Ingrained in Cape Cod
While the evolution of this particular project came together quickly (about a year from the first time Marc Deslauriers walked through the front door of Pastiche with his portfolio under his arm and a truck with a sample piece of furniture outside), both MacPhee and Deslauriers had, for a while, been independently developing ideas that would lead their paths to cross at the right moment.
For about six years MacPhee had been trying to manufacture a custom furniture line, but all of the pieces had failed to meet her specifications. Working with different manufacturers from all over the world, ordering samples and testing finishes, she was repeatedly frustrated because she could not find the right combination of price point, finish, and quality. By the time MacPhee met Deslauriers, she had just about given up.
Meanwhile, Marc and Judy Deslauriers had been testing the waters of the custom furniture business. Marc had been making individual pieces such as hutches and built-ins for private clients on Nantucket. He was yearning to develop a collaborative business that he and Judy could run together. The construction business was slowing down with the recent economic downturn. “I could see the writing on the wall,” Marc says, “it felt like the perfect time to go out on my own.” He loaded up his truck and visited several different designers on the Cape. Pastiche was his third stop. While MacPhee recalls being impressed by the photos, she was sold when she got to see and touch the actual pieces that Deslauriers brought in his truck. There was no denying that expert craftsmanship, that muted patina and glowing wax finish, that rippled hand-planed surface.
One reason this partnership seems to work is that both parties share similar goals and vision. MacPhee is quick to compliment both Marc and Judy as being “very detail and quality oriented.” Marc Deslauriers appreciates MacPhee’s business sense and support. He acknowledges that this opportunity will allow him to do what he loves without worrying about marketing, distribution, or sales. Marc and Judy, while cautiously optimistic, are keeping their goals and their production modest, saying “We’re trying to make great furniture that will move. It is an adventure and a risk, but all we want is a steady scale and income. We want to keep things small—we don’t want to compromise on the integrity of the work.”
For MacPhee, the furniture line provides her with one more way to offer her clients as much customized attention as possible. MacPhee says, “The furniture-making has been a process and an evolution of my own background, my own history, what I see in my clients’ needs, and what fits into my credo of “Live. Life. Well.™”
Pastiche is located at 1595 Route 6A in West Barnstable. Irina MacPhee also has a seasonal store located at 8 South Street in Dennisport. For more information, go to www.pasticheofcapecod.com.
Amanda Wastrom is a teacher and freelance writer.
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