Nakusp business owner makes 40-under-40 list
Aidan McLaren-Caux, 35, credits his twin daughters as the inspiration to start his own business.
For the last year, he has been running AMC Naturals out of his home here in Nakusp.
"I've always been interested in how things are put together, and I've more or less been doing stuff with wood my whole life," he said. "When the kids were born there were these high chairs with an adjustable seat and adjustable footrest from somewhere in Scandinavia, They looked awesome, but they were $300 apiece, and I have twins, I thought 'I can do that,'so I studied the the chair and used the limited tools I had and made them."
On a trip from Oliver he was given a piece of cherry wood by the man who sold him his jointer. Though he had never worked with that kind of wood before, he made an end-grain cutting board out of it after finding a book on the subject and following its instructions.
After selling that cutting board word got out about what he was doing, and his business grew from there.
To help keep things going for AMC Naturals, McLaren-Caux enrolled in the Community Futures small business program.
"It's actually a really good program, they put you in a ten-week business planning course and that helps you do all the things you wouldn't think about, like writing a business plan," he said. "They also give you ongoing support throughout the year and workshops."
When it comes to his personal care products, McLaren-Caux again credits his daughters for his inspiration.
He started making diaper cream using certified organic materials. From there he expanded, crafting products like deodorant, lip balm, hand cream, and more. Because he makes a variety of items he hasn't actually purchased a personal care item in about three years.
Though he's not overly fond of it, McLaren-Caux credits social media as a good tool to find inspiration.
"I have a Facebook, but I only really use it because of my business," he said. He does however use it and Instagram to see what other artists are doing and what he might be able to do in the future.
The most popular type of wood he works with is walnut, though he does work with more exotic types, like zebra wood.
When asked for his reaction to being named in the top 40 business owners under 40 in the Kootenays, he was modest in his response.
"People have had a pretty positive reaction, so it was kind of flattering," he said. This is hard work, so it's nice to be recognized for it."