Dovetail Designs takes flight

Oak Creek furniture-makers use unusual technique to prosper in new shop


— Dovetail Designs furniture store owners Mike Roach and Craig Rench see each other every day.

The work together, ski together, mountain bike together and make custom-designed furniture together. If that wasn't enough, they married sisters.

"It's the sisters," Rench said with a smile. "They brought us together. But I'd say Mike and I enjoy seeing each other every day."

In their new Oak Creek store, Roach and Rench create pieces of art -- handcrafted cherry, walnut, pine and maple bunk beds, nightstands, dining room tables, dressers and a variety of other furniture for their clients.

"We look to produce future antiques with our furniture, as opposed to the mass-produced furniture other companies produce that are just stapled together," Roach said.

The name Dovetail Designs comes from a particular type of furniture-making method the men practice. They make furniture using dovetail joints- joints that resemble a dove's tail.

"They treat every piece of wood they touch like it's a piece of art," said Schuyler Roach, Mike's wife. "They sit down with a client and give them exactly what they want."

Mike Roach said he and Rench spend from six to eight weeks making a piece of furniture. He also said they are flexible, which allows them to design their clients' dream furniture.

Their process begins with a pencil, a piece of paper and an idea. From there, the men try to get a feel for what their clients want, including the type of wood, the size, shape and design.

The furniture can be expensive or inexpensive depending on what each individual wants, the men said.

A nightstand may cost $500 or more, and beds, dressers and entertainment centers can cost thousands of dollars.

"What's nice about what we do is that we can do anything. We go through the design process with having as many details as we can get from the client. Every piece we have ever done has been different in some way," Roach said.

The men update their clients as to the progress of the work by sending them digital photos as the furniture-making progresses.

"As people see their furniture actually being built, they get really excited about the process," Roach said. "Plus, we deliver."

Most of their clients are from Steamboat Springs, but they sell furniture to people who live in Vail and other regional cities. Both men said they would like to see more South Routt residents become customers.

"Right now, we don't have a lot of Oak Creek buyers, but we'd definitely like to get some of our stuff into the houses of some local people," Roach said.

Dovetail Designs has been in business for about a year and is at Main Street and Sharp Avenue, where Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3311 used to be.

Roach had the old VFW building demolished so he could build the shop from the ground up.

"I never dreamed that I would have all of this. I never dreamed I would have my own showroom. We have a great downtown Oak Creek location, and we got here right before all of these great changes started happening around us," Roach said. "It's really worked out well."

Roach's wife recently moved her Steamboat Springs business, "Sky Design" -- a graphic design company -- into the store's showroom, leaving the store's loft for the men's office.

Rench said one of the main reasons he and Roach got into the furniture-making business was knowing that other people were enjoying their work.

"It's really fulfilling to see something you drew on a piece of paper become a finished project with drawers and hooks. It's always a challenge, but it fulfills that artistic need we both share. We both love what we do."


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