Archive for the ‘Furniture’ Category

I highly recommend that you check-out Fifthroom.com if you’re interested in finding Pennsylvania made and U.S. made outdoor furniture, garden structures, indoor furniture and home storage products.  Many of the products are made by Pennsylvania artisans – almost all are wood.  What I like about the website is that it represents several websites/retailers coming together to offer a single integrated website to sell their wares.  You don’t see these types of endeavors enough and I think they are great way for smaller retailers to take on the big box retailers.  As a FYI, I don’t have a beef with large box retailers, but as a rule, they don’t do nearly as much for the regional economy.

Fifthroom was started by Tim McTighe who began as a small retailer called Cedar Stores in the Pittsburgh suburbs.



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In an effort to find a Pennsylvania manufacturer that makes everything in the average home – I was very happy to stumble across Bloomsburg Carpet.  You guessed it – they’re base in Bloomsburg, Pa.  Bloomsburg Carpet has been weaving high quality carpet for the past 30 years.  bloomsburgcarpet

Bloomsburg Carpet and its subsidiaries weave a wide assortment of carpets – but Bloomsburg itself specializes in quality, wool carpets.  The carpets are ECO friendly, they don’t release nasty toxins into your home, and they are build by Pennsylvanians.  They’re certainly worth a look.

They currently employee roughly 200+ Pennsylvanians and have a great assortment of carpet that you can browse (partially) online.  There’s also listings for where you can purchase the carpet in your corner of the state or country.

Company Website

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American Holtzkraft is described as “the best kept secret in Central Pennsylvania.”  Understandably so – they’re located in Mount Pleasant Mills, Pa  (pop. 342) – which is lost somewhere between Harrisburg and Williamsport in the rural heartland.  To be a little more precise, the company is a few moments from the Susquehanna, an hour north of Harrisburg and perhaps just a touch longer from State College.hk

American Holtzkraft manufacturers high quality umbrellas and outdoor furniture out of Ash, Brass and two parts TLC from the locals that work there.  The company has carved out a reputation for itself and you can find their umbrellas all over the world.  They hold 8 patents for manufacturing and umbrella design.  That is a testament to their dedication if not their innovation – patents are not for the faint of heart and fly-by-night companies don’t bother with the effort. 

American Holtzkraft was started in 1985 by an apple farmer family that had months of downtime between harvests.  Phillip and Barbara Apple (yes, their last name is Apple) believed that they could utilize the local Amish wood workmanship and the abundance of hardwood in Pennsylvania to start American Holtzkraft.  The company is still a small family owned business, but continues to grow in reputation and in success.  In 2006 they signed a contract with Tommy Bahama to provide the outdoor umbrellas that adorn their restaurants.

To order an umbrella – check out their website and give them a call…

American Holtzkraft

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Hanover, Pa based Emeco cemented their place in history and in the design community when it won a contract with the Navy during WWII to produce a long lasting, lightweight chair and would withstand the blast of a torpedo. 

What resulted with Emeco’s most celebrated product…”The Navy Chair” – also, dubbed the 1006 chair.  The Navy Chair is just about as durable as they come – legend has it that it was thrown out of a 6 story window to test its durability and survived with only a few scratches.  The harden aluminum doesn’t bend and is obviously immune to weathering and corrosion.  Perhaps, there was a bit of miscommunication in the initial stages of the contract – the Navy presumably didn’t mean that the chair should be able to survive a direct torpedo hit, but apparently – it more-or-less can.  The Navy Chair has also become an icon in the design community and has been photographic in virtually every design and architecture magazine and can be seen in dozens of movies and TV shows. emeco

Emeco employees several dozen employees and manufacturers an array of chairs – all handmade from 80% recycle aluminum.  If you watch their promotional video – you get the idea that this isn’t an easy process.  The chief designer – Philippe Starck remarks – “most chairs are a result of intelligence [thought] – ours are a result of blood, sweat, tears and love.”  Another employee remarks “when we make a chair – it’s the best in the business.”  One thing is sure, they put a lot of time and resources into both the design and the manufacturing process. 

What’s better about this story is that this is a Pennsylvania company manufacturing high-quality products, employing your friends and neighbors, and contributing to our economy.  Companies like this often contribute 2-4x to what they themselves earn to the economy.

Check out their website to browse their products and a half-dozen videos on their manufacturing process.

Company Website

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Its great to see a Pennsylvania company thriving in today’s difficult global business climate.  For years now, Chinese furniture imports have been forcing local manufacturers to close down.  State College, Pa based Sprectra Wood either doesn’t know to worry or is just plain doing good business.  A Centre Daily Times article this weekend highlighted their plans to expand by 15,000-25,000 sq. ft. and grow their staff about 20% per year (article link).  The company was reported to have had sales of $12.5 million per year in the article and provide furniture to upscale stores like Crate & Barrel.  The company has a nice showroom in State College where you can buy appropriately priced solid wood furniture.  Hats off to a regional manufacturer doing this well and expanding their facilities,

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East Greenville, Pa (south of Allentown) based Knoll is one of the preeminent office furniture companies in the world, receiving accolades for its modern designs and very high quality products.  The company moved to Pennsylvania from New York in 1940 and has had a large East Greenville manufacturing facility ever since, in addition to 3 other facilities in the U.S. and several in Europe.  The company believes “good design is good business” – that principle has guided them through the years and is why over 40 of their pieces are permanently on display in the Museum of Modern Art.  Perhaps, it is also why the company surpassed a $1B in revenue in 2007 as it continues to flex its international reputation and demand for beautiful, timeless office furniture.  Knoll has also built a reputation as a sustainable company – there website lists a litany of certifications and awards for energy efficiency and environmentally friendly manufacturing.  This is just the type of company that we are proud to have headquartered in Pennsylvania. 

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