Creating has always been Mark Quavillon’s passion. He says there is something about taking an ordinary object and turning it into something unique. He and his partner, Xeny Lopez-Matos, were attracted to the creative process of woodworking, knowing that once a cut is made, there is no going back. Every decision is deliberate but fluid, culminating in a piece that can never be replicated.

Villon’s Carpinteria is the embodiment of Quavillon’s and Lopez-Matos’ passion for woodworking and the holistic process of turning an otherwise discarded tree into a unique piece of art. What began as an ambitious weekend project has evolved into a business that continues to develop and transform with each piece they create. Quavillon obviously comes from the clothing industry, having created the Villon clothing brand, which he still manages, and Lopez-Matos is an instructional system designer with experience in project management. They leverage different, but complementary backgrounds and style in all of their projects.

Preserving the natural characteristics of their handmade furniture/art highlights the rawness and imperfections found in wood that would be overlooked and removed in conventional lumber. This is repurposing versus harvesting. From in the ground to under your coffee cup, they take old trees destined for a chipper or the landfill and give them a new life with every piece having its own story and character. The goal is to use the resources available to minimize the impact on the environment.

Quavillon and Lopez-Matos work with the resources and relationships they encounter daily. Friends now know what they look for and bring opportunities to them. From the tree removal, to milling the wood, to creating that unique piece, their hands-on approach has led them to form relationships with people involved in every step of the process.

Their ongoing goal for Villon’s Carpinteria is to open a nontraditional woodshop that brings the community together — a place for people to stop by for a glass of wine or craft beer in a rustic environment merged with the art of woodworking. Think — a sawdust floor, the smell of fresh-cut wood, and a nice Pinot Noir. That, and you can buy your table if you like.