To say the least, 2020 has been an eventful year for Brian and Nicole Thompson of Gloucester. 

The couple went into the year with their sights set on opening a new custom furniture store and getting married, bringing together their families to make a unit of 11 — six children, three dogs, and themselves. 

And as the novel coronavirus pandemic put a damper on so many ambitious people’s plans, Brian and Nicole did it all. 

“We’ve tried to make the best out of 2020,” Nicole said. 

In April of what will go down as the most topsy-turvy year of the decade, the Thompsons opened their custom furniture store, Gloucester Design at 108-110 Commercial St.

“We opened our own shop during the pandemic because we have six kids all together, and having the flexibility to run our own business makes it a lot easier on us,” Brian said. He admitted that while the business can be a bit more stressful, it is easier for him and his wife to adjust their schedules to meet their children’s needs 

At Gloucester Design, the couple works to create custom furniture that is comfortable, memorable and inspiring. 

Their work has moved from custom tables to cabinetry to store fixtures, architectural mill work to restaurant and commercial work, to wood finishing, stair treads, and custom built-ins. 

“We are a one-stop shop for custom furniture,” Brian said, who has years of experience doing historical replication work on homes from the 1600s and 1700s.

Previously a nurse, Nicole went back to school to earn an interior design certificate. 

Since they opened on Commercial Street, the couple — who married aboard the 65-foot schooner Thomas E. Lannon months after opening their shop — are pleased with how well business has been so far despite the circumstances.

“We have really done well during the pandemic,” Nicole said. “Probably because people are home and looking at their houses more. We got more work than we expected.” 

The couple are not the only ones in the family who get creative. Their six children, all between the ages of 4 and 9, can often be found drawing designs and doing their own woodworking projects. 

Do they have six prodigies?

“Possibly,” Nicole laughed. “We will see.”

Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or

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