To become an accomplished cabinet maker a person must follow the long path of experience and dedication to their labor of love. My journey began in a small ski town high up in the Colorado Rockies, where hunting, fishing, skiing, and woodworking became my passions. In high school my focus centered on an industrial arts education and becoming a shop teacher. After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado, I taught middle school shop for a couple years, and my love for woodworking and cabinetry grew even more. Furniture making and cabinetry became my main hobby.
As the saying goes, “A craftsman is only as good as his tools”. It was exciting to see how the variety and quality of my woodworking improved as I acquired additional tools and machinery. Now fully equipped, I was ready to turn my hobby of furniture making and cabinet making into a business.
I met my lovely wife Meg in the late 80s and we decided to move to Oregon, start a family, and create a custom cabinetry company. We purchased property outside of Oregon City. I built a Southern Victorian style house, with much attention to the woodworking detail of course! We planted a “gentleman’s Christmas tree farm” of Frasier furs – then and still rare in Oregon. Nothing is more beautiful than a Frasier fir tree with its light blue color and silver tips, but that’s another story…
In addition to building the house, we constructed two buildings for my cabinet shop – one for woodworking and one for painting – 2400 sq. ft. in all. The construction boom of the 90s in the greater Portland area provided plenty of cabinet work. This gave me and my company excellent experience working with a variety of builders and private homeowners. At the same time I was developing some unique looks with custom molding and hardwoods. I was also developing great working relationships with suppliers, which in turn helped me to provide a top-of-the-line product.
Our cabinet shop is equipped with tools and machinery that help provide our clients with a finished product that stands apart from others. The other factor that stands our company apart is that we only do custom work. We don’t buy pre-made cabinet boxes built at some cabinet factory across the country or across the sea. We build the cabinets from scratch, in our own shop, to the design requirements of our customers. This is particularly important with cabinet refacing, where every job is a custom job. The experience working with so many clients (over 200), creating their dreams, helps me help our next client even more, with pictures and stories of our previous projects.
Listening to my clients, working with them to understand exactly what they are trying to convey to me, their dreams for that space, and working with them to create that dream has been the key to my success. The majority of my business today comes from referrals from previous clients, and I’m very proud of that.
“You’re only as good as your last job” has been my motto. Truly each cabinet job is unique and has individual challenges, but working together, almost anything is possible!
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