Founder x Founder: Scott Stubbe, Granary Woodcrafts

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Welcome to Founder x Founder, a new series where we get to know some of the incredible entrepreneurs in our community through quick Q&A interviews. 

In this series, we have one founder — local writer and Startup Sioux Falls storyteller, Andrea Van Essen — asking the questions, and another sharing about their entrepreneurial journey. Today, we’re chatting with Scott Stubbe, founder of Granary Woodcrafts and one of our CO.STARTERS graduates.

Check out the conversation below!

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.


Tell us about your business! When, how and why did you embark on this venture?

I decided to go forward with this venture in December 2022, just before my third set of treatments for prostate cancer.


While listening to a podcast earlier that month, I heard a story that hit me hard. An influencer had a woman approach him in a hotel lobby and ask if he could give her a quick piece of advice that would motivate her to start her own business. He had five words for her: "You are going to die."


Hearing that while impending radiation treatments were already slapping my mortality across my face was a total gut punch. I decided if I was going to build a business using my skills and creativity, I needed to stop putting it off.


I had been making small projects with wood from old buildings on our fourth-generation family farm for a few years, so it was something I had been thinking about for a while.


I hate to see things go to waste. This wood has a lot of history and memories tied up in it, and while I can’t save the buildings that blew down in last year's derechos, I can save much of the wood. I get great satisfaction at the end of a day looking at any work that I have done with my hands. 


What resources were most helpful to you when starting your business and what resources do you wish existed?CO.STARTERS has been an amazing resource, between the classes, the knowledge and the experience of other members of the cohort, as well as connecting with other members of the craft community.


What has surprised you about entrepreneurship? 

How eager other business people in this area are to share their experience and encouragement with a fellow entrepreneur.


What’s something you wish more people understood about your business?

Even "free wood" isn't really free. Disassembling a building or even a pallet is not easy, and it takes time and skill to preserve the character of the materials. Every hour spent harvesting and transporting is an hour that I am not building.


What does the future look like for your business? 

I hope I will be working with other business owners in the area to mutually promote our goods and services. Sometime in the next two years, I would like Granary Woodcrafts to be a team of talented artisans making vintage woodcrafts for all budgets.


What’s the #1 piece of advice you have to offer other founders?

You don't have to go big to get going. One of my favorite books is "Nail It Then Scale It.” If finances won't let you quit your day job, start a side hustle. That's a great way to fail fast and fail forward. Ultimately, no matter how you go about it, just do something to start. You’re going to die someday — acting now is the best way to make your mark on the world before you do.


What is your most useful hack or tool?

You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but redesigning the hubcaps can make it sell better!

Connect with Scott and learn more about Granary Woodcrafts via his website, Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn


Interested in CO.STARTERS?