Crown Point Cabinetry: Quality Custom Cabinetmakers09/01/2021 05:00PM ● By Jennifer Goss Duby
In 1979, Norman Stowell had a vision—and a few Craftsman tools. Combining these with his furniture-making talent, Crown Point Cabinetry was born in the family garage in Claremont, New Hampshire. Since that very first day, the business has grown to employ close to 100 skilled individuals who handcraft in excess of 15 million dollars in custom cabinetry a year. The company remains family owned and operated, with eight second- and third-generation family members carrying on the tradition Norm started over 40 years ago.
With Growth Comes Change
The 1990s brought some necessary changes as the company was expanding from its mom-and-pop origins. In 1992, son Brian took on the challenge of reinventing the company. Not long after, in order to increase employee retention, Crown Point implemented a revolutionary management strategy: true team-based management. The brainchild of Brian’s wife Becky, the idea was to remove the layers of management and empower teams of employees with decision-making responsibility. Tasks included each team doing their own hiring, training, reviews, and if necessary, discipline. Team members were also tasked with safety, product, and process improvements. Prior to this revolution, all changes were top-down. Now decisions were driven by input from the cabinetmakers themselves. Over time, the changes in management strategy resulted in improvements in communication, safety, employee satisfaction, employee retention, and quality-first practices.
Another important change Crown Point made was to turn away from the traditional use of dealers to sell their products. Once boasting a network of 75 dealers throughout New England and New York, Crown Point is now a direct-only sales model. Working directly with custom builders, remodelers, interior designers, architects, and end-users, all design, sales, and fabrication is handled under one roof. Just a few miles from where Norm built his first set of cabinets, the state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in Claremont is light years away from the one-man garage shop where it all started.
What Does Custom-Made Mean?
People often wonder if they need custom cabinetry. “I don’t need anything special,” they comment. But as company president Brian Stowell notes, that’s not necessarily what custom-made means. “Custom isn’t necessarily about doing something one-off, or only for you, this one particular crazy cabinet,” says Brian. “Custom is two things, first and foremost: higher quality materials and finer quality workmanship. Second is the ability to reinvent the wheel for your special project. Custom cabinetry will always cost more than semi-custom or stock cabinetry, but limiting the reinvention process will control your costs and give you the quality and workmanship you want at a more cost-effective price.”
A budget for every project is determined early on, providing the financial framework for the custom cabinetry. Each project is managed by a member of the Crown Point design team. From concept to final product, the project starts with a vision and ends up as handcrafted, custom-built furniture.
Because Crown Point Cabinetry is nationally recognized for high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail, their cabinetry can be found in the finest homes from New Hampshire to California, to the Caribbean, and beyond. Crown Point offers a multitude of styles, including Traditional, Transitional, Shaker, Arts & Crafts, Early American, and Universal Design.
Crown Point Cabinets are in high demand. With their reputation for fine quality and customer-focused service, plus the current building boom, Crown Point is experiencing current lead times of about 20 weeks.
Photos courtesy of Crown Point Cabinetry