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Today’s guest is dishing on the lost art of woodworking!
Cedric Delavaud, a university educated business owner, returned to his roots? (no pun intended!) and his passion to build a woodworking business creating, mastering and sharing his expertise. With a focus on building and sharing his love for the craft in an environmentally safe way, Cedric hopes to help build resilience and tenacity in the next generation.
Listen in to hear his passion and check him out online to learn more!
Are you ready to make the door swing the phone ring and the tail ding. In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, from the skinny lessons that make you wince to the tell all expose as these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their business. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, local business marketer and founder of the Get found for local programme. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to multilocation stores. You can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re talking with Cedric beliveau from Ludoland here in Regina. I’m gonna let you tell him, I’m gonna let him tell you all about the ins and outs of his business. But my very first question, Cedric, what the heck is a Ludoland?
Hello, Barb. So we’ve looked around, I essentially do. Two things I offer woodworking classes can be for kids or adults. And I also build fine handcrafted products, mostly games and furniture.
Excellent. So it let’s talk a little bit about that. Before we got on air. You started explaining to me what Ludoland mean. So let’s tell everybody because that’s a fantastic story.
Yes, so as you may probably hear, I have a strong accent. I’m coming from France. And I want it to have two sides in my name, the Francophone side and the English side. So Ludo is a French word. That means learning while having fun learning while playing. So I was mostly thinking about the workshops and, you know, building things with kids. And so yeah, that’s how it came up Ludoland a place for kids to have fun and learn things.
Exactly. So was that kind of your original idea for the business was you were going to help kids with working to keep the craft alive?
Oh, boy, no, no, I actually started with making games. That was a very, very small thing I was doing. And, you know, it’s kind of weird. When you run a business, you start with one idea. And then you have another radio and another one another another one. And it just builds up like this. Yes. So. So ya know, the original idea was to sell games. And then I added the classes for kids and then added the added classes and yeah.
Oh, very cool. So like, how do people find you? Because to be honest, before we had a chance to talk, I hadn’t heard of your business. But once I hit up your website, there is some amazing stuff that you’ve built. There’s classes for kids, teens and adults. So like, how are people finding you?
Well, I, I would say it’s mostly word of mouth, you know, it’s, you know, people would come in my shop, bring their kids, they like it. So they talk to their friends. And that’s how it works. Mostly. That’s I think one of the challenges when you run a business is the marketing sides and get people to know you. That’s something very difficult. And for artists, especially like we do things because we love what we do, but we don’t have any training in you know, the accounting or marketing. So that that’s, that’s the tough part.
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s a very good point. So tell me, what does a typical day look like for you? Because I’m thinking you’re not hopping on a podcast every day.
Yeah, though, a typical day starts with coffee a lot. And yeah, no, usually I start my day by, you know, answering all the emails and question I receive during the evening and, and then I spend most of my day in the shop, building things until 334 30. And after that, I do my classes. So the after school programme, where I receive kids in the shop to build things. So that’s a typical typical day in my shop.
Excellent. So let’s talk a little bit about these classes. What kind of things would the kids learn or the adults what would they work on?
So kids I have two programmes. So the after school programme, they don’t get to choose what the worker Okay, so I tell them, we’re going to work on that project and everybody is doing the same thing. Which is cool, but what I like the best is the summer programme because I offer kids to choose whatever they want to build. Okay. So, so yeah, that’s a great opportunity for them to come up with one idea. They don’t know how they’re going to do that. And sometimes even I don’t know, like, oh, boy, that’s ambitious, you know? Yeah. But we just get to work on that. And literally, every time like, make it happen, and yes, there is a woodworking side, but I also invest a lot on mistakes, you know. And that’s something I think in our society, we don’t give much credit to mistakes. And I think that mistakes are great way to learn things. Yes. So yeah, that’s something also I try to, you know, make them understand that mistakes are here, because you’re trying something new. And obviously, you do mistakes, like everyone at every age, and that’s something I want to implement in their mind, you know, mistakes are fine. They’re just a way for you to learn something,
You know, I wouldn’t even go one step further and say, mistakes are important, because it builds up resilience. And you to survive in today’s world, you need to be somewhat resilient to I’m going to try this, okay, it didn’t work, I’m going to try something different. And, and that, I guess, resilience, use my own word, that ability to go back and try again and again and again, until something works, or until you find another way to do something that is so important, especially as you talked about in your intro. Because we’re so reliant on technology, we look for our phones to solve absolutely everything. And something like the craft that you practice, it’s a complete lost art, because you can put it on, you know, a machine and make something probably not have the same quality. So, yeah, like, I think the skill that’s being learned there is huge, absolutely huge. Let’s touch on that craft for just a minute. Obviously, this is a very well honed skill for you. Is it something like was your data word woodworker as well? Where does the passion come from?
Well, you You’re beside it, it’s my dad. He was, he was a woodworker. And I was lucky enough to have so that woodworker, but the dad who was also patient enough to allow me to hang with him in the shop. And so I get to see him working. And I helped him and I learned a lot with him. But you know, then life is about you know, you go to school, you get your degree, you have to find a job. And you get into that. I call that a bad routine, because we want everyone to fit in the same mould. I don’t think we all meant to do that. But anyway, and I wasn’t feeling good. So yeah, I just at some point in my life had just stopped and said, I want to go back to what I used to love when I was a kid. And I was thinking about my dad and how I would do things and build beds and and I said that’s what I want to do. So I just got back to it and bought some tools and re practice all the things I remembered. And that’s how I got into it. Wow,
That is so interesting. And you know, your point about I think we as parents and society, we we tend to want to put kids into a box. And so when a child or when a teen is in high school, when they’re in grade 12, we quite often will say, you know, where are you going to school next year, instead of saying, What are your plans after grade 12? Because some are gonna go to school, some aren’t. Some are going to, they’re going to do all sorts of different things. And I’ll be the first to admit that my husband and I, we both have enough credentials behind her name to you know, choke on. But one of our kids came to us one day and said, What if I don’t go to university? And I was like, Okay, what if you don’t, but he kind of looked at me, he’s in grade nine right now. So he kind of looked at me and he said, Well, are you going to be mad? I said, I don’t care to your life. I said, as long as you’re happy and you can pay your bills, it’s up to you. And you could you could literally see the stress fall from his face, because clearly, you know, he was feeling like that was an expectation. And so having asked the question now, there was that moment of oh, my god, like I get to choose. And yeah, I don’t I don’t care what my kids do as long as it’s legal, as long as no one else. And you know, they consist In themselves, like my job, my job is to build a functioning adult not to make a copy of myself or my husband.
Absolutely. And you see, it just reminds me when I was at that age, I would have loved to go into, you know, woodworking and getting to learn earlier, some skills. But I was pretty good at school. So my teachers, and my parents said, No, you have to go to university. And I was like, Yeah, but what if I don’t want to? Well, you’re good at school, you have to those going, you know, to learn skills, or those who are not good at school. And I was like, what kind of thing is that? It doesn’t make any sense, you know, you should be able to choose regardless the level at school or
Exactly, yes. Well, you know, and it’s funny, because my 14 year old again, he’s very strong in math. And so he’s been invited to participate in like, the higher level math class or whatever. And so he was kind of questioning and I said, you know, Hey, buddy, if you end up going into carpentry or any of the trades, like being able to do that math off the top of your head, that is going to be a skill that will serve you incredibly well. And it wasn’t until we had that conversation that he kind of went Oh, yeah, so I can actually use it now convincing him that he’s going to use a polynomial or whatever they’re called, convincing him of that. That doesn’t happen quite so easily. So, Cedric, you never told me before we started? Is your dad in Canada? Is he still here? With Oh, he’s still in France. Oh, okay. So pictures and videos of what you’ve made? Yeah, yeah, I do. I do. Yeah. Sorry to see critique them, does He say, oh, you should have this. And you should have that? Ah,
No, I would say that he’s impressed. Because I remember when I told him that I would quit my job and stop doing my own business with woodworking. He was like, what to do. And it was like, you don’t realise how much things you need to know you need to learn. And I was like, I don’t care. I don’t care. You know, I made that choice. And I’m gonna put all the efforts required to achieve my goals. So yeah, yeah, he was doubling first. But now when I show him what I’m making for my clients, yeah,
Yeah, no, that’s good. Yeah, exactly. You know, and that’s so true. I think that’s, I think that’s when you can recognise that someone is truly an entrepreneur, when they can admit that. I don’t have a clue. But I will figure it out. Because being an entrepreneur takes a special kind of tenacity, to be able to say, Hey, I’m ditching the corporate career, I’m ditching the university educated career, and you know, I’m going down this path instead and let go, because I got to figure stuff out.
And I think there’s a lot of people, they think you need a plan, you know, things need to be planned and set up. And you’re going to do that in order to achieve that. And it’s like, no, there’s no such thing. You just, you know, you make a decision. You put the effort in, and eventually things will come to you. You know, like, if you put the efforts in like, yeah,
Yeah, it’s and that is so important. You have to be putting the time in, you need to, you know, fine tune the skill, the craft, get the message out there, do all of those sorts of things, right? Absolutely. Yeah, one of the one of the things that you shared with me before we started was around the environmental practices that you have, or how environmentally friendly woodworking can be because you’re using natural stains and things like that. Just talk for a little bit about that and share with our listeners what that looks like.
Yeah, so that’s something that was very important for me since the beginning. But I that’s it’s still something I’m improving, you know, like, I just want my business to have the lowest impact on Earth, you know. So yeah, I am now using all natural stain and natural finishing. So if you go in match my shop, there won’t be any bad chemical orders like everything is natural. I also recently switched to no paper so I don’t use paper at all in my business. And the glue as well. I’m trying a new glue that is animal glue. So that’s something that was actually used in the past that back in times, there was no chemical so people had to find a way to stain to glue and to finish their pieces without chemicals. So I’m trying to get back into those traditional methods. And, and yeah, it have, it has a very low impact on the environment. And that’s really what I like. And when kids come in the shop, they get to use that as well. And I feel very comfortable and safe to give them this product because it’s safe to use does. It’s all water based are all based. There’s no chemical at all. So yeah,
So tell me about being no paper because right away sandpaper jumps into my mind. So how do you be paid? Okay. Okay, so there’s still sandpaper got me? Got the paper isn’t technically paper, right? So, ya know,
When I talked about paper, it’s about invoices. And like, yes, exactly. So for example, all the rules for my games, there are PDF version. And I have a little tablet where I do all my sketching all my notes, my calendar, everything is on that little tablet. And, and yeah, I’ve been reducing a lot like you don’t realise, until you step into no paper. But before I give amount of paper I would use I was like, Oh, my goodness, that’s such a waste such a waste. So no more paper here.
Good for you. And, you know, I think there’s a generational thing there. Because I am, let’s say 100% electronic, but the way my brain works, I need to write things down on paper to stick. So if I just type it, it will stay in my brain anywhere near the same way as if I make some notes. So I end up with all these chicken scratch notes that honestly I never go look at, because I remember them because I wrote it down. So maybe I need to think about the tablet you can write on. But for right
Now, I am like you. And that’s the reason why I got a paper tablet, which is a tablet you actually write on because I tried electronic with typing. It doesn’t work for me. Like it doesn’t stay in my head. I don’t know why I couldn’t get used to it. So I’m like this, I need to write things down with my hand. So yeah, I got this little tablet, and that’s working perfectly for me.
So does it save for you like, can you save whenever you write,
It’s yes, it saves everything, you can create your own template. So I’ve been creating a template for my calendar that suits my needs. So I have my table template from the calendar I’ve got, I can take notes, all kinds of things. That’s very great tool for me.
Well, yeah. Okay, so we’re gonna talk for a few minutes offline. Coming up right away. So I think I might be adding to my birthday list that I see right away. I mean, like, tomorrow is my birthday. So I can give that to my husband tonight. He owes me like, we will go into detail, but he owes me for my birthday. So I told them exactly. But get this. I told them exactly what I wanted. I gave him the link to go and like purchase. It’s a local thing that’s happening. And he dragged his heels and hummed and hawed and then tickets were sold out. So it’s kind of in the back house. Okay, so let’s talk about, let’s talk about you again, because that’s why we’re here. So we talked a little bit about the classes, but I know you also do game rental, so games that you’ve made, and then you rent them. So like, Tell me about that, are they great big ones are they like tabletop ones, tell me a little bit about that,
Um, either both I have got some big games that would sit on the ground, because they’re just too big to be on the table. I have some that sits on a table, but they’re still you know, fairly big. And these games are traditional games from Europe. So before we had all the electronics and all that kind of thing, people used to go in fairs. And you would find a lot of these wooden games for, you know, people to play with. It’s not even for kids, you know, like adults can play with that too. And, and they got into pubs in Europe as well. And thus still, they’re still pretty used now in Europe, obviously less than back in times. And when I arrived in Canada, I didn’t find any of these games and I could be a good idea you know, to make some and offer them for people you know, to to rent it for weddings or festivals or you know, stuff like this and, and when people usually really, really liked it. Oh, I bet
Like, right away, my mind jumped to my kids birthdays, because being teens now, like they need something to do other than playing on their phone. Right? And so it’s like, yeah, rent a couple of these things. My daughter’s birthday is in the spring. So it would still be, you know, hopefully, hopefully nice weather by then. But that’s exactly my son’s birthday. Like, there’s just always going to be snow, no two questions about it. In fact, if there wasn’t snow for his birthday, that would be a little bit worrisome, because he’s right in the dead of winter. So whatever. But yeah, that’s, that’s an awesome idea. So how do people go about renting?
So, usually, they contact me. And yeah, they just tell me, you know, how much games they want, how long they want them? Where they want them. And I just, you know, on the day of the renting, I would load metric with all the games they chose and come to their place, set it up. Give them the rules then
Matter? No, that’s awesome. That is fantastic. We’re just about at a time. So technically, we’re actually at a time but that’s okay. I give us the details. How do people find you find your website, give us the address, give us all those details.
So if you go on social media, I am on Instagram, Facebook, so you just type Loulan Regina, and you would you know find my pages. And the website is just www.ludoland.site. And on the site, you have all the informations you have links to register for classes, you have all the prices you have all the regular products they offer as well. So
Yeah, okay, that is awesome. Super easy to find you. And when will you be having classes this spring? For the Easter break, even?
Probably for after Easter break before that by the time we get the show produced.
Oh, yeah, this is a time of the year where it’s a little bit tricky because I have the summer classes coming up. And I want to get some time free before these classes to to prep them. So I still don’t know at the moment. I may have a last after school programme before summer. But in a couple of weeks, I will release all the details for summer and depending on how it goes I will decide whether or not I run the last session before seven.
Got it. Okay, well, that is fantastic. Is there anything else that you’d like to share? Before we wrap up today? I don’t know. I think we’re gonna share a bottle of wine from France with me. Oh, I’m teasing, teasing.
My dad is often sending me good wine bottle from friends, but they usually do not last very long in the house.
Instantly, they would be gone instantly. I hear you. Alright, well, I will go ahead and wrap this up today. So thank you so much, Cedric for joining me today and talking a little bit about Ludoland and the games you’re making your environmental practices, the classes that you’re teaching. I think one of the things that we all as local business owners see more often than we would like is sometimes it’s really hard to get our name out there, get our product out there. So I really appreciate that you took the time to come and talk with us today. And I do hope that lots of folks who hear the episode will reach out and make some contact. On that note, if you want to sell your story you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you would like to be a guest you can email me at barb at above the fold dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca I’m your host Bart McGrath, Google girl and founder of the Get found for local programme. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.