Our Story

Welcome to Exotic Lumber!

We are a specialty lumberyard with 30 years of experience and over 150 species of wood in stock. From the very beginning, our mission has been to provide a wide selection of the finest lumber available. Our customers include cabinetmakers, furniture makers, millwork shops, interior designers, boat builders, luthiers, building contractors and remodelers, wood turners, carvers and hobbyists.

Born and raised in Durban, South Africa, founder and owner Bill van der Westhuizen earned his degree in architecture from Durban Technical College. After some brief and perhaps dull ventures in property and hospitality, Bill became drawn to the exciting potential of importing timbers. With a background in carpentry and an initial investment of $600, Bill opened County Woods in Durban in 1988.

From humble beginnings in a garage, Country Woods Corporation took off and has grown to become one of the largest specialty lumberyards in South Africa, operating out of two branch locations. In 1994, he and his family relocated to the United States. It was then that Exotic Lumber opened its doors for the first time in Annapolis, MD. With the joining of partner Neil Gager in 2002, Exotic Lumber expanded into its second location in Frederick, Maryland.

Our Frederick and Annapolis locations work together to offer the largest selection of wood species on the East Coast. Conveniently located in the Washington DC and Baltimore metropolitan area, we invite you to drop by and browse through our inventory. If you’re not local, we encourage you to visit our new online store! We offer competitive shipping rates to customers throughout the United States.

No matter how you reach us, we are committed to meeting all your lumber needs!

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