Bailing on the corporate life in the fall of 1984 to pursue something more in line with my architecture education and colonial design interests, I landed with a small plank flooring manufacturer who primarily used antique reclaimed lumber as a resource. Although I was hired in sales and marketing; the company was small, so, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in all aspects of the lumber and flooring manufacturing business. Climbing to the rafters of barn frames and log cabins to tag the timbers prior to de-construction was memorable. I became familiar with the buying of new lumber to supplement the old, the painstaking de-nailing process, the slow kiln drying process, milling the varied and sundry planks into usable flooring (making a silk purse from a sow’s ear!), warehousing, shipping and finally installing, sanding & finishing the flooring in the customer’s home.
This hands-on experience taught me a number of important lessons. First and foremost, Mother Nature has given us an awe inspiring resource in our forests. There is simply no artificial method by which man can duplicate or improve upon the beauty of this natural product. And, I also realized that it requires a great deal of talent and skill to bring that beauty into a customer’s home in the most functional and value minded way.
When I established my business plan for CountryPlank.com in 1999, I recognized both the difficulty and the importance of doing a few things absolutely right. By then, I had also gained more than mere knowledge and experience. I was fortunate to have established relationships with many people whose expertise and capabilities far exceeded mine.
Those who now manufacture my extensive selection of solid wide plank wood flooring are close friends acquired during those 15 learning years. They all have the same connection to Mother Nature and commitment to doing things right that I have and, they each do a few things exceptionally well.
I am not a liquidator of odd lots, nor a distributor of brand name faceless flooring, nor a purveyor of the flooring fad du jour. Rather, I do as I have done since 1985, sell solid wide plank wood flooring with which I have a personal connection. I hope you’ll allow me to share that connection with you and help grace your home with this precious product of Mother Nature.
Mark Harbold, President