GS Woodworking has been helping residents and designers of Westchester County and Fairfield County beautify their homes and interiors since 2014, and shows no signs of slowing down. The locally owned and operated company began when Guilherme Silva, born in Brazil and working in cabinetry and furniture as taught by his father, had a vision for his own company. After coming to America at age 18, Silva, known as G, honed his trade and bided his time before branching out on his own to create beautiful pieces to enhance his clients’ interiors.
Silva and his partner Mayara Hopp run the business together. Specializing in custom cabinetry and fine furniture, he does the creative woodworking and she works with the designers and homeowners to get all the specifications and details just right. As Hopp puts it, “The line between personal and professional is quite a blurred one because not only are we partners in love but we are also partners in business. And while the idea of spending 24 hours a day with your significant other may sound like a recipe for disaster for most people, we can say it’s actually made both our work and relationship stronger.”
When he was getting started, Silva had been an employee in another cabinetry company and he was the best installer they had. He got the work done quickly and efficiently. Clients would request him because of his expertise and attention to detail. Always hardworking, he began to take on small projects of his own clients and build them after his shift hours. As his client list grew, he was becoming too busy to work for someone else. At this point he decided to invest his time, energy, and knowledge in his own company–GS Woodworking.
Hopp joined Silva in the company in 2018 after also moving from Brazil. Although she had been a biologist, he patiently taught her all about the business and opened her eyes to a new world which she now loves. She helped him with the behind the scenes office, client, and management aspects and the business took off. As she says, “It was a BOOM, we grew together really fast.”
The love that they share is evident in the care they put into the custom pieces they design, along with the clients' help and input. When a client decides to work with GS Woodworking the process begins with a consultation when the client gives their ideas. They share rough dimensions, sketches, and inspiration pictures.
With that information, the team at GS Woodworking will provide an estimate. When the client decides to move forward, they will have a meeting at the client’s home to take measurements and discuss further details. Making sure proportions are exact is crucial. “Most of our clients are designers and homeowners, and I like to collaborate with them, sharing my personal and professional ideas,” Hopp says.
After that, they proceed to down payment and shop drawings to be presented to the client, which generally requires some modifications and adjustments until clients are happy with the plans. “Once the plans are approved, we will make them wood samples for finish selections. As every piece is unique and customized specially for each client, the shapes and finish options are endless,” according to Hopp.
During the process, the individual team members will do what they love. They have one expert on dining tables, another who is a master at cabinetry, and a third who can work on multiple cabinetry projects simultaneously. They all excel in their specialty. They have a finishing team that perfects the lacquers and can create anything from the most basic to the most difficult stain to attain the desired finish. The average time to complete a piece is four months.
Because each piece is different, it is difficult to give a price range since shape, size, and materials vary so much. “We don’t really have one favorite offer. This is the beauty of custom woodwork, it never gets boring!” says Hopp.
However, the cabinetry price is not comparable to Home Depot or Ikea, because the quality of the materials is much higher and will last much longer than mass-produced items.
During the pandemic their business increased as people stayed home and began home improvement projects. ”Homeowners have re-prioritized their spaces and their homes are now to serve much more than just a domestic purpose. They must meet the home, work, and social requirements,” Hopp says.
As people spent all of their time at home for much of the pandemic, they realized they wanted more out of their home spaces. According to Hopp,”Being able to work in a designated home office or to enjoy a drink in the comfort of your home bar has become increasingly important during this time.”
Hopp’s advice to people seeking to improve their home through custom woodworking is this, ”Having a unique piece of furniture is very satisfying. Custom cabinets and furniture have a great spirit, and it lasts. That kind of value is important. I suggest gathering photos from the internet and magazines, and researching materials they might like. Schedule an appointment with us and we will make sure to bring their vision to life.”
If potential clients follow this advice, they will have a piece of custom furniture that they have helped design which will enhance their home for many years to come.
GS Woodworking serves Westchester County, NY, Fairfield County, CT, Manhattan, Long Island, and the Hamptons. They can be found at gswoodworking.com