Some people may say Scott Messer is one step ahead in the world of budding entrepreneurs. He already has a business up and running with the first crucial years under his belt. Messer owns and operates Nature Resource Products in Canton. The company supplies poplar bark siding for houses and mountain laurel sticks for rustic furniture, pickets, artificial trees, and cabinet handles. But Messer has realized there are a few things he can learn that will enrich his business and the chance for continued success.

That’s what brought Messer to Haywood Community College. He is enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Program. And there’s so much he is eager to learn about operating his business. “I want to learn how to start a website and market my product in a way that will target and appeal to my market,” he explains. “I also want to become more comfortable dealing with people in the business world. The classes I’m taking this semester have opened my eyes and my mind and shown me more ways of looking at my business.”

Messer took over his business from someone that retired. For about 13 years, he was worked in the mountain laurel stick side of the business. When customers kept requesting bark siding, he decided to add that to his business over four years ago. Nature Resource Products ships all over the southeast. The business has functioned all this time on word of mouth but Scott feels an effective website would give him an extra boost.

The poplar bark can only be harvested once the sap has risen which usually runs the season May through August. During these months, Messer dries the bark in a kiln to remove all the natural moisture. He also flattens the bark out by weighing it down and keeps it stored through the winter months when it is not harvest season.

“In my business, I actually work with logging companies that are harvesting anyway. I am reclaiming something that’s going to be thrown away,” Messer says.

Messer explains that he has always been interested in taking classes in entrepreneurship so when his wife told him about the new program at HCC, he was very excited to get on board. “As a middle age student, it was hard to come back to school,” he said. “But I have a goal I’ve set and I want to reach it. I think I have more of a reason to succeed.”

Messer especially likes the small class size at HCC. “It seems more personal. I can ask questions and get answers.”

Messer has three children. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, and watching basketball games.

For more information about Natural Resource Products, please call Messer at (828) 400-1065. For more information about HCC’s Entrepreneurship program, please call (828) 565-4021.