It’s really nothing new for longtime Sayville resident Mark Frappied. Designing, creating and building high-end furniture began about eight years ago, after ditching what he once thought was his future in teaching shop class for high school or middle school students to follow his passion for woodworking. “I was going to school for technology education, but quickly realized teaching really wasn’t for me,” he said of his decision to take his woodworking more seriously. Though he knew he always wanted to be his own boss, Frappied, a 2010 Sayville High School graduate still living in Sayville and now working in West Sayville, took a New York City apprenticeship, where he fined-tuned his skills and learned the ins and outs of high-end furniture building.
Eager to get started and made impatient by the commute, he completed his apprenticeship and took on a job working for an electrical company by day and a bar at night, saving money for equipment and tools. After a lot of hard work, he opened his first 700-something-square-foot shop in a garage located behind an audio store in Lake Ronkonkoma in 2014, officially launching Mark Frappied Design. The business quickly grew, by mostly word-of-mouth clients, allowing him to move to a slightly larger shop in Bayport before eventually settling at 61 Main Street in West Sayville in 2017. He was then able to hire one employee at first and then another.
Three years later, his self-made business is thriving, serving high-end customers with ultra-custom and handcrafted woodworking design. Originally, he started with tables and restoring and refinishing furniture, but moved on to more lucrative projects like complete custom cabinetry and, more recently, his ever-popular luxury jewelry safes, built-in with exotic and domestic wood species or lacquers and outfitted with about a dozen custom suede-wrapped compartments for jewelry, documents or other items like rifles. Those range in price from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the customizations clients choose, he said.
“I really enjoy the personalized aspect of the luxury jewelry safes,” he said, also adding that he always looks forward to working with exotic and domestic wood species and getting more creative working with patterns. Creating (book-matched) veneers and burls is somewhat of a dying art, he added, hoping to keep the art alive through a younger generation.
Though Frappied is often tasked with projects that allow for complete artistic control and limitless creativity, he also has many projects that start from designs and predetermined plans, requiring him to make it come to life.
“We are surrounded by design in our everyday lives. We simply recreate and tweak it to make it our very own,” he said, also noting that the clients’ options are limitless.
Most of his business is done with clients on the North Shore and Manhattan, though he has installed as far as Hoboken and Massachusetts. Since moving to West Sayville, though, he has tried to refine his clients to Long Island and Manhattan. He also ships his jewelry safes all over the world.
“I wanted to stay local and wasn’t looking to move to another state,” he said of his original intentions to open up in the Hamptons, but found the commute unattractive. “I like being local and I like this community. Our goal is not really to keep expanding, but rather to continue to build our reputation.”
To commission a project or find out more about his business, visit www.markfrappieddesign.com or on Facebook at Mark Frappied Design, and Instagram @markfrappieddesign. Call 631-419-6042 or visit at 61 Main Street in West Sayville – by appointment only. n