Owner(s): Andrew and Kerry Janis
Year established: 2001
Location: 625 Franklinville Road, Laurel
Number of employees: 4
Kerry Commander’s and Andrew Janis’ North Fork paths led to love, marriage and a family, as well as a business that combined their talents, skills and interests.
The Shop Unfinished and Painted Furniture, founded by the Janises in 2001, sells unfinished furniture. (You can see a selection of The Shop’s pieces at theshopunfinishedfurniture.com.) Customers can finish or paint the pieces themselves, or have The Shop do the work.
Kerry and her staff also offer interior design consultations for kitchens, baths, offices, libraries or whole houses and any cabinetwork they may need.
Both North Fork natives and graduates of Mattituck High School, they began dating when Andrew was at Johns Hopkins, where he earned a degree in international relations in 1991. They married in 1994. By then, Kerry had graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in interior design and had started classes at the Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design, where she earned a master’s degree in historic preservation in 1995.
Purely as an investment, their families helped them buy a commercial building in Laurel that had a legal upstairs apartment. Kerry thought she’d use it for a studio and decorative painting business. By then, Andrew was making ends meet working for his dad’s construction company and his father-in-law’s painting business.
One day, as Kerry — who worked for a time at Cabinets Plus in Riverhead — pondered how to make use of her artistic interests and their building, the idea hit them: Sell unfinished pieces and offer customized finishes by Kerry.
The Shop was born, and it’s been doing well for nearly a decade through economic ups and downs. The latest recession did convince the Janises to cut back on inventory — most pieces are special ordered — and Andrew went back to school to become a registered nurse. He’s now on staff at Eastern Long Island Hospital but remains a co-owner while Kerry runs the business and her retired dad helps out. She also teaches interior design at Suffolk Community College.
The Janises live in the apartment over The Shop, raising two girls and a boy, ages 5 to 12. “I can run upstairs and downstairs, changing hats,” Kerry said of the easy transition she can make from mother to businesswoman-artist and back again.
The Shop is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Mondays by appointment.