Yoga Joes!

Dan Abramson created Yoga Joes in the spirit of getting more people to try yoga. As he puts it, “T

Choctaw Health Center: A particularly unique installation of palm.

One of the more notable installations for Smith & Fong this year is the Choctaw Health Center, l

Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito

My daughter and I recently visited the Marine Mammal Center located in the Marin Headlands just nort


Yoga Joes!

December 17, 2014 in Bamboo Veneer, Social equity, Sustainability


Dan Abramson created Yoga Joes in the spirit of getting more people to try yoga. As he puts it, “They’re peaceful action figures designed to inspire children, men, and military veterans to try yoga. More unexpected folks are reaping the benefits of yoga today, from professional athletes, to children, to military men and women returning from wartime.”

So he started fooling around with classic green-plastic army men, heating them up and bending them into yoga positions. The idea was to make it possible to pass yoga around in a way other than a yoga class, maybe “as an inexpensive gift to friends and loved ones, who might like to give yoga a shot.” And he wanted to make something that was meaningful, but also funny as hell.

Dan put Yoga Joes on in September 2014 and by its deadline of October 10 he’d exceeded his funding goal by 270 percent. Since then Yoga Joes have been featured in media from Fast Company to Plastics Today, and all points in between.

Recently, Abramson opened a discussion with the organization Warriors at Ease about the possibility of starting a program for military kids in which the Joes would be purposed not only as a reward for donations, but also as a tool for teachers to use in classes.

This is an especially fun and meaningful project that truly has its heart in the right place. Dan contacted us to explore using the peaceful and soothing influence of bamboo in the packaging. “I wanted to replicate the feeling of yoga on a bamboo flooring in the display packing for our product,” said the inventor.

Through discussions and some modeling, we settled on Plyboo edge grain amber veneer for this application. The finish product should be available any day now.

We’ll post images as soon as they are available.

Choctaw Health Center: A particularly unique installation of palm.

December 10, 2014 in Durapalm, Palm Woven Paneling, Sustainability

One of the more notable installations for Smith & Fong this year is the Choctaw Health Center, located in Choctaw, Mississippi, a 58,800 square-foot comprehensive health care center that opened under tribal management in 1975. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians also manages three rural health clinics in the Choctaw communities of Bogue Chitto, Conehatta, Red Water, Standing Pine, and Tucker. The Choctaw Health Center averages 100,000 patient visits per year and is a single story facility that includes an 18-bed inpatient unit and a comprehensive offering of health services.

For this new facility—our first tribal installation—we have supplied approximately 1,000 square feet of Durapalm (coconut palm) Woven paneling. This paneling is a visually striking product developed by Smith & Fong from 100% reclaimed coconut palm logs. The panels themselves measure 6” x 48” and join easily together at the ends with a finger joint/overlap system. The look is rich, textured and earthy and we believe a wonderful fit for this vital and essential health facility.

Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito

December 3, 2014 in Bamboo Plywood, FSC-Certified

photo 3My daughter and I recently visited the Marine Mammal Center located in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco on the coast. The center has been operating for nearly 40 years, and is the only rescue facility of its kind in California, and possibly the west coast of North America. The Center is one of the largest marine mammal hospitals in the world, with a capacity to treat up to 200 animals at once and more than 600 per year. Since 1975 it has rescued and treated more than 18,000 animals.

The Marine Mammal Center’s website explains that their “mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals—their health and that of their ocean environment—and to inspire their global conservation. Our core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported bystate-of-the-art animal care and research facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community.”

After many years of good work, the organization received a large number of donations and was able to build a new facility completed in 2009. We were proud to learn that Plyboo had been chosen to grace come of the interiors at this important facility.

Both the lobby and the gift shop are outfitted with Plyboo FSC-certified, vertical grain bamboo plywood, with no added formaldehyde. Plyboo is used extensively for cabinets, counters, displays, shelving and the reception desk in the lobby. It is literally everywhere in the store.

As innovators, educators and promoters of sustainable design and construction products in built environments, Smith+Fong applaud the great work of this groundbreaking organization.
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Stacy Willard is Smith & Fong’s new COO 

November 26, 2014 in Bamboo Flooring, Bamboo Plywood


StacyWillard copyStacy Willard came to Smith & Fong in 2007 as inventory and logistics manager and quickly became indispensable to the company’s growth and success. This month we’re pleased to announce Stacy’s promotion to the position of chief operations officer (COO).

Over the past eight years, Stacy has come to know the company and our mission in a broader dimension, and he was the natural choice to take on this new and challenging position. He has played a key role in our company’s logistics and supply chain initiatives over the past few years and assuming the role of COO will be a great boost to our management team.

Stacy, a former US Marine, has held numerous management positions in the field of logistics and fulfillment and resides in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and two children.

Our congratulations to Stacy as he takes on this expanded role within our expanding company.

Rainbow Grocery

November 26, 2014 in Bamboo Flooring, Plywood and Veneer, Sustainability

photo 1My family and I love Rainbow Grocery here in San Francisco. Rainbow has been a source of information on healthy eating for us for more then a decade. As soon as we are in the door, my daughter races to the cheese sampling in the far back by the vegetable section, with me in fast pursuit as my wife settles in to the spice section for a long review of their offerings.

To my great pleasure I have discovered that Rainbow Grocery has, in turn, been a Plyboo fan for some years. I first noticed our mutual appreciation society with the application of PlybooSquared end-grain bamboo plywood for seating and tabletops near the Folsom Street entrance. Soon after that, our Havana PlybooStrand plywood popped up in casework at the cosmetics section. This year Rainbow owners redesigned their spice, coffee and bulk foods section, using Plyboo Chocolate bamboo plywood for casework and shelving. As noted, the spice section has always captivated and inspired my wife, and I now get to say it tastes a little better, housed in bamboo.

photo 4Rainbow is a place of discovery on a many levels and having noticed the construction at the front entrance, I took a moment to wander over and see what was manifesting there. Looking to my right I noticed a hidden garden, an oasis by the elevated freeway, with an “open” sign hanging from the verdant fence. I ventured in to take a look and discovered a portable cafe wedged into this small slice of Mission District real estate.

As I got closer I found more Plyboo plywood in use for surface treatments in both the interior and exterior. It looks like this portable cafe and Plyboo have found another place to dwell under the Rainbow.

I ordered two cappuccinos and a hot chocolate and went back to find my family.

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