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Haydenville Woodworking and Design in familiar hands

  • Cory Doubleday in Haydenville Woodworking and Design’s workshop. Contributed photo—Jennifer Broy

  • Zinnia Stetson is a co-owner of Haydenville Woodworking and Design. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Part of a kitchen by Cory Doubleday. Contributed photo

  • A kitchen by Cory Doubleday. Contributed photo

  • Cory Doubleday is a co-owner of Haydenville Woodworking and Design. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO



For the Gazette
Monday, January 08, 2018

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Lance Hodes founded Haydenville Woodworking and Design at his Haydenville home during the mid-1980s. After more than 30 years and a move to South Deerfield in the 1990s, the business has changed hands.

Employees Zinnia Stetson, 38, and Cory Doubleday, 31, purchased and took over the business from Hodes last April.

“It’s a craft that not a lot of people do anymore,” Doubleday said, sitting recently inside Haydenville Woodworking and Design’s Whately Road office.

Haydenville Woodworking and Design “offers comprehensive home construction and renovation services,” and has “a shop capable of producing custom cabinetry, furniture and architectural millwork packages,” according to its website.

Carpentry is changing, he continued. Those in the industry are aging, and finding young tradespeople is difficult.

But that hasn’t stopped employees Doubleday and Stetson from throwing their caps into the ring.

“We both worked here for about seven years,” Stetson said.

When it comes to running the business, Doubleday and Stetson divide and conquer.

Doubleday, who grew up in Shutesbury and learned woodworking at Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls, handles all of the carpentry. And Stetson, who was previously an administrative assistant with the company, manages everything on the business side. Stetson grew up just outside Washington, D.C., and moved into the region with her husband, Gabe, who grew up in South Hadley. They met while attending Earlham College in Indiana.

“I understand financial stuff, and spent a lot of years in human resources,” Stetson explained.

While it’s been a successful endeavor so far, managing a business isn’t easy.

“It’s still in the early stages,” Stetson continued. “A lot has been put onto our plates really fast.”

Most of Haydenville Woodworking and Design’s business comes from loyal repeat customers, which is good but also poses a challenge. On the one hand, there’s a solid client base. But on the other, “getting old customers to trust a new owner” is sometimes difficult, Doubleday said. He noted that Hodes is still involved in the business as a consultant, which helps.

With the challenges comes an increased sense of responsibility to employees.

“There are a lot of things you have to be able to do well. It’s definitely overwhelming. There are a lot more moving parts than you realize,” Stetson said. “You go from worrying about your own job to worrying about the people who depend on you for their jobs.”

And with the challenges, “there are rewards,” Stetson said. “When things go well, you realize, ‘I can actually do this.’”