More About Us
My name is Jim Doolittle, I am the owner of Doopoco Enterprises. I have been building custom cabinets and furniture since 1978. In the paragraphs that follow, I will provide you with a brief history of my company.
Growing up I had somewhat of a predisposition toward the building trades, design/architecture, and a love for the touch and smell of wood. My Great Grandfather founded Albuquerque Lumber Company in 1881. The company passed from him to my Grandfather and on to my father. I began working for Albuquerque Lumber during the summers in 1969. Along with shop classes in school, this exposure fueled my desire to design and build.
During my education, I studied and worked with the dean of architecture at the University of New Mexico. I discovered during this period that though I really enjoyed the design process, I did not want to be an architect. I also decided at the time that I didn’t want to follow in my father’s footsteps and manage the lumber companies. So in 1976 I began working for a friend who was a contractor building adobe homes in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For several weeks I worked in the “pits” mixing mud to make the adobe bricks. In time I began laying the bricks and eventually started doing some carpentry. I spent a couple of years learning the construction process hands on from the ground up, but focusing in on finish carpentry and cabinetry.
In 1978 I moved to Aspen, Colorado and started working on my own, building cabinetry, showcases and some furniture pieces for local home owners and shop owners.
Building cabinets out of my garage in Santa Fe in 1980.
Installing 600 year old hand carved paneling in the great room of our ranch in 1980.
Paneled doorway in a 30″ thick adobe wall going into a new kitchen.
In 1980 my father acquired about a hundred linear feet of hand carved/milled 16th century wall paneling complete with a fireplace mantle and two doors. He commissioned me to fit and install it into a great room at our ranch in Northern New Mexico. The project also included a kitchen remodel plus duplicating and running several hundred feet of molding to match the existing molding in the ranch house. The ranch house is a Vermont/Victorian style adobe built in 1861.
After completing the above project, I moved to Santa Fe in 1981. I built cabinets out of my garage for about a year before leasing a 1700 sq. ft shop. During my 12 years in Santa Fe, ‘Doolittle Woodcrafts’ built custom cabinets primarily for high-end new construction. The projects consisted of kitchens, baths, entertainment centers, doors, shutters and custom millwork. The materials and methods we used were consistent with and on the cutting edge of the emerging “Santa Fe Style”. We were one of only two cabinet shops that was published as a source in the book of the same name. In 1984 I built a new 3000 sq. ft. shop to accommodate our increasing volume. We completed hundreds of custom home cabinet projects over a span of 12 years.
In the early 1990s, after much “Santa Fe Style”, I began to look for something fresh that would again challenge my creative spirit.
In 1993 I was offered an opportunity to build the cabinets and furniture for a very large project out here in Southern California. It was clear at the time that I would be challenged and that the tastes of the clients were fresh, globally influenced and genuinely unique. I accepted. I really had no idea that we would be working consistently for almost eight years. I will honor the request from the clients for privacy, so I have no pictures and I won’t go into any detail about the pieces that we built. Suffice it to say that many of the pieces were so original in design that it was necessary to invent methods for fabrication and perform structural engineering before work could begin. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work on that project. The experience revitalized my spirit for the work, opened my eyes to another world of design, and refined my skills for executing the fabrication of our cabinetry pieces with a superior level of quality.
As the work load from the above project wound down towards the end of 2000, it was clear that it was time to enter the local marketplace. We assumed the lease of the same shop in Camarillo, CA that was used on the above mentioned project. While we continued to build beautiful kitchen and bathroom cabinets, we used our high level of craftsmanship by specializing in home theater/entertainment cabinetry and custom built-in furniture. Since that time we have designed and built several unique cabinet projects for some really great clients.
The shop space in Camarillo was never ideal for the scope of our operation. In 2002 I began to look for a different shop space. The search took until May 2003, but was worth the wait. In June 2003 we moved our operation to a space that allowed us to triple the available square footage of our manufacturing operation. This move showed immediate results in the ability of our team to execute the cabinetry projects more efficiently while providing an even higher level of quality.
By the fall of 2008 we had converted an analog operation into a automated operation with the addition of a CNC router, Edge bander and dovetail drawer machine. While we make use of the efficiency of this machinery to bring more value to our clients there is still an important element of handcrafted care that gives our cabinetry a high quality fit and finish that our clients appreciate us for.
I am thoroughly enjoying what we have done as of late and continue to strive to create cabinetry that is unique to each of our clients.