Levi Hollow Tools grows business, impact in Adams County
Jacob Rhodes, owner of Levi Hollow Tools in Manchester. (Photo provided by Levi Hollow Tools)
In 2021, Levi Hollow Tools in Manchester announced plans to increase the company’s manufacturing capability to facilitate continued online sales growth and bring on three additional employees. Supported by a $25,000 JobsOhio Inclusion Grant, the company was able to purchase the equipment it needed to accelerate growth.
The family-owned and operated specialty woodworking tool manufacturing company was started in 2009 by Richard Rhodes with the introduction of the TrueTrac Universal Circular Saw Guide System for handheld circular saws and routers, sold worldwide.
In 2016, Levi Hollow Tools began shifting sales efforts away from traditional channels, including trade shows, to online sales that today represent over 90 percent of company revenue. In 2017, the company was purchased by Rhodes’ son, Jacob.
“The JobsOhio Inclusion Grant allowed us to bring in two additional CNC machines to expand our in-house manufacturing capacity and facilitate new product development and production,” said Jacob Rhodes, President and Owner of Levi Hollow Tools.
Rhodes said the company was able to add both a CNC lathe and a larger capacity CNC router around 18 months ahead of their expected schedule.
“One of the keys for success with a business that produces a physical product is trying to minimize the time between concept and market-ready product,” said Rhodes. “The faster you can iterate and design out the bugs and defects, and incorporate feedback into your product, the better.”
Since receiving the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant, Levi Hollow Tools was able to purchase the equipment with no debt and have both machines fully functional within a few months. The company saw a year-over-year increase in revenue by 54 percent in 2021. The trend continued with 2022 year-over-year revenue increasing an additional 12 percent even while fighting inventory constraints.
Rhodes believes programs like the JobsOhio Inclusion Grant are important for businesses in our region.
“Access to capital for expansion projects is one of the hardest things to find in our geographic area,” he said. “Unless you have real estate to tie up as collateral, most of the traditional banks in our area refuse to fund or entertain expansion projects no matter how detailed the project justification is.” This can be especially difficult for younger companies that do not have an established history.
“We were very fortunate to be involved with the Small Business Development Center in Piketon when my father Richard was working on starting the business,” Rhodes continued. “It’s no exaggeration to say if it wasn’t for the help and mentorship he received coupled with similar grants that were available at the time our business would not exist today.”
Levi Hollow Tools now employs six people and has shipped products to over 20 countries around the world. The company has also since added two additional CNC milling machines, further increasing production capabilities and has three new product launches scheduled for the end of 2023 and through 2024.
If you are a small business looking to expand your production, reach out to a member of the OhioSE team today.
Levi Hollow Tools, LLC is a family-owned and operated specialty woodworking tool manufacturing company, founded in 2009 by Richard Rhodes, located in southern Ohio. In 2017, Richard’s son Jacob Rhodes purchased the company, known for the TrueTrac Track Saw System and the recent introduction of the TrueTract Router Gantry System.
Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) is the JobsOhio Network Partner for southern, eastern, and southeastern Ohio, providing economic development work and resources in 25 rural counties; they are the newest and geographically the largest of the six regions across the state. OhioSE partners closely with regional development districts, local economic development offices, state agencies, and other entities to expand, retain and attract businesses in the counties they serve. Learn more at OhioSE.com.
JobsOhio is a private nonprofit economic development corporation designed to drive job creation and new capital investment in Ohio through business attraction, retention, and expansion. The organization also works to seed talent production in its targeted industries and to attract talent to Ohio through Find Your Ohio. JobsOhio works with six regional partners across Ohio: Dayton Development Coalition, Ohio Southeast Economic Development, One Columbus, REDI Cincinnati, Regional Growth Partnership and Team NEO. Learn more at www.jobsohio.com. Follow JobsOhio on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.