Woodcraft & Willow: A Father-Son Legacy

Woodcraft & Willow Suffern business owner Chris Devinney grew up surrounded by the smells of sandpaper and wood. His father Gary, a fellow furniture refinisher, owned Devinney’s Furniture Refinishing for 45 years and was the first to school Chris in the art of restoring wooden home pieces to their former glory.

While the younger Devinney tried his hand at retail and commercial carpet tile restoration in his late teens, he eventually came back to work with his father, gaining 13 years of experience in the business. After a seven year stint working for Raymour & Flanigan, Devinney decided to take the opportunity to begin his own furniture refinishing business—one that would take his father’s model and take it to a new level. Thus in November 2019, the furniture repair and restoration business Woodcraft & Willow was born.

“This last November was our five year anniversary,” Devinney noted. “Honestly, I’m shocked and so thrilled and humbled by the amount of work that’s coming in. People are like, ‘We’ve been waiting decades to have someone fix this or that.’ So it just kind of blew up from there. It’s amazing.”

Devinney admits that beginning an at-home furniture refinishing business at the precipice of COVID-19 was less than ideal. However, the savvy owner adapted with what he compared to a food delivery service model, asking customers to leave their furniture pieces on their front porches and taking them to his own home to work. Now, he completes work in customers’ homes as well as his own, with plans to move into a bigger shop in early April—the same location his father shared with craftsman Rick Johnson 20 years ago.

“We are a furniture repair, refinishing and restoration company,” Devinney said when explaining more about Woodcraft & Willow’s scope of business.

“We specialize in wood, leather and upholstery. As far as wood goes, we do everything from small touch-ups to full refinishing and rebuilding. For leather and upholstery, we basically specialize in repairs. We do ceramic repairs, reclining mechanisms…You name it, we’ve done it!”

Sadly, Gary Devinney passed away in 2020 due to COVID-19. When asked what it feels like to be able to continue his father’s legacy doing the work he loved, the younger Devinney smiled.

“It feels amazing,” Devinney said. “I had just started Woodcraft & Willow, and of course he was proud. But we weren’t anywhere near where we are today. I wish I had the opportunity to still  have him here to do it. I know he would be thrilled. Because that’s the one thing he wanted—to pass that (art) on to me.”

Lion piece pre Woodcraft & Willow


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