Paul Drappi had a lot of boxes to check off on his list of potential places to raise his new family. But he was lucky to find help with that search very close to home. It was easy for Drappi to catch his wife’s passion for her home state of Maine since the couple visited it often from their former residence, just outside of Boston. “Maine had everything we wanted,” says Drappi, “snowboarding, mountain biking, access to Portland’s great restaurants, and a vibe and natural environment perfect for raising kids.” What Drappi didn’t expect was that his employer was also screening for the new branch location that would ultimately allow Drappi to pack his job with him for the move.
Drappi started work for Wayfair—one of the largest and fastest growing e-commerce sites for home furnishings— long before the company earned that distinction. A post-college break before his planned entry into law school found him selling TV mounts for a website called Mounts and More (M&M). Drappi’s opportunity to grow along with a company that consolidated M&M along with more than 250 others sites turned his occupational detour into a welcome new career path.
That journey took him from store manager to director of operations before finally landing him in his current role as site director for Wayfair’s new Brunswick Landing location. Drappi is responsible for building two teams among the 500 employees within that 41,000 square foot complex. Those divisions support Wayfair’s Business and Trade program and its supply-chain operations.
Wayfair had its own checklist to cross off before settling on Maine. An intensive search yielded a long list of Brunswick’s benefits that included more than just the town’s relatively close proximity to the company’s Boston home. Particularly attractive was a rich potential pool of employees distinguished not only by educations granted from local universities, but also extensive customer-service histories with companies like L.L.Bean.
Drappi notes how the demographic targeting that put Brunswick in Wayfair’s sights was complemented by the personal attention that sealed the deal on the company’s move. “Every Maine agency and company we worked with let us know that they wanted us here,” he says. “The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, Maine and Company, Priority Real Estate Group, and the legal team at Pierce Atwood all worked hard and happily to get us the answers we needed to make this move. We couldn’t have asked for better partners to welcome us to Maine.”
Wayfair’s Brunswick location is only the first of two that the company plans to plant within the state; a 30,000 square foot sales and service center is set to open in Bangor in July. Another 450 employees are slated to serve as call-center staff in that location.
The fact that Drappi and his company took independent paths to choosing Maine as their ideal location speaks to the personal and professional opportunities available in the Pine Tree State. Drappi concludes with thoughts on how his life has been enriched by both. “Wayfair’s corporate culture has always encouraged the kind of work hard/ play hard attitude that makes so much sense in Maine. I’m fortunate to spend my days in a new facility with an open floorplan that mirrors the collaborative workflow we’ve come to depend on at Wayfair. And at that day’s end, I can drive past strawberry fields and shorelines to a home serenaded by songbirds instead of sirens. It doesn’t get much better than that.”