Beautiful Chaos: At HOME with Mark Bogosian
Mark Bogosian takes an all-inclusive approach to life and business
It’s not uncommon to find Mark Bogosian, owner of Longfellow Design Build, awake at all hours of the night preparing for an early morning weekend fishing trip. “Early” meaning before the sun has started to peak its way over the horizon. Along with a few of his more adventurous companions, Bogosian will head out to try his luck at fishing and enjoy a day on the water. It’s this same kind of unwavering energy, visible passion and go-getter attitude that Bogosian brings to his business.
Anyone who has been tuned into the Cape building scene for the last few years has seen the name Longfellow, not only in front of remarkable home projects, but also in some of the quintessential communities of the Cape, including Falmouth, Osterville and Chatham, where clients can visit Longfellow showrooms. “When I was younger, I loved working on homes with my dad,” explains Bogosian about the origin of his passion for the industry. The name “Longfellow” is even a nod to the street of the first house he worked on with his father. Today, Longfellow is a growing company that Bogosian proudly oversees along with countless supporters, including, of course, his dad.
Bogosian is a 31-year-old with the energy of a 12-year-old and the maturity and ambition of someone far beyond his years. His two young sons, Jack and Ryan, are virtually mirror images of each other, with the exception of the 23 months that separate them. For a man with so many irons in the fire, Bogosian is lucky to have an energetic group of friends and family to unwind with. If he isn’t spending his free time fishing, he’s likely with his family, by the pool at his home in Falmouth, with a constant stream of guests stopping by to enjoy some laughs, all the while kids are running around the yard, often being led by the two blond Bogosian boys. Serving as an embodiment of the term “picture-perfect family,” Bogosian and his wife, Jeanie, are quick to count their blessings that have come from the efforts to build a successful business and a Cape-inspired existence.
A late summer Sunday barbecue finds a collection of friends, family and co-workers—everyone from Longfellow Marketing Director Mike Ciolino and his partner Mike Smith, proud grandparents Barry and Karen Bogosian, and friend Kevin Klauer with his growing family. Kids run around the pool ceaselessly trying to out-do each other on who can make the biggest splash, or which of them can make their parents the most nervous. Laughter peals across the neighborhood, and as Bogosian talks about the Cape Cod community with which he exchanges a mutual embrace, the family’s golden retriever, Tucker, comes bounding through the yard, slowing just long enough to make sure he has an audience before making a daring leap into the pool—one that is followed by the family’s second golden retriever, Lady. Not to be upstaged, Ryan, who has just turned 2, flashes a beguiling smile just before making a splash of his own, a fitting punctuation to that picture-perfect life.
“My life is a little chaotic with two kids and two dogs,” says Bogosian. Jeanie, a 4th and 5th grade teacher, is quick to agree with a good-natured laugh, but it’s exactly their ability to deal with this kind of busy lifestyle—to organize the chaos—that contributes to Bogosian’s ability to deftly manage the countless details inherent to the design-build industry. “We’ll be out having dinner, and an endless stream of people will come over to have a drink or chat. There’s always something going on,” says Klauer, an attorney who also handles the permitting process for Longfellow.
Bogosian works personally on many of Longfellow’s projects—including a recent home completed for his parents—and he treats his team like family. “My house and my boat have always had an open invitation. The more, the merrier,” he says with a grin. Often his team can be found enjoying a meal with the Bogosian family, or taking a nap in the pool house after a long day of fishing together. “My poor wife will wake up the next day and ask, ‘Did we have guests stay over again?'” says Bogosian, laughing.
The relationship between the talented individuals that work for Longfellow is a key aspect to the philosophy of the company. Bogosian believes that having a staff that works and communicates effectively means that all aspects of a project will be detail-oriented and the highest quality. Longfellow’s business model is centered on streamlining the design and construction process by eliminating outside contractors. Of course, clients are free to consult with Longfellow and use their services at any stage of the process, but the idea is that the very best project development is produced by a cohesive relationship between owners, designers, architects and builders. With everyone on the same page, the projects are faster, more cost-efficient and, most importantly, more personal.
While Bogosian has certainly found a few perfect ways to unwind, work doesn’t seem to be a burden for him either. He approaches it the same way he approaches the rest of his life—with energy and vision. His dedication to the community to ensure that the Cape remains the thriving destination he first fell in love with is what drives him. His inspirations are drawn from the unique and vibrant culture of the area, the ocean he enjoys so thoroughly, and from bustling downtown areas with unique gathering spots, like Main Street Falmouth, located just a short walk from his home. All that makes the Cape special is captured—in fact, preserved—in a Longfellow design, thanks to Bogosian’s affection for the region.
“When I was a kid at Boston College, I used to tell people all the time, ‘I’m going to move to Cape Cod and figure out a way to build a business and support myself so I can truly enjoy everything the Cape has to offer.’ So I did,” says Bogosian. “People used to think I was crazy. They never really believed me. But here I am, and now I’m providing this experience for my kids, and that is all that they will know. They won’t see their existence here as ‘once-a-summer’ special. That just means everything to me.” With a third Bogosian child on the way, it’s clear that this family has chosen the perfect setting not only for their company but also for their beautiful, chaotic lives.