- Named Best Green Business of the Year by San Francisco Magazine in 2008, NCDF member Woodshanti
is a worker-owned cooperative building high-quality furniture and cabinetry using responsibly
harvested lumber and natural finishes. Creating simple, elegant and well-crafted pieces, Woodshanti
takes its commitment to environmental stewardship one step further by salvaging and recycling local
lumber whenever possible.
- Woodshanti began in 1997 when Shawn Berry, a nuclear physicist,
and Tom Clossey,an anthropologist, took over the shop in San Francisco’s Bayview District. Drawing
inspirationfrom their ecological commitment and the word "Shanti," the Sanskrit word for peace,
they set out to transform their shop—and the entire trade of woodworking.
formally organized as a workerowned cooperative in 2002. As a founding member explained, "We chose
this model to give our members greater control over their working environment and to give our
business the strong, stable guidance of a collective decision-making process." Worker-members
receive living wages, health insurance and education benefits.
- In 2008, Woodshanti
approached NCDF for a loan to help them smooth cash flow. The loan was made through the Worker
Ownership Loan Fund (WOLF), a program launched in 2007 as a collaboration between NCDF and the US
Federation of Worker Cooperatives. WOLF builds on NCDF's ongoing commitment to supporting
worker-owned co-ops by expanding access to financing and technical assistance. Today, Woodshanti's
eight member-owners collaborate to create a business committed to fine craftsmanship, artistic
creativity, environmental activism, and economic stability. And their business model seems to be
working. They have received numerous awards for their designs, as well as for business innovations
and environmental stewardship.