The Carpentry Shop

There’s a simple sign at 238 Oak Tree Road alerting passersby to a carpentry shop. It is also a showroom with one-of-a-kind furniture and table craft as well as a gallery of majestic floor-to-ceiling slabs of wood. Recently, The Carpentry Shop held a grand opening celebration. For owners Julian and Natalie Dion, getting to this day has been a story of risks and putting one foot in front of the other.

Penn State graduates, Natalie was an economics major, Julian earned a degree in turf grass science. A rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox brought them together. After graduation, they accepted jobs in the D.C. area. She worked for the federal government as a business analyst, he managed the turf at a prestigious golf course. After a few years, Julian wanted to head back north so Natalie accepted a transfer. They moved to Manhattan as he sorted out his career. Starting with a pickup truck and some tools from Loew’s, he started Dion City Landscapers, drumming up a landscaping business by hitting the streets via the subway, passing out his business flyers at doorways. One client led to another. When he added “hardscaping,” transforming rooftops, gardens, outdoor kitchens and decks, business took off.

When Natalie became pregnant, they moved to Tappan into a big house with little furniture. For Christmas, Julian made a dining table using reclaimed wood. Then a bench, a coffee table and a mirror. Born into a family of carpenters, he discovered he found enjoyment in creating functional pieces of art, highlighting the natural beauty of imperfect wood grains. In February 2020, Natalie left her analyst job and The Carpentry Shop was born in a small rental in Tappan Industrial Park.

With the arrival of Covid-19 everything screeched to a halt. Still paying their staff and rent, it was months before they could bring back their team, but Julian kept creating with practical design input from Natalie. By the end of the year, they were back in production, persuading their landlord to rent them their current space facing Oak Tree Road which was much larger.

They are a formidable team creating a business crafting functional art: unique pieces that become interior design centerpieces. Julian provides technical skills while Natalie is the face and heart of the company, connecting with new clients to help them design a personal piece while managing and promoting the business.

The feel in the showroom is a calm blend of feminine/masculine energy with walls lined with slabs of distinctive wood from their two lumber sources in Maine and Pennsylvania. They have perfected the fusing of epoxy and wood to create artful furniture. Scraps become cutting boards and coasters. They partner with the organization One Tree Planted, which plants a tree for each item sold.

They service the buyer who is looking for bespoke furniture and wood pieces, professionals in the architecture and interior design field creating original pieces for clients and makers who purchase unique slabs of wood for their own projects. In the future, they hope to include wood-working classes, a maker’s lab and a wood kiln.

On September 2, 2021, Hurricane Ida hit. Four feet of water flooded their new space threatening their inventory, destroying the interior, the woodworking machines and the trucks needed for his city jobs. Dramatic and financially devastating, in the end their rainbow was that gutting the building enabled them to create a modern, efficient space that they had originally only dreamed of.

With so many challenges behind them, where are they now? They are enthusiastic and ready to focus solely on the work and collaborate to make useful and beloved pieces. It is worth a stop. While you are there, run your eyes and hands over the gorgeous slabs of wood. Touching is allowed.