Local starts builders podcast to help ignite interest in industry

Tommy Lothamer of Bainbridge Island knows the struggle and grind of working his way up through the building industry after being a carpenter for years.

Now president/owner of Timberwolf Remodel by Design in Poulsbo, he is dealing with a different kind of struggle — finding quality workers who are well-equipped in the industry.

To combat that trend and to provide insights and expertise from professionals in the industry, Lothamer will be starting a builders podcast in May to get people interested in the trade.

“The podcast originated around the struggle of finding good craftsmen in the trade,” he said. “It’s really lacking out there. What I did come to realize was that I could do something to change things by doing a video podcast and inspiring people. Just bringing on guests that are super passionate about what they do and maybe open people’s eyes to how awesome it is to master something and be able to provide that.”

Timberwolf started in 2020 out of Lothamer’s home on Bainbridge Island, before finding an office space on 8th Avenue in Poulsbo last year. Before settling on the podcast idea, he initially had an apprenticeship program at Timberwolf to try and teach the next generation of workers but quickly realized it wasn’t meant to be.

“I couldn’t find the right people for that program,” Lothamer said. “I just realized Timberwolf wasn’t ready for that. I don’t know if we ever will be, honestly. It’s outside of our business model.”

Lothamer was working on building a studio in his home for a potential podcast before the business moved to Poulsbo. Instead, the studio is now located at Timberwolf. “We completely remodeled it inside and out and in turn, built a really beautiful studio to showcase our work during the video podcast,” he said.

The podcast, called The Tradesman Podcast USA, aims to inspire the generations to join and master the trades and is a platform to educate people and learn what sets a true craftsman apart from the pack, its mission statement says. The first podcast is expected to be released May 5 and will come out once a month. Links will be on Timberwolf’s website along with its social media platforms. Since they will be video podcasts, there will be options to either listen or watch. Lothamer said he is working on a separate website for the podcast.

“We’re putting the first episode together to gain traction on sponsorship, but to also introduce the podcast, myself and get Timberwolf out of the way,” he said. “People that want to watch the podcast can learn a bit about me, my background and my expertise.

Lothamer said the podcast is not affiliated with Timberwolf other than they are recorded there. After the first episode, the podcast will consist of Lothamer interviewing different guests/experts in the building industry to highlight their personal experiences and insight. He said it could be clients or workers from other design-build firms.

“Really, the podcast is to inspire, whether it be people getting in the business for themselves or just developing and honing in their craft,” Lothamer said. “It could be someone in their 40s or 50s trying to get a new career path or a teenager wanting to go to trade school. It’s also to educate the consumer and clients that might not know what they’re looking for in a true craftsman, contractor or designer. The focus is on residential but I’m sure some commercial will trickle into the podcast.”

Another component will be adding footage from people working in the field. “My production and editing team has a vision around not just making it a guy in a room talking, but bringing in other elements and videos,” he said.

Lothamer said this is just the beginning of the podcast and is excited to hear the reception of the first few episodes along with the potential impact it might have on future workers in the industry. “We’re going to put this first episode out…and see who wants to get involved as a sponsor so we can up our production,” he said. “I don’t see an end to it. For how much I’ve put into it so far and the momentum behind it, I do believe it’s going to do well.”