About MWW On Demand

About MWW On Demand

Industry - 1932

Homespun Beginnings

In 1932, during the prime of a bustling textile industry, Tom Oates founded Manual Woodworkers and Weavers (MWW). Our privately owned company, nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, quickly established itself as an innovative force in the gift and decorative accessories industry.

Early Enterprise

Tom Oates crafted wood carvings by hand, selling them alongside locally-sourced products in The Manual Woodworkers shop and on the road. Tom’s carvings were made from mountain laurel and featured the names of national parks.

Growth | 1970

The Second Generation

When Lemuel and Sandra Oates took over in the early 1970s, the company was more successful than ever, enjoying year-over-year demand and growth. They gave up successful independent careers in manufacturing production control and government security, respectively, to take over Manual Woodworkers. At that time, the company generated most of its profits during the early part of the year. Sandra and Lemuel spotted an opportunity to balance the calendar and expanded into the gift industry with great success.

Imports and Gifts

With an innate understanding of what people wanted to put in their homes, Lemuel and Sandra’s home decor imports took off. Country style was trending in the 1980s, and Manual Woodworkers offered products that became nationwide hits, such as braided rugs and woven blankets with quilting designs. Business was thriving, and stock sometimes sold out in moments!

Staying Local

Sock rugs were major sellers in the 1980s and 1990s. People wove the rugs on shuttle looms using repurposed sock clippings. Every Monday through Thursday, local makers wove rugs, while sales and shipments were handled at company headquarters. On Fridays, people dropped off their finished rugs, picked up their payment, and loaded new supplies for the following week.

Innovation | 2008


Travis Oates and Molly Oates Sherrill, third-generation co-owners of Manual Woodworkers and Weavers, rebranded the company as MWW Inc. With the same entrepreneurial spirit of their parents and grandparents before them, Molly and Travis saw a need for a manufacturing and distribution-related third party fulfillment service, while maintaining MWW Inc’s continued focus on high quality and personalized service.

Distribution Center

Travis Oates built a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution center after graduating college. The massive undertaking included over two miles of smart conveyor systems, a three-story central pick and pack unit, and a million sqft of manufacturing and warehouse distribution space. Shipments which previously had a four week turnaround now took just three days, cementing MWW Inc.’s position in the manufacturing and gift market.

MWW On Demand

MWW On Demand, a division of MWW Inc., is the proud American leader of the textile and custom printing industry. In alignment with MWW Inc.’s tradition of identifying new opportunities to create quality products, current technologies drive MWW On Demand, investing in technology and innovation. MWW’s utilization of On Demand and Woven On Demand manufacturing illustrates the fusion of technology and marketing, anchored by local manufacturing roots.

On Demand printing services are the wave of the future, and MWW continues to add new services, products, and manufacturing capabilities. And a family-owned business built on quality products and outstanding customer service, we continue to thrive in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.