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ISBN NO. 1543-3803
July 2020
Volume 9 No. 7


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Back to Questions | Disclaimer You Should Read

I stumbled on your magazine while looking for Hickory White, et al in an online search. Looks like you're a good resource. Is there a hardcopy I can get someplace?
Our intention is to buy as many American-made products as I can to furnish our home. Our budget allows for middle-of-the-road to better (but not "stratospheric" quality). My tastes run to simple, country (shaker, not overly heavy or ornate), eclectic, simple fabrics and lines, etc.
If we make a trip to NC from Pennsylvania for three or four days (not counting driving), where can I hope to maximize my time? How can I winnow the list of potential manufacturers to match my tastes and/or budget?
Any thoughts on how we can start to organize a furniture research (if not buying) trip would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for helping me at least attempt to Buy American.

FurnitureMagazine is a web-based magazine, however plans are under way to make this available in print.

I appreciate that you consider it so important to start your furniture shopping by looking at American-made products, not only because you are supporting the thousands of fine craftsmen (m&f) and artisans who depend on this industry, but just as important is that American-made furniture is still a great value.

Major brands at the middle-of-the-road level who are dependent on imports from China often have quality control issues. This is not to say that high quality Chinese furniture doesn't exist, because it does, however, many of the companies who shuttered their U.S. factories in the past decade to chase the allure of cheaper goods in Asia are finding that those goods are coming with a hidden high cost. Furniture manufacturing in China has not been the easy route to increase profits that was hoped because quality control has been an issue, as well as increased labor costs and transportation costs. What Asia can do exceptionally well right now is spot a new design from one company, knock it off and have it ready to ship under their own name in a matter of weeks or even days. Furniture designers are finding that at best they can hope to get six months out of a new creation before they find it in someone else's showrooom for less (and made cheaper).

Tell your salesperson, decorator or designer that you want American made manufacturers whenever possible and that will help them focus on those companies first. At some point that may narrow your choices, but at least you can say you did your part and made a sincere effort to support U.S. manufacturers.

As far as maximizing your time while in NC may I suggest you take the following:
  • A room plan or drawing. Use one of the many "Room Planners" available to lay out each room and have your measurements ready when you show up.
  • Take an arm cover or even seat cover of any fabrics you will be attempting to coordinate with.
  • It doesn't hurt to take fabrics from an adjoining room so your designer can get a full perspective of what you already have to work with.
  • A carpet sample or floor sample if possible.
  • Your "Dream Home Folder". This is a simple folder you make of pictures from magazines and websites that you collect ahead of time. Hand it to your salesperson or designer and say, "I want that!" They can't read your mind, and the more definitive you are about what really excites you the more help you'll be.
  • Photos of your rooms. The more pictures and the more rooms the better. These snapshots of your home are a tremendous help to the sales staff. It's not quite the same as "being there" but it comes pretty close!
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