Wyton named entrepreneur of the year

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A Morden business owner was named the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year.
Blayne Wyton, owner of Prairie Barnwood was given the award at a gala in Winnipeg. He said he was honoured to receive the award.
“It’s absolutely amazing to be recognized provincially,” he said. “I think there are quite a few outstanding businesses in the Morden Winkler area. It’s fantastic to me to be recognized as contributing.”
Wyton founded Prairie Barnwood in 2008. He began by doing wood working and refinishing of antique furniture when he founded Windsor Furniture in 2001.
It was during a trip to Ontario that the vision for PBW was born, to create handcrafted furniture in a country style from reclaimed wood.
Working from a shop near Morden, Manitoba they dismantle old barns, wood structures and old homesteads. The wood they salvage comes from across Canada, mainly in the Southern Manitoba area. Typically they salvage old growth Douglas Fir from the early to mid 1900’s.
Once the barn/structure has been dismantled it is taken back to our shop where it is sorted by type and dimensions before it is kiln dried to stabilize the moisture content. Each of the solid wood products are built with it’s own unique character and patina. Most pieces includes knots, burrs, nail holes and other features that tell the story and history of the years and seasons throughout the wood. The kitchen and bar counter tops have a water based stain and color of the customers choice applied, then five coats of food safe water base hardwood floor finished applied to the surface.
Wyton said passion for his work is key to his success. “All of us have a dream and when you put wheels to a dream and you’re talented at it as well you have a make up for success,” he said.
The business also continues to evolve, and Wyton said they have just moved into a new shop on the south side of Morden. “We now have a two level showroom that is 2,000 square feet in total,” he said. “We started with myself and one employee and we are myself and five full time employees right now.”
“We used to shut the shop down to take down barns,” he added. “We now have a crew in southern Ontario.”
Wyton said when starting a new business it’s important to keep your goals in sight.
“Write your ‘why’ down, (why are you staring this? why do what you do?)” he advised. “Keep it where you can see it. Be ready to be tested in every way.”
Winning a provincial award like this is a big deal, and Chuck Davidson, President and CEO of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce said they look at a variety of criteria including profitability, how the start of the company went and the company’s story as well as what they do to give back.
“I think Prairie Barnwood obviously is a very unique story in terms of how they got their start and what they’ve been able to create since that time is a great little company,” he said.
Davidson judges would also have looked at what Wyton does in the community and outside the area.
“He just stood out as a great example of what an entrepreneur is supposed to be,” he said.
Davidson said it’s no small task to take the 10 to 15 names in the category, whittle it down to three finalists and then choose the winner.
“This process probably takes about three months for our judges to go through those companies and the fact that Blayne was the recipient of our entrepreneur award is something that he should be extremely proud and the community of Morden as well for having an entrepreneur from rural Manitoba of the quality and caliber that Blayne has,” he said.
Davidson said it’s important to highlight businesses like this.
“Why we do this is because too often we don’t take enough time to celebrate some of the great business successes we have in this province,” he said.

Prairie Barnwood is in demand for fine furniture.

Blayne Wyton

Prairie Barnwood is in demand for fine furniture.

Working from a shop near Morden, Manitoba they dismantle old barns, wood structures and old homesteads.