The above title sounds strange, and yet it perfectly describes Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman’s position in the market. Since the beginning of my career as CEO of EF+LM 8 months ago, I have been listening and learning to understand how this company fits into the home furnishings marketplace, and now I get it! We do things the old fashioned way. We hand craft our furniture in North America, in North Carolina at our own 90,000 sq. ft. factory, to be precise. Many luxury companies do not own a factory but instead have their designs produced by outside suppliers, or even offshore. This can cause double mark up, increasing the “To-The-Trade” price. Because we make our own products, we are able to charge less and often ship much faster than other companies. So, in that sense, especially for our upholstered designs, our furniture becomes “accessible luxury”. It’s the same quality with lower prices and better service. Same hardwood frames, same 8-way hand tied coil construction, same luxury cushioning, same hand-rubbed finishes- just a little more affordable.
It’s funny. For a long time it was considered a bad idea to manufacture in America instead of offshore, but thankfully EF+LM never got that message and continued to produce excellent furniture in High Point, North Carolina exclusively “To the Trade”. And, we never expanded to sell retail, even though our wholesale price for a sofa is often only slightly more than the price for a mass retail sofa that has been marked up and marked up again. In light of the recent disastrous Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of the conglomerate Furniture Brands International (bankrupting Hickory Chair, Henredon, Thomasville, Pearson, Maitland Smith, etc.), remaining small and family-owned now seems to have been a good strategy after all.
So, we are the entry line to the luxury end of the market, and are happy in that niche. One designer told me, in reference to a certain wonderful luxury furniture company she was specifying in her client’s living room and dining room, “They get the living room and dining room, Crans, but EF+LM gets the rest of the house.” That is our niche, “except we are pretty good at living rooms, too”!
So, if you want to learn more, and are coming to the High Point market in October, come see us! We are opening our factory for interior designers to tour on Friday, Monday and Tuesday of the market, and serving breakfast if you come early. Call 336-899-1331 (Ms. Jamie Doty) to make an appointment, either for a tour or for a classic southern breakfast and a tour. We’d love to have you join us. Come tell me personally what you think, and what we can do to serve the Interior Design profession even better.