I’ve been working with my hands from a very tender age – the picture at the bottom of this page shows me at 12 years old, with some models that I’ve made. I started making furniture in 1986, after graduating from college. I had studied design and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and thought it would be useful to get some real world experience before entering graduate school. It didn’t take long to abandon that plan – making furniture is fun. There are few other careers where one can design and build without many restrictions. Also, I turned out to be good at it. Working with wood is endlessly fascinating. Building a business has been a pleasure as well. Each successful project leads to more opportunities to improve our designs and operations.
I enjoy working with my clients, and get a special thrill when I hear from someone who has been using my work for years and is still delighted with it. Business is often a challenge, but I have the good fortune of following a profession where everyone ends up happy at the end of the transaction.
We grew from me and some cheap tools to 19 highly skilled craftspeople, an array of the most modern computer controlled equipment, and a 33,000 square foot shop. But some things never change: the best furniture is made one piece at a time with skilled hands and love of the craft. I have been fortunate to gather an extraordinary set of talented woodworkers. Together we bring amazing things to life. So don’t be afraid to think outside the box – if it’s made of wood, we can build it.
Thank you for your interest in our work. Give me a call if you have any questions.
LINKS TO PAUL’S WRITING
Paul is currently blogging about running a small business for Forbes. Here are his posts:
Paul Downs wrote about small business issue for New York Times from 2010 to 2014. He was one of several writers for the “You’re The Boss” blog:
- New York Times: You’re the Boss
- New York Times: Paul Downs Posts
- Paul Downs Posts Classified by Subject (Easier to use than The Times archive)
Paul also wrote a book about his journey through a difficult year:
If you have any questions about Paul’s writing, email him directly.