The Story of Exotic Woods Co., Inc.
The company was founded by Gulab Gidwani, a mechanical engineer by profession, in 1975 to provide musical instrument woods to Gibson Co., which, at that time, was owned by Norlin Industries.
At the age of 7 Gulab moved with his family from Pakistan to Bombay, India. He finished off his grade schooling and as a young adult decided to make the trek to the United States to earn a degree in engineering. Post schooling Gulab worked for the government making ammunition machines for the NAVY.
In 1972 Gulab had decided to take a vacation back to India with no intentions of staying there at the time, during his trip in India a family member of Gulab in the guitar business had handed him a piece of ebony, and had asked him to find a supplier of the wood. This scrap of ebony prolonged Gulab’s stay in India for another 3 years as he not only found a provider for the wood, he also clinched a four year contract for the timber allowing him to supply the American Guitar Company Gibson.
Gulab realized the attention that was required to ship Ebony across India, and eventually to Kalamazoo; Michigan where the Gibson Co. owned an establishment. Gidwani was in agreement with the new found occupation in Bombay and continued his labors, until after 3 years the Gibson company reduced their production lines and eventually closed their factory in Kalamazoo leaving Mr.Gidwani with about $85,000 worth of lumber inventory and no one to sell it to.
Gidwani was stuck debating wether he should rediscover himself a new occupation or to continue working on his fledling lumber business which already had a stock, his wisest decision was to travel back to the US and give it a shot. This event lead to the birth of our today’s established Exotic Woods Co., Inc.
From such humble beginnings, we have grown over the years to provide musical instrument woods to major manufacturers of stringed instruments, woodwind instruments, pool cues, arms manufacturers, and custom cabinetry.
At present, we stock more than a million dollars in inventory, of approximately 50 different species of wood, at 2 locations in New Jersey, approximately 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia, PA.
As we have our own vacuum kilns and de-humidification kiln, we are one of the very few companies in the world who provide kiln-dried Ebony.
We also provide milling services such as re-sawing, dimensioning, planing, glueing, thickness sanding and doweling.