Hardwoods
Since 1982, Rare Earth Hardwoods has been supplying the world with the finest domestic and imported lumber and wood products.