Custom furniture makers move to area

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:42

Established pair of woodworkers love what they do and it shows, By Mark J. Yablonsky OGDENSBURG — Fine furniture makers Alan Lazarus and Jerry Williamson love what they do. And now, they’re about to bring that love of labor to Sussex County. The pair have been in business together since 2000, with a location in the historic mill section of Paterson. But they’ve moved their “very fine woodwork and design” operation to Ogdensburg. They’ll be welcoming friends and neighbors to a grand opening in their new building, located at 60 Kennedy Ave., off Munsonhurst Road, on June 11 and 12. “And everyone is welcome,” Williamson said. “All of our employees are coming with us on the move, and they’ve been with us for a long time.” The firm works on custom projects from ceilings to cabinets, built-in kitchens, bedroom furniture, entertainment centers and much more. “We pride ourselves on matching wood grains, the engineering of all the pieces and all the appropriate color and finishes for the project,” Lazarus said. “We enjoy it and we have a good time when we work,” said Williamson, who lives in Lafayette. “That’s the good thing about us. Some people don’t like getting up in the morning to go to work, but we do. And when you enjoy what you do, your work is going to be better. Our qualities are different than most woodworking companies.” More space There are many reasons the two moved their business to Sussex County. “We needed some more space,” said Lazarus, who is originally from Rochester, N.Y., and now lives in Pompton Lakes. “And it gives us an opportunity to put in a finishing center, so we can offer our clients new pieces and the most up-to-date processes in color-matching and finishing. And for me, it’s actually easier because coming out this way, I’m going against the flow of rush hour traffic both ways; and for Jerry, he can just get on the back roads. “Coming up this way reminds me of the area around Rochester and upstate New York,” Lazarus added. “And I used to come up this way often. It totally changed my perception of New Jersey, of the rural aspects of New Jersey. So while I enjoyed the historic setting in Paterson, this will be a nice change. We’ll be able to stop at some farmers markets in the summers, and it will make for a less stressful commute.” Williamson, who is originally from Mahwah, says he has been visiting this area since 1970, when his grandparents had a summer bungalow on Lake Grinnell. Lazarus, the older of the two partners, had taught fine arts at William Paterson University in Wayne. Williamson studied art and design there, but he they weren’t there at the same time. Lazarus had been in the business for 49 years and Williamson in it for about 25, although their joint business is now in its eleventh year. They have two full-time woodworkers, and also rely on Williamson’s wife, Tara Bauer Williamson, for marketing and public relations. Proudly, they speak of having served customers from places such as Boston, Buffalo, California, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. “Our cabinetry and furniture have been displayed at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in Manhattan; the Architectural Digest Home Furnishing Show, also in Manhattan, and at the Philadelphia Fine Furniture show,” Williamson noted.