Friday, July 4, 2014

Why I Prefer American Made Furniture

Something that has disappointed me is the lack of talk in the design blogging community about buying American. I'm sure there are other bloggers who feel the same was as I do about "buying local" and there are tons of bloggers who rehab pieces found locally via Craigslist and thrift stores. But I don't see the big bloggers talking about buying American made furniture. Maybe as readers, we are so used to lightening fast makeovers that people opt for the Ikea or HomeGoods route instead of waiting 6-8 weeks for an item to be made and shipped. I don't know the answer.

I know that my Feedly feed will be full of red, white, and blue rooms as American bloggers wish their readers a happy 4th of July, but I wish there was a more substantial message.

Why I Buy American Made Furniture

I love knowing that our leather and slipcovered sofas, bed, and chairs (five of them, I do have some imported items) were made just a few hours away in Hickory, North Carolina. I enjoy working with local shops like Quince (RIP), The Artful Lodger, and Ruth & Ollie to place orders. I appreciate companies that take care of their employees with living wages and generous benefits.

Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have severed ties with MGBW, now make their furniture abroad.

How I Afford to Buy American

When a friend asks for recommendations for furniture brands or stores and I respond with my favorites, they often express reluctance because they perceive companies like Vanguard, MGBW, Lee, etc. as too expensive. They think the mall stores are more affordable. I don't think that's always the case.

Our MGBW, Four Hands, and Vanguard pieces were bought during 20% off events. I bought one chair from Norwalk Furniture during a floor models sale. Our dining chairs weren't on sale, but if memory serves, the salesperson let me customize them without any of the usual upcharges. We're both comfortable with going without until a 20% off or floor model sale.

Tips for Finding Deals on American Made Furniture

1. Become familiar with the sale trends of the companies and stores that interest you.
    Blogs and design TV shows make you want to finish a room right now, but knowing that a big sale is a couple months away helps me be patient.

2. Sign up for mailing lists and follow companies/stores on social media.
     Join the mailing lists for both the furniture companies and the stores. You can often get a heads up about a sale before signage goes in windows. There's one local furniture store that gives a "preview day" to email subscribers before their big floor model sale starts!

3. Find the outlets.
     MGBW's outlet in Hickory is pretty famous. Their staff will check for a specific piece and they post a lot of their inventory on the outlet Facebook page. Around the time of the High Point Market, there are often sales to clear out items from the previous year, too.

I hope this helps you move towards buying American if you haven't done so already!

Happy 4th of July!

blue and white living room inspiration
Bar Palladio inside the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel in Jaipur | via Sarah Lederman

navy blue tablescape embroidery linens
From Aerin Lauder's book | via Shelter

navy blue and white living room with spindle chair and striped rug

navy blue and white toile wedding cake

navy blue and white living room inspiration with bold wallpaper and gold table

navy blue velvet wedding shoes strappy sandals

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