Dovetail’s Agile Custom Wood Methods

By Gary Cacchione | Posted: 04/04/2013 11:31AM


Dovetail Gallery is a well-established architectural millwork and custom furniture company, with job sites throughout the United States. Our base in Erie, PA, is centrally located to clients in Buffalo, NY; New York City; Pittsburgh, PA; and Cleveland, OH, with concentrations in Washington, DC and Philadelphia.

In my view, the true craftsman has an innate sense of mechanics, shape, texture – and most importantly, design. It’s a sense of how the parts add up to make the whole.

That “sense” of how the parts add up is our foremost ability. A designer or architect working with Dovetail Gallery will immediately sense this experience. It is evident in our ability to collaborate, make recommendations and adapt to our own design talents. This is our approach: a singular commitment to woodworking superiority.

When I’m asked what is our most valuable piece of production capability, I like to say, “It’s not any of our equipment; it’s our employees.” I can always find a machine but not skilled craftspersons. We use software like AutoCAD and Photoshop to help us communicate, but without the passion and skill that our men and women have, those tools are useless.

The advantage for clients who work with Dovetail Gallery is our agile method of production and design. The “agile development methodology” and combined team approach creates more value, with less work, so clients get the highest quality finished goods and lowest production costs.

When we take on a project, we look at the project scope as a team. We have production meetings as a team. Every idea is important and can save us time and money. In the agile workplace we allow these ideas to be discussed. We do not just handle straightforward production like 100-piece cabinets every day. We are building huge trellises, copper columns, custom French beech-wood installations, or, currently, a mechanized 9-foot toy duck with five baby ducks for a parade.

We want to do the hardest, most complicated job out there. We like to go way beyond “custom” work. In contrast, though we have worked on some really clean jobs, producing them quickly and quietly when that’s what the client needed.

To promote our team’s capabilities, Dovetail Gallery has been focusing on client development and strategic marketing support, disseminating the Dovetail Gallery name and brand in the online realm. We implement this by creating a content push of Dovetail’s past, current and future projects. Using key words and well positioned press releases we are keeping Dovetail work at the top pages of search results.

Sometimes a client draws media interest all by itself. Among many interesting projects is Georgetown Cupcake, the well-known designer cupcake boutique whose owners’ lives can are followed by millions on TLC’s TV show, “DC Cupcake.”

Earlier this year Dovetail was brought on to produce the cabinetry and millwork for Georgetown Cupcake’s two newest stores, in Boston, and New York’s Times Square. We enjoyed several things about this project: the simplicity of the cabinets and panels; the ease of how it visually went together. Kevin Perschka, our shop foreman, said “It was a really clean, yet contemporary with its inset panels and bull nose design.” Perschka says it is the first job he worked on that used upside down crown mouldings to cap off countertops with white granite placed inside. Dovetail Gallery turned around the DC Café in Times Square in just under a week – a high profile job, though not as extreme as some projects Dovetail builds. We have proven time after time we can manufacture any shape – circular, trapezoidal, polygons, etc. If a client can dream it up, Dovetail can build it.

Dovetail really came into its own when Landry’s Restaurants retained us to remodel the Golden Nugget Casinos in Las Vegas and in Atlantic City, NJ. Here were colossal millwork projects. Atlantic City took a full year to complete; Las Vegas 30 months. Each casino had multiple bars, restaurants, common areas and night club, each different in its design and wood type. From 24-inch crown moulding to glass and metal wrapped walls, my Dovetail Gallery Men of Wood delivered. Maybe our team could have its own reality TV show, solving each week the many challenges our clients bring to us to solve each week. Dovetail Gallery: the Men of Wood. I like how that sounds.

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