SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION PROFILES Test of Time
What started in the basement of an Old Town Alexandria storefront in 1976 has become
a 60-person operation with two showrooms in the D.C. area and a production facility
with a showroom in Elkwood, Virginia. Stephen Doyle, the Bethesda showroom
manager, attributes Hardwood Artisans’ success to being able to change and grow with
the community. “We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our customers to stay in
business,” says Stephen. “If they keep wanting to come in and buy things, we have to
figure out a way to stay open.”
When Stephen left Hardwood Artisans in 2000 to study aerospace engineering at
Old Dominion University, the company threw him a retirement party. It was at this now-
premature retirement bash that Doyle met his wife, Witarani. “It was the most fortunate
thing that’s ever happened to me,” he says.
Stephen returned to Hardwood Artisans just four years later for what he thought
would be a temporary stint. “I thought it was going to be temporary while I looked for
something in aerospace engineering. But working here made other jobs less attractive,”
says Stephen, who has been with the company 28 of the 42 years it’s been in business.
For Stephen, it’s the client relationships that make the work so rewarding. “This
business is a magnet for really interesting people,” he says. Hardwood Artisans’
customers are loyal, professional types who enjoy connecting with their creative
side to purchase bespoke furniture. “It’s not just about the furniture we make, it’s the
relationships we build with people,” he says.
4828 St Elmo Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20814
“It’s not just about the
furniture we make, it’s the
relationships we build with