Summer Company - Success Stories

The Whistling Woodworker: Summer Company Success Story

A hobby has turned into a successful, international business for Josiah Petersen, owner of Whistling Woodworker, who began woodworking when he was only nine years old.  After connecting with the Huron County Summer Company program, Petersen was able to start his business and make money doing something that he already loved and was skilled at. 

The 16-year-old student at F.E. Madill Secondary School began by making crokinole boards, charcuterie boards and wooden bowls and offering them for sale with the help of the Summer Company program, a program designed to help students create and expand summer businesses. Though he already had most of the equipment needed to run his business, he “learned there is a lot more to selling things… there’s a lot of things you don’t think about originally: packaging, shipping and advertising.  You don’t find out until you try it out.” 

Josiah notes that the application helped to streamline the process of running your business by forcing you to think about and write out every aspect of your business, from where you are going to sell, to what kind of tags and business cards you are going to use, to insurance, logistics, and shipping. 

Petersen says that it was a good experience overall, stating that the grant “relieves a lot of the stress when you are trying out an idea and starting a business. You don’t have to worry about making money as much. It was helpful and there were lots of people to contact if I needed help with my application or had questions.”

Located between Clifford and Fordwich, Peterson appreciates his local customers and thanks them for the inspiration to begin his business. In fact, his initial business was creating custom orders for people he already knew.  However, Peterson was surprised by the number of Americans who ordered his products after opening his Etsy shop, officially making him an international producer.  His sudden inability to hand-deliver products helped Peterson to overcome a significant hurdle: shipping his creations of all different sizes and shapes. Now making his own boxes, Petersen has learned that “shipping wasn’t so bad,” and takes care to make sure that his products can easily cross the border. 

Petersen is looking forward to expanding his business and getting back to creating quality products this summer.  

To see Josiah’s products, visit The Whistling Worker’s Facebook and Etsy Shop

To learn more about the Summer Company program, please click here.

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