Birmingham native Cliff Spencer is closing his Los Angeles woodshop and moving it east.
Besides beehives -which Spencer has been developing for some time - Spencer’s new company Alasaw will manufacture custom handmade items, including furniture and cabinetry.
Alasaw will be developing a line of particular pieces of furniture and small household items that describes as “rough and primitive style in nature.” In the next couple of years, Spencer will roll out AlabamaSawyer, a line of more “refined” furniture, which will be marketed to a regional and national audience.
In addition to the workshop, Spencer plans to open a showroom in the space. Spencer told the Birmingham Business Journal that part of the motivation for the move to Birmingham, which is his hometown, from California, is because the cost of doing business on the West Coast was too high.
But another reason for the move was Birmingham’s expansive urban forest - an increasingly attractive source of lumber for central city woodworkers around North America. (IWF 2016 plans a conference on urban lumber in Atlanta.) Most of Spencer’s products are produced from trees. Through a partnership with a local tree service, Spencer is able receive materials, rent space on the company's lot and operate a mill there.
Spencer has worked in Los Angeles, Manhattan, and Aspen - refining his skills in each. He and his wife's philosophy is to live simply, and enjoy the little things. His furniture and cabinetry aim to evoke warmth and peace within a home.