Return to Quality


Where did people get their furniture 200 years ago when there were no large furniture stores able to provide the same item to hundreds of customers within a few days or weeks? They went directly to the craftsman and had it made to order. Each and every piece was unique. From the material it was built from, to subtle details created by the craftsman's own hand, to the unique finish created by a combination of the wood's properties and a finish selected and applied to complement the wood. Many pieces carry the signature of maker. The craftsmen were proud of what they had created and the craftsmanship they put into it. These custom built pieces of furniture are today's priceless antiques in museum and private collections.

This was a time when quality was a way of life. It took time to hand build these pieces. As the country grew and people became more impatient, individual craftsmanship gave way to mass production. As the industrial age progressed it became necessary to build more of the same product at less cost. Traditional materials and methods such as fine hardwoods and hand joinery were replaced with manufactured products such as particleboard, plywood, or vinyl veneer, and computer controlled machining. Finishing techniques that enhanced the natural beauty of the wood gave way to painted on finishes. The move away from handcrafted furniture to machine mass produced furniture resulted in a loss of detail and character. The corporate need for high production at reduced cost replaced craftsmanship and fine materials. Along with the loss of fine craftsmanship came nondescript throwaway furniture.

Many people have become disillusioned with today's mass-produced furnishings and flat-pack approach to furniture. Gone is the individual approach and commitment to quality in furniture making that allowed our grandparents and great-grandparents to collect pieces of fine furniture which only improved with age. You can still get high quality custom built furniture that will be a family heirloom for generations to come. Al Fortunato can build you that heirloom utilizing the same time proven methods craftsmen used 200 years ago, coupled with improved methods that the subsequent 200 years of knowledge has provided.

As a highly skilled craftsman, Al Fortunato can provide an alternative to manufactured, mass produced, and even antique furniture. Making furniture by hand is a demanding and time-consuming endeavor. For this reason, it has become a dying art. Commissioning handmade furniture is both a wise and beautiful investment that will be appreciated for lifetimes. Furniture custom built the way you want it has an attribute of exclusivity that discerning buyers will appreciate.

Compared to the cost of furniture in retail stores, the cost of custom furniture is high, but the value is even higher. When you commission Al Fortunato to build you a family heirloom, you will get far more value for your investment than even the best furniture stores can provide. You will be buying directly from the maker. The increased costs from "middle men" are reduced or eliminated entirely. A very high percentage of your dollar will be going directly into the final product.

Experience a return to the quality and elegance of the past, and contact Al Fortunato to begin a process of creating a family heirloom that your future generations will thank you for.


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