Carson Reid never liked working for anybody else, and having grown up on a Firth ranch, the idea of working outdoors appealed to him.
In 2015, he started his own firewood business. In December, the Ashton resident added snow removal to his business that is called Superposition.
“I just like being my own boss, and there was a humongous need for snow removal,” Reid said. “A lot of houses use wood for a main source of heat, if not a main source, a backup source.”
Reid enjoys the feeling of independence he gets from working for himself.
“I just have a hard time working for somebody,” Reid said. “I don’t like having somebody looking over my back all the time. I’m more of an independent kind of guy.”
Later this year when it warms up, Reid plans to add landscape and driveway design to his business.
Reid’s firewood business proves profitable as he has both monthly and yearly customers.
“The firewood business is good. The first couple of years I sold 300 cords of wood,” Reid said. “It’s 600 pickups full of wood. It paid the bills and took care of a few things.This year, I’m looking at 500 cords of wood.”
Reid retrieves his wood from his family’s Firth farm and from a forest in Ashton. Reid often chops the trees down himself, and so far, he hasn’t had one fall on him. The tallest tree he’s chopped down has been 120 feet tall.
“It’s work, but it’s pretty rewarding,” Reid said.
He also helps tidy up forests where Mother Nature has done significant damage.
“I like cleaning up areas,” Reid said. “This one private place, it’s a blown-down sight. A tornado went through — it was an actual tornado two years ago. It blew down all the trees, and so it’s just a big mess. I go in, clean it up and recover the wood.”
Often, Reid will clean up forests where trees have suffered significant beetle kill. He’s also cleaned up sections of the woods where someone wants to build a home.
“People will buy forested lots. All it is is trees,” Reid said. “They want an acre’s worth of land to build a house, a shop and a garage. I cut down all those trees and clean up the area for them to build a house. I harvest the wood.”
Reid currently has 120 customers who rely on him for wood. About 80 of them purchase once a year when they’ll buy three to six to 10 cords of wood.
“There’s a few people that live here in Ashton that are from California or Texas, and I deliver to them monthly,” he said.
Most of his business comes via word-of-mouth or Facebook.
“I’ll deliver to somebody, and I’ll get a call where they’ll say ‘I’m their neighbor. I could use some wood, too. I could use plowed out, too.’ I’ve got my name on the side of my pickup,” he said.
Reid has been married to Julie since 2005, and the couple are the parents of four young boys.
“In the summertime, I use them quite a bit,” Reid said. “My oldest, is 11, but he works like he’s 25. He’s a worker. Julie is super supportive of it. She said she never wanted to own a business in her life. She’s fine with me doing it. She supports me.”
In the meantime, Reid has been busy this winter shoveling snow from parking lots and roofs.
“It’s been going pretty strong. About every time it snows, I’ve got something to do,” Reid said. “I don’t mind getting out there in the snow and cold. It’s not a big deal,.”
To plow driveways and parking lots, he often relies on a skidsteer. Initially, he climbed roofs to shovel snow, but now relies on what’s called a “roof rake.”
“You can stand on the ground and shovel the roof from the ground. It’s more effective,” he said.
Reid works throughout the Upper Valley, from Island Park to Firth. Yet, he finds Fremont County residents keep him pretty busy.
“I mostly serve Island Park and Ashton,” Reid said. “I have plenty of business, but I could always use a little more.”
Reid graduated from Firth High School in 1998 and later attended ITECH where he earned a diesel mechanic’s certificate. That knowledge helps with all the equipment Reid relies on to chop all that wood and to clear all that snow.
He says that he’s pretty busy year round. From May through August, he gathers wood. In September he delivers the wood and continues to do so through March.
“That ties into doing the snow removal until May,” Reid said. “It’s a year-round deal. They run into each other.”
Reid said anyone interested in starting their own business needs to get to know their customers well.
“If you get a customer, try and get him to be more of a solid customer,” Reid said. “Get all their information that you possibly can get and keep it on record. You’ve got to be committed. Every day you’ve got to be committed to it, if not, it’s going to fail.”
Reid plans to continue working for himself for the foreseeable future.
“I can do this for another 30 years,” he said.
Reid has no employees, but his mother volunteered to serve as his receptionist.
“She offered, and I said ‘OK. Sounds good to me. I’ll let you take care of the calling,’” Reid said. “It’s working OK. She’s fine with it. She’s pretty excited that it’s working for me. She’s willing to help,” he said.
For more information on Superposition, text 208-604-6775 or call 208-724-8873.