The Baltic country of Latvia has gained worldwide recognition for its high quality wood, but this is not a chance result. According to the website of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA), more than a half of the land in Latvia is covered by forests, which is 1.6 times more than world average. Since Latvian forests are in good health by comparison with the rest of the world, the Baltic State possesses a considerable advantage. And taking into consideration the work on progress to regenerate forests and to have good forestry standards, it is logical the great acceptance of Latvian wood around the world. That’s why, wood and wood products sector has become an export leader in Latvia, around 18 percent of total exports trades are from this sector. Therefore, more and more businesses are doing efforts to innovate, so they can give customers unique and better wooden goods every day. Here is a list of 5 businesses that are making a great work by creating wooden products that are outside the box.
This company situated in Riga started as a souvenir idea for a company, but the owner took his idea to another level. Now, WatchMe is the first Latvian brand producing handmade wooden wristwatches. WatchMe uses for the making of its watch cases woods such as maple, beech, African sandalwood and walnut because they found out these are the most long-lasting types of wood in Latvia. WatchMe products are designed with minimalistic Nordic style and the high quality of Swiss Ronda movement which are strategies to differentiate themselves from the rest of the wristwatches in the market. Besides, they offer personalized wristwatches to customers by let them choose cases, dials and straps just like they want them. In addition, they promote an eco friendly manufacturing, since producing their goods does not use the amount of CO2 that other traditional ways of making watches, and what’s more, they have signed an alliance with the Riga Forests Organization to plant a tree for every watch they sell.
When they created Volfwood Accessories, Kristin Wolfe and her husband Oscar really proved that wood is not only destined for furniture. Although Volfwood Accessories also use other materials to create its pieces, wood is the protagonist in here, as its motto says “Wood is the new gold”. They manufacture handmade accessories for both men and women using recycled Latvian wood. At first, the Wolfe’s only produced cuff links as they found them very easy to make, but then, they realized there were other accessible accessories. Nowadays, Volfwood Accessories also manufactures rings, earrings, and hair clips which have expanded its business market.
Wood koozie is located in the city of Liepaja, western side of Latvia, on the Baltic Sea. This company, as its name shows, is dedicated to the production of wooden and wicker beverage holders. However, Wood koozie is more specialized in making cup holders for bikes and baby prams, using a clip to secure it in the handles. They manufactures cup holders with the most common woods in Latvia such as ash, aspen, oak, elm, pear, and cherry. Cup holders from Wood koozie are handmade; as a result, they can give them a very unique touch to every product. For example, they can wood engraving a customer’s name on it, a phrase or a draw that a client wants. Wood Koozie Company is already shipping its products to countries like Denmark, United States and Australia.
Latvian Wood Artisans
This is a very interesting eco friendly project carried out by a team of Latvian artisans. To make their products, these crafts persons do not cut down any trees. What these people do is to create all sorts of products using driftwood materials from the banks or bottoms of Latvian rivers, being the most used timbers such as birch, linen, dark oak, old beams, walnut oil, and beaver nibbled wood. These types of woods have been reshaped for many years due to natural causes which give them a singularity and beauty that cannot be made by human hands. Latvian Wood Artisans make house furniture like coat stands, tables, clothes hangers, or accessories such as earrings.
As its name shows, Stradins Workshop is more the exhibition of an artist work than a company. But Harijs Stradins, an artist from Aluksne, Latvia, has produced since 1997 a series of unique freeform furniture that made him the path to recognition. Besides the fact the wood Stradins uses is primarily shaped by nature, he works by request which makes his pieces extremely unique. The works in Stradins Workshop go from furniture for indoor purpose such as lamps, shelves or coat stands to outdoor stuff like fences or garden chairs and tables.