Chicago-based The Labat Wood Shop owner, Peter Labat IV loves to work on his woodworking, so much so that he’s turned it into a thriving business. He began storing projects that looked amazing, affordable, and easy on Pinterest in 2016. Soon, Peter was into various woodworking like carvings and furniture.
He started by making things for his home and gradually collecting tools. He spent four years perfecting his woodworking craft then in 2020, Peter lost his job as a navigational watch officer in the Gulf of Mexico.
Instantly he knew he’d be starting his own furniture company. Thus, The Labat Wood Shop was born.
Let’s Get Lifted!
Drops or salve; Why?
I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t had either. We don’t get many of these options in New Orleans, and I imagine it’s the same way in other places where cannabis isn’t legal. I’m hoping that as my business grows into stronger cannabis marketplaces, I’ll get to try things like this.
If you could be a cannabis superhero, who would you be?
I think I would be ‘Super Chill”. A guy who can make everyone sit down and be quiet haha. I love peace, quiet, tranquility, and calm. I hate commotion, chaos, and confusion.
What are your top 2 smoking songs?
This might be the hardest question. Curren$y is my favorite canna-rapper and one of my top of 5 overall favorites. His whole library is filled with smoking hits. But the two most acclaimed are Famous – from Pilot Talk 2 and Surface to Air from the How Fly mixtape with Wiz Khalifa
Dab into Business!
How did The Labat Wood Shop get started?
I started woodworking as a hobby in 2014. I loved how versatile and creative you could be with wood. You can carve and sculpt it to make artwork or use it to build furniture. You can paint it, stain it, toggle between classic and vintage styles, build coasters to houses, and everything in between.
I had already fallen in love with the craft, and planned to monetize it in some way before the pandemic. So when I got laid off from my job due to Covid, I already knew that I’d be starting a woodworking company. Now here we are, still charging ahead, trying to stay afloat!
Describe your niche in the cannabis space.
As I said, our signature product is a premium rolling tray made from exotic hardwood, but it’s much more than that; it’s a Companion! See, your typical rolling tray is made from cheap, thin metal easily dented or damaged and has those goofy Scooby-Doo graphics printed on it.
That might be cool when you’re in college, but not when you’re a seasoned stoner. Most avid cannabis users are grown-ups, businessmen, and women who are working professionals and even have kids. No one who pays a mortgage should have to roll their flower on one of those goofy trays. We offer a more mature option to the marketplace.
We named it the Companion to show people that this is a LIFETIME smoking accessory. The last rolling tray you’ll ever need. We all cherish those moments when we finally sit down to roll up. Whether it’s the wake and bake or the nightcap, and when you pull out your one-of-a-kind smoking Companion, it makes that moment even more special!
Did you face any legal or criminal barriers to cannabis entry? If so, how did you overcome the barriers?
Thankfully, I’ve never faced any issues like this. The closest criminal encounter I’ve had was being busted hotboxing in my homeboy’s car down the road from our college. We saw the police car rolling upon us so I hurried up and swallowed the blunt.
The cop told us to exit the car, and when we did, of course, hella smoke poured out, but there was nothing left for him to find. He asked us what we were doing here, and we told him we were students. He just told us to go and never come back. We were so shook I think we quit smoking for about a week haha.
WHAT ARE SOME TALENTS, SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, AND KNOWLEDGE that YOU have TRANSFERRED TO CANNABIS?
I think I’m a very sociable person! I enjoy conversing with people about interesting topics. Hobbies, jobs, life, and whatever gets us both excited enough to truly engage with one another.
I’ve always been organized and structured though as well. So I know how to use my time wisely, accomplish tasks, and stay productive.
WHAT ARE SOME TALENTS, SKILLS, AND KNOWLEDGE that YOU Have PICKED UP WHILE IN CANNABIS?
How to be a salesman! I’ve had to really sharpen my sales skills since being in business. Knowing how to talk to customers, tell them what they want to hear, and explain my company and product well. Learning where to find customers and how to attract them.
Which tech tools did you use to start The Labat Wood Shop?
- Wix for my website
- Quickbooks for bookkeeping
- Instagram and Facebook for marketing/sales.
- Getting into Tik Tok now.
- Inshot for photo/video editing
How does The Labat Wood Shop stand out from other brands within your target population?
The Labat Wood Shop stands out as a brand because there aren’t any household woodworking brands inside the cannabis space that I’m aware of. Raw makes wooden rolling trays, yes, but not out of exotic wood, and their trays don’t tell a story or have a name like ours do!
For them, it’s just another product in their line, and that’s okay. We want to be a household name for wooden rolling trays inside the cannabis space. What Raw is to rolling papers, we want to be to rolling trays.
I’m a woodworking enthusiast, so I’m more passionate about woodworking than cannabis, and I think that’s what makes us unique.
Tell us about The Labat Wood Shop’s top products and services.
Our signature product is The Companion, a premium rolling tray made from exotic hardwoods such as maple, African Mahogany, and walnut, just to name a few. Each Companion is completely unique because no two trays have the same grain, just like no two people have the same fingerprint.
It’s a classier/more mature option than the rolling trays you see on the market, and every hardworking, seasoned smoker should have a premium rolling tray in their collection. They’re built to last a lifetime, so you’ll literally use them every day.
Pass it Around!
What have been some highlights with marketing The Labat Wood Shop?
Actually getting recognized! We’ve been on the front page of the newspaper, interviewed by blogs and great organizations, I’ve been recognized in the street by people who follow our Instagram, and have made some really great new friendships on social media as well.
All of it is extremely wonderful, and we couldn’t be more grateful! We take advantage of every opportunity we possibly can to network and grow our brand.
What have been some challenges THE LABAT WOOD SHOP has faced with marketing?
Actually making sales!! Actually generating revenue!! I think a lot of people like our product, but we’re just not seeing the numbers. We don’t have enough outreach! Not enough people are seeing us, and when they do see us, I don’t think we present like a “company.”
I think we present ourselves as an artist/woodworker/small business. But we have a lot of “irons in the fire.” There’s a lot of momentum generating, and we’re expecting a really big boost in November and December. The holidays will obviously be huge, but we’ve also got the Black Cannabis Conference in November, and I am 100% confident that we will meet the people who will help catapult us to the next level!!
What’s The Labat Wood Shop’s silver lining to it all?
Knowing that if you push through, you will succeed!! You gotta go through the grit and grind to come out on top.
What are some best practices for advertising The Labat Wood Shop?
We don’t advertise well. So we rely solely on social media posting for advertising. We haven’t fully implemented our budget yet, so we don’t run “ads”; we just post. And we don’t really post strategically. We just…post. Our real advertising strategy is about tapping into influencers.
We will definitely skyrocket if we can get our trays to Curren$y, Wiz, and Snoop.
What are some best practices for growing your audience on social media?
I wish I knew. Nothing I do seems to work, lol. I just be pouring my Lil heart into those reels. Still waiting for one to go viral.
What’s some advice you have for folks that want to enter the space?1 response
Find your niche and dig into it. There are so many people going into business. Not just cannabis, all businesses.
If you want to set yourself apart, you have to brand, and branding is nothing more than telling your story.
How can people reach The Labat Wood Shop?
The Labat Wood Shop Social media pages
@thelabatwoodshop on all platforms
The Labat Wood Shop website
Any Shout outs?
Peter Labat IV of The Labat Wood Shop would like to give thanks to…
🥰 “My wife, for doing all she can for supporting me in our business and life. And, shoutout to my son, Peter Labat V (the Fif) for being the future of our company, even if he doesn’t know it yet.”
Giving special daps to…