Each of our Corporate Partners has a story to tell about their bamboo business that we believe will serve to enlighten, educate, and inspire those already in - or embarking on their own bamboo business journey! Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be sharing some of our Corporate Partners’ Q & A’s pertaining to their business and business strategies.
This week Ann Knight, Co-Founder, CCO and Executive Vice President of Resource Fiber, answers (7) questions for the bamboo business.
Q. How did the idea for your business come about?
A. David Knight and I pioneered the bamboo flooring industry in 1998. It’s always been our goal to bring the bamboo industry to the U.S. – and now we’re doing it through our efforts at Resource Fiber.
Q. What is your company mission statement?
A. Our commitment to the environment comes naturally to us. We believe that the best place we can all begin to conserve and protect our natural resources is in our own backyard. We are continuing to explore and introduce important initiatives that will help the planet. Our commitment will continue as we develop new ways to improve everything we touch – from the facilities we design, to industrial plantings, to driving economic development. Resource Fiber is built on the tenets of the Triple Bottom Line whose foundation is based on the well-being of the people and communities where the company conducts its business (people), sound and sustainable environmental practices (planet), and sterling financial performance (profit). Our global objectives are to: reduce the pressure on the world’s natural forests by providing alternative fiber and products; drive change from a petroleum-based society to a bio-based society; create an industry that is carbon negative, off-grid and that follows the principles of the International Living Future Institute.
Q. How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the company mission?
A. Primarily networking with like-minded folks, especially those already in the bamboo industry.
Q. What are the challenges to running your particular bamboo business?
A. We’ve had our challenges – primarily introducing a proven industry to the U.S. However, we have an amazing team of visionaries and experts in the bamboo industry which mitigates most of them.
Q. What has been your most satisfying moment in your bamboo business?
A. Establishing the largest commercial bamboo nursery in the U.S. – over 100 acres in southwestern Alabama.
Q. How do you build a successful customer base?
A. Looking for solutions to existing challenges in product manufacturing and design. Typically, customers come to us to solve a problem. We work out the solution with them in a collaborative way.
Q. What three pieces of advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to start a business?
A. Know the market and industry; Know your end-user/customer; Build a solid infrastructure/foundation to your business.
Learn more about Resource Fiber and the groundbreaking work they are doing to build a bamboo fiber-based agriculture and industrial complex in the U.S.A. at www.resource-fiber.com. Watch the video about David and Ann and the bamboo industry.
Would you like to share your story with over 3,000 World Bamboo Organization members worldwide?
Contact Sonja Sheasley at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to become a Corporate Partner with WBO.