Close up shop or reinvent our business? That’s the decision we were faced with when the market crashed in late 2008.
Just a year prior, we purchased a 16,000sqft historic mill building in Andover, MA and moved our business into that building with the dream of outgrowing the space someday. This dream quickly turned into a harsh reality of a new mortgage, extensive overhead and personal expenses with our pipeline of work rapidly drying up. The tell-tale signs of a business facing failure were apparent but failure was not an option. With a 2 year old son at home, another on the way and our strong will to not give up, we forged forward. We knew we had to adapt to the conditions we were facing, shift gears and take a new approach to reinvent our business.
Since incorporating in 2001, our focus had been on high-end residential millwork. While that work was becoming very limited, there seemed to be an abundance of public, commercial work. However, the commercial market was a whole different animal than the residential market. There were many barriers to entry such as establishing a new network, mastering the bidding process and learning the ins and outs of working with new materials. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy but we were up for the challenge.
Over the next several years, we built our commercial portfolio, spanning the market sectors from education to municipalities to private commercial projects. We invested our time and resources in developing this new business, investing in state of the art CNC machinery and software along the way – investments that transformed the way we fabricate our cabinetry, countertops and millwork. The addition of these investments also opened doors to various business opportunities including prototyping and manufacturing products for small businesses, CNC machining parts for other shops, re-entering the residential cabinetry market, adding custom closets to our product offerings, and taking part in radical, creative projects.
It’s been nearly a decade since that uncertain time in 2008. It’s been a journey and an interesting one at that! We have overcome obstacles, established our company as a reputable business and celebrated many accomplishments along the way. While we have experienced so much change, our core values have remained steadfast: our dedication to our customers and projects, our determination to provide the highest quality possible, our mission to be reputable members of our community, and our drive to succeed and be positive role models for our two children.
I always knew I would end up in the industry, even as a young child. Growing up with a contractor for a father, I was on job sites from an early age, always taking in my surrounding, trying to learn from what I was exposed to. This continued during my four years of service in the United States Navy, where I was a crew member on a hovercraft and studied gas turbine electronics. After being honorably discharged from the U.S.N., Deanna and I moved from Long Island to Boston. I pursued my secondary education, taking general business classes at a community college and later at Boston College, while working as a carpenter for Thoughtforms Corporation. It wasn’t long before I felt the need to go out on my own. My approach to carpentry was often different than the typical finish carpenter and I quickly saw that I could provide clients with a superior service even though I was just one guy with a Jeep and a mobile shop in my trailer. It wasn’t long before I needed to expand by taking on some help and renting a small shop space. Things were going well. We were working on high-end residential homes for high profile clients but I was missing something…a vision.
In 2007, we had the opportunity to purchase our building in Andover. It was an investment and a risk, but one that we felt would be worth taking. The market crash set us back. Deanna and I knew that we had to make significant changes quickly to survive. This was the start of my journey to create a vision for the company. The vision included our shift to commercial work in the short run to compensate for the lack of residential work but more importantly included the goal to invest in CNC machinery and software to take our business to the next level. I was always looking for ways to do the work smarter and more efficiently, sometimes using unconventional but effective fabrication methods. The purchase of our Biesse CNC Router and CabinetVision software in 2013 transformed the shop and provided me with these amazing tools to create cabinetry and millwork more efficiently than ever before. I’ve spent countless hours learning the intricacies of the machines and software, not just to get the job done but to get creative with these resources. Some projects start with typical cabinet components and with some ingenuity, end with creative, one-of-a-kind pieces. This is the part of my job I enjoy the most.
The vision is constantly evolving as I learn new things, meet new people and am presented with new opportunities. Our two sons are interested not only in building things but understanding the mechanics of how things are made. This has added a whole new facet to the overall vision – to pass on what I know to another generation and have fun at work!
What do I want to be when I grow up? That’s a question I still don’t know the answer to… I enjoy working with people and solving problems. I’m a CPA by trade, so how did I get where I am today, managing a custom cabinet shop with my husband? From the time I took an introduction to accounting class in high school, I knew I would pursue a career in accounting. I graduated from the Carol School of Management at Boston College in 1998 and went to work for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as an auditor. After earning my CPA license, I pursued a career as a financial controller for KLD Research & Analytics. In 2006, life changed dramatically. I became a mother. My intentions were to go back to work after my maternity leave but I just couldn’t bring myself to part from our new baby. I was fortunate enough to have the option of staying home to enjoy my new job as a Mom. However, it wasn’t long before the market crashed, we had another baby on the way and I had to jump in to help Stewart reinvent the company. Over the years, I have become so much more than an accountant – a Mom, a supporting wife, a business manager, and a community volunteer. My role at Landmark Finish is one that has evolved with time and sometimes changes daily. As business owners and managers, we both wear many hats in a day – some that I am very comfortable wearing and others for which I am still trying to find the right fit. I have grown as a person from this journey and look forward to where it is going to take me and our family!
Contact us today to begin discussing your upcoming project with one of our friendly and knowledgeable professionals.
12 Dundee Park Drive, Andover, MA 01810, us
Landmark Finish is a proud member of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Landmark Finish owner, Stewart Junge, is a veteran of the United States Navy. We thank all military personnel and veterans for their service!
Landmark Finish is Home Advisor screened & approved so you know you have a trusted source for your project.
H.I.C License # 166424