LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

They say that hindsight is 20/20 vision and very often the present isn’t quite so clear. Yet undoubtedly, the future is uncertain in most ways. If we fail to file a tax return we can be confident that the IRS will be in touch in the near future come April 15th. And if we dream about a bountiful garden but don’t plant the seeds in the Spring, well then we know what to expect come the Fall!

Sled making, well at least the kind of sled making that we do here, is a craft and art form that has traditionally been past from one sled maker to the next. It has been the age old process of an apprentice working with a mentor. I had that experience with my mentor about 20 years ago and it lasted a few years. Looking into the crystal ball of our futurethere are some pretty important unknowns. But one of our biggest lies in the question of who will I mold to take on this craft?!?!?

When I began my apprenticeship, I brought with me many years of wood working. It started with 7 years of wood shop in school, and then as professions cabinet making, residential carpentry, finish carpentry, and furniture making. So when I was learning to build toboggans I did know my way around a wood shop! None-the-less, the instruction and guidance I received from my mentor where vital and propelled me years ahead of where I could ever be when it came to sled making.

an old photo of two men lifting the unfinished toboggan on its side

We would like to see Northern Toboggan & Sled continue making the sleds and toboggans well into the future. We build high quality sledding products for some unique niches. The niches are for way of life, work, and recreation. This demand will most likely continue on into future as all of our clientele niches uphold and value deep traditions… traditions with a traditional sled, made by a seasoned sled maker.

We are thinking of who will be the sled maker in the years ahead and how we will implement this transition. In fact, it is our biggest need as a company, and requires funding and of course, the right aspiring crafts-person. At the moment we are all thinking about it and discussing some of the possibilities…One of which is the Small Business FedEx grant we have enrolled in. Now until March 17th, everyone can vote for a business daily. There is some great prize money being offered from a generous organization that is VITAL to our business and the way we ship our products. If we are fortunate enough, our grant earnings would help us bank-roll the first year for our undetermined apprentice.

If this tradition is something you see value in supporting, we are grateful for your recurring votes and for spreading the word to your friends: Voting and Information HERE

Either way, thanks for the read. It’s time for me to get back to work. I have a batch of boards to plane and steam bend this afternoon…

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