What was at one point the neighborhood spot to fill up your gas tank has turned into a shop that sells handmade wood work, from small tabletop pieces to larger furniture — all in the name of home décor. Husband-and-wife duo Jason and Samantha Nagorski opened R.E.N. Design Company, named after their daughter Ruby Elizabeth, in 2017.
It started as a hobby for Samantha then pursuing a career in photography, and has, as of 2019, turned into a full-time gig. She says on her own time she enjoyed crafting — painting on canvas, scrapbooking and the likes — whereas Jason had been working in carpentry for other companies for more than 15 years. But, as of earlier this year, he, too, made this his full-time gig, building furniture for the store and customers.
"About four years ago, [Samantha] and her mom started doing craft nights at her mom’s house where they would have family come over and paint projects and stuff. That led into starting to talk about opening a location," Jason says, acknowledging that the artisan wood shop "would not have operated" for the first two years without help from family members, including Samantha’s mother, Nancy Rivera.
At R.E.N. Design Company, there is clear attention to detail behind its work. Customers can choose from an overwhelming amount of handmade wooden designs, ranging from its top-selling dining room tables and door hangers, to other items like corn hole games, charcuterie boards, wine racks, wall décor and laser-engraved photos carved into a wooden slab. Throughout the store, customers will also find non-wood knickknacks from local retailers and national wholesalers.
"Even if I won the lottery and didn’t have to work again, I would still build furniture and sell it to people. It’s just something I love doing," Jason says.
In addition to selling their handmade goods, Samantha, along with Nancy's help, hosts craft nights at the studio Thursday to Saturday nights starting at 6 p.m.; fees start at $30 per craft.
Prices at R.E.N. Design Company range from $5 for tabletop décor to a few thousand for furniture. Items can be ordered through Instagram or Facebook or by visiting the store. The turnaround time for custom orders is one to two weeks for smaller items and six to eight weeks for larger ones. The store is open Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find it at 9 Sound Rd., Wading River; 631-886-2559.