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John Bassett to speak at AWFS Fair

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The Association of Woodworking& Furnishings Suppliers (AWFS) is pleased to announce that John Bassett III will be a special guest speaker at the 2015 AWFS Fair in Las Vegas, sharing his personal story of standing up to China’s dumping of cheap furniture into the American market, as portrayed in the New York Times bestseller, “Factory Man,” written by Beth Macy.

Bassett will share how his company faced extreme challenges when China began dumping cheap furniture into the American market in the 1980s. His story reveals how he discovered exactly who in China was producing it, his relentless commitment to his employees and his successful pursuit of political support for enforcement of anti-dumping duties.

“Factory Man” was published in 2014 and the book spent seven consecutive weeks among the Top 25 best-selling hardcover, non-fiction books in the U.S.  The story is now headed for television. Tom Hanks’ production company and HBO have bought the broadcasting rights and intend to develop the story into a miniseries.

AWFS is proud to present and honor Bassett, in the show’s first ever featured special guest spot. Bassett will kick off the second day of the show, speaking on Thursday, July 23, at 8:00 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The event is free and open to all show attendees.

www.awfs.org

Written by cabinettrends

March 27, 2015 at 7:00 am

Virginia’s Vaughan Furniture to close

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A 91-year-old furniture company will close its doors soon, putting two dozen employees in Virginia, North Carolina and Nevada out of work.

According to the Roanoke Times, Vaughan Furniture Co., a wholesale business with deep roots in Galax, a small town in southwest Virginia, announced Tuesday in a memo to employees that it will cease operations in the upcoming months.

David Vaughan, president of Vaughan Furniture, was quoted in the memo as saying: “There is no other reasonable course of action we could have taken other than to discontinue operations. Weak sales have made continued operations unsustainable.”

The privately held company currently employs 14 people in Galax, the memo stated. “All local employees will continue as inventory is sold. The company expects that process to continue for a period of months.”

Established in 1923, Vaughan Furniture Co. manufactured products in Galax until 2008, when it shuttered its last factory and laid off about 275 workers. At its peak, the company owned five factories, with two in Galax, and employed more than 1,800 people. But its viability began to wane in 2002 as imported furniture disrupted U.S. manufacturing, the owners told The Roanoke Times in 2008.

The company has a warehouse in Galax and showrooms in Las Vegas and High Point, North Carolina.

Written by cabinettrends

January 15, 2015 at 7:00 am

Book details history of furniture industry in High Point, North Carolina

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Now 105 years old, the High Point Market has had an unquestioned impact on the North American furniture industry. Now industry veteran Ken Carpenter explores that history in a new book.

“The People Who Built High Point and Its Furniture” is available from Heimdall Communications of High Point, North Carolina. It talks about the city’s deep furniture roots and the early leaders who helped the community become what it is today.
You can read an interview with Carpenter by Richard Craver of the Winstom-Salem Journal here. Carpenter talks about how originally the High Point Market was just a regional market in the shadow of larger markets in Grand Rapids and New York City. Today, the High Point market attracts enough visitors to the area to fill 5,600 hotel rooms, according to tourism and business development officials. A Duke University study pegged the economic impact of the High Point Market at more than $5 billion.

Written by cabinettrends

January 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

MIA Seating brings manufacturing back to Union City, Tennessee

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A California furniture manufacturer is leading a manufacturing revival in Union City, Tennessee. MIA Seating has committed some $39.5 million to develop a manufacturing plant in early 2015 in the city that was stung three years ago by the shutdown of a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant.

MIA is expected to employ more than 500 people in the Union City factory, according to Darius Mir, company president.
The effort also represents a reshoring move by MIA, which had previously relied on Chinese manufacturing. In an article in the Memphis Business Journal, Mir was quoted as saying, “We could compete with China and be close to the market. We ended up in Union City because we’re able to reach 70 percent of our major markets.”
Mir predicted 100 employees would be on board in the new plant by the end of 2015. If all goes according to plan, the company would expand with an additional 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 31,000 square feet of office space.
“This is an excellent area from the distribution and manufacturing point of view,” Mir said. “We want to have a good place for our employees.”

Written by cabinettrends

January 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

‘Factory Man’ tells story of John D. Bassett III

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The nonfiction book and New York Times bestseller, “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town,” by Beth Macy, tells the story of John D. Bassett III, chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company and his fight to keep 700 furniture jobs in the United States.

The book has received many positive reviews.

Janet Maslin of the New York Times said: “In a class with other runaway debuts like Laura Hillenbrand’s ‘Seabiscuit’ and Katherine Boo’s ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’: These nonfiction narratives are more stirring and dramatic than most novels. And Ms. Macy writes so vigorously that she hooks you instantly. You won’t be putting this book down.”

Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg said: “In a world of blue-collar victims, where logging chains seal forever the doors of mills and factories from the Rust Belt to the Deep South, Beth Macy’s award-winning look at one furniture maker’s refusal to give in is a breath of hope-and a damn fine story to read. The book tracks John Bassett’s fight to keep American jobs on this side of borders and oceans, and keeps one American town from becoming a place of empty storefronts and FOR SALE signs.”

A Kirkus starred review said: “The author’s brightly written, richly detailed narrative not only illuminates globalization and the issue of offshoring, but succeeds brilliantly in conveying the human costs borne by low-income people displaced from a way of life. … A masterly feat of reporting.”

“Factory Man” is available online and in bookstores.

Written by cabinettrends

October 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

Kickstarter campaign aims to keep manufacturing treadmill desks in USA

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TrekDesk II is a multi-function product that allows a user to start with a regular desk and graduate to standing or sit-to-stand status, while allowing the eventual addition of motion devices.

The health risks from sitting in an office all day have been documented by many experts. A new Kickstarter campaign features a design that incorporates many uses into one single unit: the TrekDesk II, which the campaign calls the “Swiss Army Knife of Health Desks.”

Designed by the innovators behind TrekDesk, TrekDesk II is a combination desk that can be used as a regular desk, a standing desk, a sit-to-stand desk or a motion desk, and changes as an individual’s needs change.

“We originated the idea for the first affordable treadmill desk that would fit any existing treadmill in 2008 when nearly everyone thought it was a ludicrous idea. Five years later the concept of walking while working has been accepted as a significant option in the fight against diseases caused by sedentary lifestyles,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. “We have learned quite a lot about our customer’s needs and their challenges bringing in treadmill desks to the office over the years. We decided it was time to design a desk that could be used in multiple capacities answering those concerns while encouraging a path to health. That is the impetus behind the TrekDesk II.”

TrekDesk II is a multi-function product that allows a user to start with a regular desk and graduate to standing or sit-to-stand status, while allowing the eventual addition of motion devices such as treadmills, ellipticals or step machines.

“Our main goal is to get employees up and out of their chairs,” stated Bordley. “Once someone starts standing while working they start weaning themselves from chairs. That strengthens their back muscles and also motivates them to move more. A body in motion tends to stay in motion and people are surprised to learn that they can stay upright and in motion for most if not all of the day. It is, after all, how we evolved so it should not be a surprise that our bodies require and crave motion.”

The Kickstarter campaign for TrekDesk II has been launched in hopes of keeping the manufacturing in the U.S. and offers pricing discounts ranging from 26 percent to 43 percent off of MSRP.

Visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/trekdesk/trekdesk-ii-adjustable-standing-sit-to-stand-tread  to see full details of TrekDesk II’s Kickstarter campaign.

Written by cabinettrends

August 25, 2014 at 7:00 am

Indiana Furniture implements manufacturing operations management system

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Indiana Furniture contracted with 2020 to implement an end-to-end business software solution. The manufacturing operations management (MOM) system, 2020 Insight, integrates all facets of the business operations from product design and order processing, to manufacturing and billing.

“At 2020, we focus on understanding the specific functional and business requirements of the furniture manufacturing industry,” comments Mark Goldstein, CEO, 2020. “This allows us to develop 2020 Insight as a designed-for-purpose manufacturing operations management solution that provides innovative companies like Indiana Furniture the tools they need to grow their business and optimize their operational processes.”

“We work hard to create value through reliability,” explained Mike Blessinger, vice president, sales and marketing.  “A system like 2020 Insight allows us to have flexibility in manufacturing, while promoting reliability. This, in turn, will bring a higher level of profitability for our customers by increasing their competitive position in the market – not only through price – but with relevant products, built to order, each time, every time.”

Newly appointed product development manager, Joe Randolph, will be leading the transition with the new system.

Written by cabinettrends

August 20, 2014 at 7:00 am

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