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Southern Utah News Front Page: March 23, 2017
Cluff brings ''crafty'' designs to Fredonia
The Original ScrapBox is the perfect cabinet for scrapbookers, crafters, quilters card makers and those who like to sew. The table folds up, the sides close in and it looks like an armoire.
By Dixie Brunner
Fredonia native Jacob Cluff, is not only tenacious, but ‘crafty!’
Everyone who meets the young businessman would agree he’s a bright, motivated entrepreneur. Cluff has been building high end cabinets, as well as other projects like portable disaster housing, at his Wood Design, U.S.A., factory at 2479 N. Highway 89A, Fredonia, for the past 10 years.
Cluff, with his creative ideas and hard work ethic, has been successful in most woodworking ventures he has manufactured at his Fredonia factory. But he was also doggedly determined that he was only a heartbeat away from real success!
“I refused to give up,” admitted Cluff, with a grin. “This has been good, we’ve finally gotten something to stick. This is going to be huge!”
The new product Cluff and company at Wood Design, U.S.A. are building is called The Original Scrapbox, and already huge!
The Original Scrapbox is a portable storage unit, which basically looks like an armoire, built to store the many components of an avid crafter and/or stamping hobbyist. The attractive furniture opens in the middle similar to a side-by-side refrigerator, revealing a pull-out table in the center, with racks, carry totes and storage drawers lining the right and left wings of the cabinet. The units retail for $1500-$2300.
The successful business alliance between Cluff and The Original Scrapbox owners Garth and Wayne Hubert began in South Africa, no really China ... uh Utah? That’s where they connected with Cluff to better manufacture The Original Scrapbox ... at his Fredonia, Arizona factory!
Confused yet? The Hubert brothers, who were born in South Africa, went to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, to attend college! It was there they met Glen and Doug Jakins, along with other important business contacts offering them the ability to participate in global networking.
“Glen and Doug Jakins had the original idea,” said Wayne Hubert. “We bought them out, and were having them made in China at the time.”
Hubert said the crafting storage units made good sense, since most women he talked to said their hobbies were taking over their homes! “Husbands were grateful to have all the scrapbooking materials confined to a single, portable furniture unit.”
To market the Scrapbox unit, they began attending scrapbook and hobby shows, with their patent being approved in 2009. The ability to do business overseas became more complicated, so manufacturing eventually was moved to Utah.
A 2015 YouTube video featuring The Original Scrapbox went viral, with over 18.2 million views! The company was inundated with orders! “The ladies loved it,” said Hubert. “We had such a great demand, we went into a back order situation.”
And that’s where Cluff and Wood Designs, U.S.A., came into the picture!
“Jacob brought a whole new way of building the units,” Hubert related with enthusiasm, citing Cluff’s engineering design and employee work ethic. He said Cluff’s company could build the units in under half the time other factories could! “It takes them about two to three hours to build one! We wanted to bring our business here, they can do more styles. One of the great things about Jacob is he’s very creative. We wanted to work with him as a partner.”
The product is ordered online and then shipped from the warehouse to the consumer directly. No shop or storefront. A video is included to help the customer assemble their Original Scrapbox. “Jacob was able to develop a new system that just basically snaps together,” said Hubert.
Other products have been added to help the crafter/hobbyist, or people who have a home business. “We’re all about helping people get organized,” said Hubert. “We want to help them simplify their lives.”
Cluff said teaming up with the Huberts in January 2016 has been great for Wood Design U.S.A. I love solving problems,” said Cluff, explaining the Huberts had sought a more stream-lined manufacturing process for their product. “We shipped out our first unit in July of 2016,” recalled Cluff. “Now we’re shipping out a semi truckload of 65 per week to the warehouse in American Fork!”
The bustling factory now employs 17 full time, with an enormous manufacturing warehouse expansion south of the current building imminent!
There have been thousands of units sold, with a big rush during the Christmas season. The Original Scrapbox YouTube video now has more than 100 million views, and the expansion between the current building and the Buckskin Tavern will be approximately 60,000 square feet.
The Original Scrapbook product has now expanded its reach from the U.S. and Canada, to the UK, Germany and even Australia! They have been featured by Viral Thread, Business Insider, YOO, Bright Side, Unilaid and dozens of other media sources.
Cluff compliments his Wood Design U.S.A. employees, and specifically shop foreman Daniel Church and computer engineer Doug Deardorf. “We work well together. We’ve always wanted to employ people here and be successful. This thing is going to be huge!”