The key to any successful business is to create a product or service that people will desire and Peter Malone, owner of the Seaport Shutter Company in Brewster and Chatham did just that, quite by accident. Malone was unhappy with his job in the corporate world, so he bought an old house in Harwich Port to renovate as a creative project in his spare time.
“When I got to the outside, I needed shutters and I couldn’t find anything that I liked so I made my own,” he says.
Photography by Amber Jane Barricman
Products Sourced from Seaport Shutter Company
Customers started knocking on his door…literally
Pretty soon people were knocking on his door to ask him where he bought his shutters and the idea for a business was born. For the first five years, Malone juggled corporate life during the week with crafting high quality shutters nights and weekends in his barn. Eventually he decided to take the leap off the corporate ladder and he has never looked back.
In 1997, he bought a dilapidated old gas station on Route 6A in Brewster and turned it into a workshop and showroom for high-end architectural wood products, including indoor and outdoor shutters, customized screen doors, and handcrafted Adirondack chairs.
The shutters are made from western red cedar and Malone has eight different styles, but is willing to create any custom design a customer requests. Within those styles there are also plenty of other ways to individualize the shutters with features such as cutouts of iconic shapes like anchors, sailboats or starfish. Or they can be adorned with gold raised appliqués such as scallop shells, lighthouses or pineapples.
Getting it right
To create the shutters, the Seaport Shutter Company team measures the windows to ensure an exact fit. Then they manufacture the shutters and finish them with five coats of paint to ensure they will hold up against the effects of the weather. Once the shutters are finished, they are installed using traditional hardware and shutter dogs to hold them back against the house. The shutter dogs also come in many different shapes to create a unique look, including grapes, flowers and stars.
Seaport Shutter applies the same care and customized attention to their screen doors, which are actually year-round doors that include both a screen and a glass panel that pop in and out for a seasonal change in about 30 seconds. The doors are handcrafted out of premium mahogany and designed to match the lines of the solid door behind them. They are finished with five coats of either premium paint or natural spar finish.
There are several basic styles that can then be customized to reflect a homeowner’s personal taste. Those with small children or pets might choose a door with slats at the bottom and an open top. Homeowners who prefer simple lines can opt for a door with a straight horizontal rail at a height that matches the details of their front door.
For a more whimsical entryway, a straight rail with a circle of wood in the center offers an astounding number of options. The circle can be adorned with a classic style gold tone appliqué that is mounted on the surface or it can include a choice of over fifty cut out designs.
“We’ve done sailboats, beagles, golden retrievers and dragonflies,” Malone says. “People can add anything that means something to them and that’s what makes these doors special.”
And then there were chairs
The signature Adirondack chairs that the Seaport Shutter Company makes came about the same way the specialized shutters did. Malone created one for himself and a neighbor asked him if he would make one for a Father’s Day present. He did, and another facet of the business was born. The chairs are designed for pure comfort, with an extra slat in the seat to create the perfect angle and wider back slats for ease on the back. The arms are nine inches wide, making them the perfect resting place for a glass of chardonnay or even a laptop.
Copper caps on the front legs protect the legs from splintering if they are dragged across a lawn and the 65 screws that hold the cedar chairs together are all covered with plugs for a seamless appearance. The chairs can also be accessorized with a cutout on the back to reflect a decorating theme.
Whether they are making shutters, screen doors or Adirondack chairs, the Seaport Shutter Company prides themselves on creating the highest quality product they can from the best materials available. And that’s a business plan that leads to success.