JILL: Did you ever have any other designs apart from the striated design which has become your trademark? I mean, did you experiment with different looks, or did you hit upon that design immediately?
BART: Well, we had one other project with scrap laminates and veneers that actually went over well.
CARLOS: It was really colorful, more like a mosaic. We made about 10 of those and we sold them all. They had a similar feel of mix-and-match with clean lines, but the project that we currently have out there in the market somehow seemed like a more significant project that we could really expand upon.
JILL: So you pick up scraps from other building companies, but you also mill wood yourself in the shop, don’t you?
BART: Yeah, the other thing we have going on in the shop is an eco-friendly, green building supplies company, which we started a little over a year ago. We wholesale and distribute bamboo plywood, wheat board, other agricultural byproducts, composite boards, green finishes.
JILL: So how much of the scraps come from Bettencourt Green Building Supplies, and how much comes from other building companies?
CARLOS: I’d say its about 50-50.
BART: But sometimes when we go and do pickups, that number goes down to 10%. I guess it really depends. It fluctuates a lot week to week. A good example is Steinway (the piano manufacturing company) out in Astoria. It’s amazing the amount of awesome material that they get rid of. Sometimes we go and they have nothing for us; other times we show up and they have more scrap than can even fit into our van. We end up driving back to Brooklyn with the back of our van dragging in the dirt.
CARLOS: We picked up ten baby grand piano tops once. Unfortunately that stuff is absolutely useless to them.