Wood Business

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Next-gen leaders: Meet Kaylen Janes


November 5, 2019
By Canadian Forest Industries staff

Each year, Canadian Forest Industries is proud to highlight 10 men and women under 40 who exemplify the best of Canada’s forest industry. Our seventh annual Top 10 Under 40 consists of inspiring young men and women who represent every aspect of the forest sector, and love what they do.

To acknowledge and highlight each winner’s contributions, CFI will feature one of 2019’s winners every week for the next 10 weeks.

This week, we introduce our readers to Kaylen Janes, co-owner/operator, Firewood Factory NL, St. John’s.

“Kaylen Janes is passionately working to modernize the firewood sector in Newfoundland and Labrador – and to build a community-minded business providing sustainably, legally harvested firewood to the St. John’s area,” says Danny Reid, Kaylen’s friend.

Kaylen, 36, and her husband Luke launched the Firewood Factory in 2016, after a downturn in the offshore oil industry left Luke without a job, just as he and Kaylen were starting a family.

Their company was “a dream come true borne out of necessity,” Reid says.

“Cutting firewood and using wood as a source of heat has long been part of Newfoundland and Labrador culture, embraced by both Kaylen and Luke. But what was missing locally was a business that brought modern sensibilities to the beloved tradition.”

Firewood Factory delivers high-quality wood, harvested in sustainable way, meeting environmental standards and forest management principles. Kaylen previously worked for Newfoundland and Labrador’s provincial Environmental Assessment Division, reviewing the province’s five-year forest management plans. She brings this understanding and experience to her business. A member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA) and the NL Forestry Industry Association, she also advocates for a modern forestry industry in the province.

Kaylen is also a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) and the Forestry Work Plan Steering Committee – an eight-month strategic planning process that resulted in a final report, “The Way Forward on Forestry.”

In marketing her business, Kaylen focuses on education, using traditional and social media to raise awareness about how to store and burn wood safely and efficiently, and to encourage people to only buy sustainably and legally harvested wood, says Reid. Kaylen and Luke also run community outreach programs, including free chainsaw safety information sessions, and “Warm Hearts,” a Christmas-time initiative to give free firewood to families in need.

Up next: we showcase the achievements of winner Trevor Reid.