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Meet Scott Gressitt of Gressitt Studios in North County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Gressitt.

Scott, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Gressitt Studios in 1989 in a building on the corner of E Street and the railroad tracks in old Encinitas. Gressit Studios was the holding company for a number of business ventures. The base operation of the company designs and builds custom woodwork. From commercial product displays and dining room tables to Custom RV interiors and Hot Air Baloon Baskets, I never said no to anyone with a special woodworking project.

The studio space was also the storefront for Skydance Paragliding Company, a paragliding school, and adventure travel service company. We kept a house on the beach in La Salina, Baja California, Mexico for flying guest and students and took our customers on tours of the West Coast, as far east as Flagstaff, AZ. Another function of Gressitt Studios is our technology group that, on one side, helps develop software and data acquisition systems for wood manufacturing, and on the other, performs product design and robotic material processing.

In 1998, Amtrack tore down my studio and built a parking lot for the Coaster Light Rail system and I moved our facility East to San Marcos, where I built a tensioned fabric structure based on three Sea Containers. That facility will move again in June of 2018, to accommodate another restless landlord.

In the meantime, we continue to build custom woodworking projects, service the Film industry with 3-D scanning and motion capture services, and manage construction projects based on permaculture practices.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The struggle has always been managing revenue without growing staff. The state of California does not support the growth of small business, despite the fact we produce roughly half of the of the business revenue in the private sector.

I had a business on the East coast that employed up to 75 people and decided that that was not the best use of my skills. I have endured two recessions since 1989, two divorces, two serious car accidents, and tons of highs and lows.

I have become more of a one-man-show in the last twenty years, contracting skilled technicians, artists, and craftsman to support larger projects and avoid putting on salaried employees. I sleep better at night not worrying about making payroll; every growing businesses greatest concern.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Gressitt Studios – what should we know?
I am an artist, custom woodworker and designer, carver, and sculptor. I have a San Diego following that engages me to build one-of-a-kind pieces for their homes and businesses. My work is modern, clean lines, hard edges, though I build what my customers want. If they want a Shaker hutch of a postmodern piece, I am willing.

For the last nine years, I have performed restoration projects on antiques and family heirlooms. Local mid-century collectors and dealers engage me because of my background working for Knoll, Inc. and Herman Miller.

I am a bit of a perfectionist and my customers keep coming back for more. I stand apart from most local cabinet shops and furniture repair businesses by crafting only high-quality work with a focus on custom furniture design.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My success comes from my training. I started my woodworking at my father’s elbow. He was a Bell Labs engineer and mother was an antique collector. She would bring home treasures in the back of her VW van and Father would meticulously rebuild and refinish them.

I grew up watching and started my first furniture company at 15. Since then I have had the good fortune to work with the Kunkle Brothers from New Jersey, Bobby Cawallader, CEO of Knoll, Inc., and many other outstanding designers and craftsmen on the East Coast.

After I arrived in San Diego in 1989 my influences have been Jim Hubbell, Michael Creely, Marcus Bashore, Micahel Borelli, Paul Henry, and many other local expert furniture makers. These are the men I go to when I am challenged beyond my skills and they graciously steer me down the path to sound principals and high-quality craftsmanship.

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1 Comment

  1. Mary

    June 13, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Your work is inspiring! I love your winged heart, especially, as well as the winged headboard!

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