Search
Made For You- For Those Who Take Furniture Personally - Issue Four
One of my favorite children’s books is “The Little Engine That Could” by Watty Piper. The little engine was faced with insurmountable odds but due to its determination, it overcame the steep grade and safely crossed the mountain with its precious cargo. I cannot begin to count the times Hickory Chair has found itself in this position beginning with its first day of operation. While we mark our beginning in 1911, the original company actually began in 1901. We did not adopt Hickory Chair as our name until we moved to Hickory from Elkin. The two brothers that started the company were lured from New York to North Carolina start up a chair factory as the Industrial Revolution was ramping up creating jobs with the industrization of the South. In addition to the challenges of starting up a company in 1901, the brothers realized that Elkin was known for textiles but not furniture. The local workforce was not skilled in woodworking. Hickory had a long history of woodworking with the Piedmont Wagon Factory and was becoming a mecca for furniture making with the demise of the wagon industry. The move to Hickory in 1911 made it possible for the company to not only survive but thrive in the 110 years that have now passed. Through the decades our resilient employees have banded together to overcome unsurmountable odds many times. The Great Depression, multiple wars, not one but two pandemics, recessions, ownership changes and shortages of materials and craftsmen have each challenged our company. We would not have survived these difficult times without the grit and determination of our people and your faith that Hickory Chair has the ability to overcome, evolve and become better than before. We are pleased that Made For You™ magazine is now in its fourth edition. Your feedback and submissions have allowed us to provide content that not only resonates, but hopefully inspires. We appreciate Margot Shaw, Editor-in-Chief of Flower, for not only creating a feature for our magazine, but also entrusting us to make furniture for her home. We received submissions from designers across the country and are pleased to share the talents of Mary Evelyn McKee and David Phoenix in this fourth issue. We thank Skip Rumley, VP Creative Director of Hickory Chair for his engaging Q&A with David Phoenix. We are pleased to share the valuable effort being made by BEACON® and Charlie Flynn, owner of Francis King, Ltd and the Hickory Chair Minneapolis Showroom to not only provide shelter but a home for those in need. We invite you to submit your projects and good works for consideration for a future issue. We hope that you enjoy this new issue of Made For You™. Each issue is created with love and appreciation of our artisans and craftspeople and for you. It is our honor to make a one-of-a-kind home furnishings made for you.
Made For You- For Those Who Take Furniture Personally - Issue Three
2021 marks Hickory Chair’s 110th anniversary. We are also celebrating the 80th anniversary of both our James River and Pearson collections. The first 110 years has certainly been an incredible journey. Looking back at each of these 11 decades, each has brought times of flourish and growth as well as times of strife. Each management team over the years has faced unique challenges and with great determination has led the company forward. We are blessed at The Chair to have a resilient family of talented artisans, craftsmen, designers and staff that have chosen to practice their vocation with us. It is fair to say that the past year and a half have challenged all of us. We have learned to work, to think and to live differently. While millions of people around the world were able to work from home, our hands-on industry was essential to the recovery of our country’s economy. We brought our employees back into our workroom and office with new safety protocols in place after a short break. With an unparalleled shift from spending on travel and entertainment to the home, our industry and Hickory Chair has been overwhelmed and overjoyed with new orders. Our employees have worked countless overtime hours while we work diligently to recruit more talent to join our company. We are not only actively hiring new artisans and craftsmen to join our family, but are proudly reaching out to local high schools and trade schools to provide a place for young men and women to learn a vocation to become master craftsmen of the future. We believe in our culture that embraces and develops talent and strives for continuous improvement as an equal opportunity employer. We are confident this culture will allow us to continue the ability to celebrate many milestones in the future. We appreciate the feedback that was shared from our first two issues of Made For You™ and have implemented wishes from our readers. Each issue is created with you in mind. We received submissions from designers across the country and are pleased to share the talents of Cheryl Nestro, Jaimee Rose, Bethany O’Neil and Suzanne Kasler in this third issue. We invite you to submit your projects for consideration for a future issue. We hope that you enjoy this new issue of Made For You™. It is written with love and appreciation of our artisans and craftsmen and for you. It is our honor to make a one-of-a-kind home furnishings for you.
Made For You- For Those Who Take Furniture Personally - Issue Two
We appreciate the feedback that was shared from our inaugural issue of Made For You™ and have implemented wishes from our readers. We were delighted to receive beautiful submissions from talented designers for consideration. It is our honor to announce that Don Easterling and Nina Nash Long, a talented design team from Atlanta, were selected to feature this month. They are true Hickory Chair loyalists and we trust that you will be inspired by their story and the beauty of the home they have shared with us. We invite you to submit your project for a future issue. 2021 marks our 110th anniversary. All of us at "The Chair" would like to say thank you for entrusting our craftsmen to make special pieces for you. We appreciate your endorsement to your clients, friends and neighbors. Because of the support from people like you, our factory is running full schedules and we are continuing to hire as we adjust to rising demand. One of our core values is safety. While we hold the record for the safest workplace of any manufacturing facility in the state of North Carolina, what is most important to us is that we have an environment that is not only physically safe but also is respectful, encouraging and inspiring. We believe that this culture breeds quality, longevity and creativity. The new threat of COVID-19 has required us to look at workplace safety differently than we did before, but with the same commitment to ensuring that our associates are protected as best as possible when they are here on our campus. Throughout our 11 decades, the leadership team at our company has had a consistent mission. Each team knew that we must evolve to remain relevant in a world and in an industry that is continuously changing. Our Hickory Chair family is made up of talented artisans, craftsmen, designers, and administrators from many parts of the world that have come to our area to practice their vocation. We are an equal opportunity employer, maintain a discrimination-free workplace, and embrace and develop talent. Our company practices innovative Lean thinking both in our office and factory. Which, simply stated, is the focus on eliminating wasteful uses of time, materials, and processes. This concept is engrained in each member of our team, and it must be, so that we can continue to deliver our customers with the best value possible. We hope you enjoy our second issue. It is written with love and appreciation of our artisans and craftsmen and for you. It is our honor to make a one-of-a-kind home furnishings for you.
Made For You- For Those Who Take Furniture Personally - Issue One
Within the city limits of Hickory, North Carolina, there have been dozens of furniture companies with Hickory in their name. Over the years designers across the industry have referred to Hickory Chair as ‘Hickory’. They also refer to our facility as a ‘workroom’ instead of a factory due to our ability to make personalized furniture to order. We are honored to be the one that earned this nickname and reputation by the trade. Locally, Hickory Chair has had a different, more personal, mantra. With Hickory titled businesses from hotels to hosiery to furniture, we became known as "The Chair". As we look to 2021 and 110 years of making furniture here in our Hickory facility, we are proud to be known as ‘The Chair’. It is where generations of artisans and craftsmen have proudly chosen to practice their vocation. There is something humble about this nickname - and working for ‘The Chair’. It is a term of affection that mirrors the culture within the walls of the company. It suggests something is different. There is a spirit within the company that guides and feeds its employees. It is determination and simply, never settling for standard. It is a drive for perfection to make furniture so exacting that it arrives ready for installation. It is a drive to make approximately 90% of the product within the walls of our facility, in collaboration with wonderful American suppliers using fine materials from all over the world. A determination to not ‘give away our work’ that motivates our employees to find ways to efficiently make each piece as it moves through each department. It is a focus on safety and environmental stewardship. As a result, our employees know that they make furniture for people and not for a box. Perhaps this is just another reason why they are so eager to make one-of-a-kind pieces to order. We are ready to go forth from the pandemic a focused group of people ready to make special pieces for you and your home. We will get through this together and will be ready for the next challenge. In the meantime, we thank you for listening and hope this new magazine, MADE FOR YOU™, is thought provoking and brings you joy. All our best.