Grad­u­ate on fire in own busi­ness

DAILY GRIND Win­ter is on its way and that means busi­ness time for Car­los Ter Hu­urne. Re­porter Joe Daw­son caught up with the young fire­wood mer­chant to learn about the wood trade.

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Fire­wood mer­chant Car­los Ter Hu­urne is putting his mar­ket­ing de­gree to good use in his own busi­ness.

The re­cent Univer­sity of Auck­land mar­ket­ing and com­merce grad­u­ate has opted to avoid the bot­tle­neck of his peers hit­ting the job mar­ket by branch­ing out on his own.

Last year Mr Ter Hu­urne, 21, set up his fire­wood busi­ness, Ig­ni­tion Fire­wood, to give him some part-time work as he fin­ished his stud­ies.

But such has been the success of his com­pany he has kept it go­ing and will con­tinue as long as busi­ness is burn­ing.

‘‘I started up by cut­ting a few trees down on our ru­ral block when I needed a part­time job when I was at univer- sity last year,’’ he says.

‘‘I ended up do­ing fire­wood and was go­ing to stop when I fin­ished my de­gree.’’

But the busi­ness ticks and the re­turn is bet­ter than he might earn in a grad­u­ate mar­ket­ing role.

The added bonus is he is de­vel­op­ing and honing his busi­ness skills while work­ing for him­self.

‘‘I have three to four guys on a part-time ba­sis, and two on full­time.

‘‘Since I started off it has been full­time, even in the off­sea­son when I’m not sell­ing, I still have to be work­ing to get wood in for the next sea­son.

‘‘There is al­ways some­thing to do.’’

There are other ben­e­fits to be­ing self-em­ployed too.

‘‘It’s en­joy­able and the best thing is go­ing home af­ter a long day, re­lax­ing and know­ing that if I don’t want to work the next day I don’t have to.’’

Mr Ter Hu­urne sources wood from a va­ri­ety of places.

He will fell the odd stand of trees at the ru­ral Cleve­don block he lives on, will clear trees for farm­ers who wants to get rid of a few trees and buy in a fair bit from down coun­try.

De­liv­er­ies Satur­days.

‘‘The av­er­age day I spend mainly cut­ting or split­ting wood and then or­gan­is­ing other things like re­pairs.

‘‘De­liv­er­ies keep me busy all day Satur­day. I en­joy chat­ting with cus­tomers and find­ing out what they like.’’

It’s an en­joy­able gig too, mix­ing phys­i­cal, out­door work with a bit of busi­ness devel­op­ment and pro­cure­ment thrown in too.

And for a man who once built a mo­torised couch in his garage there is plenty of tin­ker­ing with machines to be done.

‘‘I have a split­ter, a bob­cat, a truck for de­liv­er­ies with a split cage and ute, and I’ve got a few good chain­saws.’’

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Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Chain­saw mas­sacre:

Fire­wood mer­chant Car­los Ter Hu­urne at his Cleve­don yard.

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