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Brooklyn’s neighborhood shop

Working with wood is truly Marcy Pesner's passion. It's also nothing new for the owner of Beagle & Potts Woodworking in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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"I feel, after 25 years, we've created a niche market," she says. "Our clients select us for one-stop shopping for a project that includes everything from design and building to installation. Our solid, dependable reputation, our attention to detail, our cleanliness on the job site and our good humor has all added to our success."

The shop serves the residential market, mostly producing cabinetry and built-in storage solutions. The company's design bent is a mix of Shaker, Adirondack rustic, Cape Cod saltbox and a little New Mexico peppering. These styles are graced with the features of simple geometry, country warmth and classical lines with special attention paid to balancing color, texture and proportion.

Beagle & Potts' version of an all-purpose storage wall unit.

Two full-time employees run the day-to-day tasks, but part-timers are always passing through the shop's doors. Pesner likes to give emerging artisans all the opportunities they can have when they go to her for employment. In turn, they help the business evolve with design trends and keep its offerings from being provincial.

"Everybody trains everybody on the job. I don't like any one person to get pigeonholed and I also like the non-competitive spirit that's in the shop. Everyone helps each other out. And everyone is committed to doing a good job because of the pride in creating a good solid piece," says Pesner.

Ambitious artisan

Pesner developed her artistic abilities first at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and then at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture in 1979. She lived in Nyack, N.Y, for a year after graduating and was an artist in residence for Rockland County under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act, a government program that helped artists find jobs. As part of the program, she was also an art therapist at Letchworth Village in upstate New York.

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