Our People: Christine Luffman

Chris is no ordinary salesperson, which is why she’s perfect for our timber because our woodland timber is no ordinary product.

The huge variety of woods, cuts, seasoning, quantities and applications for wood means a really good sales guru needs to be part botanist, part engineer, and part accountant. Like we said, Chris is no ordinary salesperson.

“You really need to understand the characteristics of wood, it’s a natural product, it’s not inert, it doesn’t behave like metal or plastic and from the moment it arrives in the yard to the finished product, it’s very much about figures and calculations.”

Lucky for us from her earliest job working in her father’s green grocery and garden centre – without a calculator – Chris has been quick with maths. She also has a love of nature and the environment. A keen angler (vice chair of the local fishing club as well) and growing up with boats and always near the sea, Chris is a fully qualified pathologist. This mix of outdoor interests and science is probably why she’s so good at working with the complexity and precision needed to fulfill our client’s timber project needs.

“There are a lot of stumbling blocks I help people avoid. Depending on the application, timber might be sold in square meters, cubic metres, cubic feet, at various thicknesses, as log yields, inthe round or as individual edge pieces. You also need to consider the kind of treatment andspecies for internal, external, furniture or structural use. There’s a lot of moving parts to makethe right choice.”

Perhaps helping customers making the right choice is where Chris really shines. Her scientific training means she understands how to manage and source the correct structural grades for building applications, the best individual pieces for artists and furniture makers, and the best woods and seasoning for internal and external use across dozens of different applications. She knows every piece of wood in stock, where it is in the seasoning and sawmill process and when it will be available. She also makes sure all the wood we sell is sustainably sourced, properly certified (PESC, FSC EU Plant Passport and 3rd-party legal tropical schemes).

Chris’ environmental interests have also helped to shape our approach to sustainable business practice, promoting a zero wood waste policy here at EWT. She’s very proud of our record of using wood shavings in our biomass boilers, in the carbon capture we promote through replanting. She is also experimenting with sustainable packaging using recycled cardboard and natural fibre surfboard bags for finely figured decorative edge boards. It’s this passion for all things wood that make Chris the perfect person to help customers from builders and joiners to garden designers and high-end furniture makers with a scientific approach to wood selection,and a sharp maths brain to make sure they get the most bang for their buck, too.

“Wood is a natural product. Each piece is unique and can’t be replicated. Our stock comes from trees planted by our great-grandparents’ generation, and the chances are our great-grand children will be using the wooden products we make with it. Its value increases with proper treatment, so it’s in our interests to treat it properly and sell the very highest quality.”

Of course we can’t keep Chris working all the time, so at the weekend you might meet her walker her dogs on the south downs, or on the beaches near her home in Chichester. You might see her hauling in a 30lb carp or a 25lb pike, fighting with a wild barbel (a fish, in case you were wondering) or calmly painting with acrylics in the idyllic landscapes around her home. One thing is for certain though, where most people see wood, Chris sees the complex mix of factors,numbers and value for money that makes her invaluable to us… and our customers too.

“Tomorrow’s antiques, window frames and buildings are made with wood we select today. So we’d better choose well! That’s my job, and I love it.”

 


 

Christine is no ordinary timber sales advisor.

She’s a wood master, a brain, a nerd who thinks in timber and is brilliant at it.

What we do is so varied that to interpret wood-needs and wood-wants a really good wood sales-guru needs to be part sylviculturist, part engineer, part number cruncher and 100% woodgeek. Chris nails it.

“You really need to understand the characteristics of wood, it’s a natural product, it’s not inert, it doesn’t behave like metal or plastic and from the moment it arrives in the yard to the finished product, it’s very much about figures and calculations.”

When you learn that before she got drawn into the timber industry Chris was a forensic pathologist suddenly things start to click into place. Her first job working in her father’s green grocery / garden centre adding grocery bills from morning ’til night without a calculator clearly supercharged some neurons.

But here’s the thing, this lady’s not all numbers, she’s nature too.

Chris has a love of the outdoors, of nature and the environment. She grew up around boats and the sea and became a keen angler (vice chair of the local fishing club!) The mix of outdoor interests and scientific brain is probably why she’s such a natural at working with the complexity and precision of timber specification.

“There are a lot of stumbling blocks I help people avoid. Depending on the application, timber might be sold in square meters, cubic metres, cubic feet, at various thicknesses, as log yields, in the round or as individual edge pieces. You also need to consider the kind of treatment and species for internal, external, furniture or structural use. There’s a lot of moving parts to make the right choice.”

Helping customers make good wood choices is where Chris really shines. She’s has an all round timber understanding and expertise so she’s great at advice no matter what the application.

Even the most seasoned woodworkers need advice on unfamiliar species or new applications. When they do it’s Chris they call on for help. She knows every possible use and potential application for every piece of wood we have in stock, and some. She knows what we have now, what we had then and what will have soon. For what we cut instead of stock she has the sourcing down to a fine art and always keeps it legal, sustainable and certified (PEFC, FSC or GiB).

Chris’ environmental conscience has helped shape our approach to sustainable business practice, making a zero wood waste policy a priority her at EWT. She’s very proud of our record of using wood shavings and machine shop waste in our biomass boilers that heat the sheds and she’s experimenting with sustainable protective packaging for the orders we ship via couriers.

“Wood is a natural product. Each piece is unique and can’t be replicated. Our stock comes from trees planted by our great-grandparents’ generation, and the chances are our great-grandchildren will be using the wooden products we make with it. Its value increases with proper treatment, so it’s in our interests to treat it properly and sell the very highest quality.”

Of course we can’t keep Chris chained to a desk all the time, at weekends we let her stay home 🙂 She uses her time out to get out.

Walking her dogs on the downs or the beaches near her home in Chichester makes Chris a happy bunny. So does being parked on a river bank or lake edge hauling 30lb carp, 25lb pike or fighting with a wild barbel (a fish, in case you were wondering). As an alternative to angling Chris has taken to painting, landscapes in acrylics are her speciality. She finds her flow in nature and applies that pathologist brain to the details.

One thing is for certain… whether you’re a joiner, furniture maker, builder, or designer Chris is an invaluable timber sales advisor and you need her on your next project.

“Tomorrow’s antiques, window frames and buildings are made with wood we select today. So we’d better choose well! That’s my job, and I love it.”

If you need Chris flavoured help, get in touch with her right here

Posted on April 8th 2020 under our people. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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