Hickory Furniture Mart would like to extend a warm congratulations to the winners of the inaugural “Furniture. Well Crafted.” Design Competition! Congratulations to CR Laine FurnitureTaylor King Furniture and Ethan Allen!

November 7, 2014

Contact: Mandy Pitts
City of Hickory, NC
Communications Director/Brand Manager
(828) 261-2290
mpitts@hickorync.gov

Top three chairs for the inaugural “Furniture. Well Crafted.” Design Competition named during November 5 reception

HICKORY – From traditional to contemporary, in colors from bright orange-yellow based patchwork to soft white leather, the 23 chairs in the inaugural “Furniture. Well Crafted.” Design Competition made an exceptional impression to furniture makers and executives, journalists for furniture publications, and local officials earlier this week.

The 23 chairs represent the entire Hickory Metro which includes cities and towns in Catawba, Alexander, Burke, and Caldwell Counties. The chairs arrived at the SALT Block in the North Lobby next to Catawba Science Center’s “Furniture. Well Crafted.” exhibit on November 3. All labels were removed from the chairs and numbered 1 to 23. The judges were David Zagaroli, Jay Reardon, Michael Dugan and Bill Karslake. The judges, which are all retired furniture designers and/or executives, arrived the morning of November 4, and after a few hours, the top three chairs were chosen. The winners were revealed during a November 5 reception.

The winners are:

First Place – C.R. Laine Furniture of Hickory, NC in Catawba County
First Place received a trophy, $500, an autographed copy of Factory Man by author Beth
Macy and John Bassett, III, and will be in the Hickory Christmas Parade on November 21.

“C.R. Laine has some of the best highly skilled crafters in the luxury home furnishings industry! They take incredible care to create our gorgeous upholstered furniture, and with this award we celebrate each and every one of them.”
Holly Blalock, VP of Merchandising & Marketing

Second Place – Taylor King Furniture of Taylorsville, NC in Alexander County
Second Place received a trophy, $300, and will be in the November 21 Hickory Christmas Parade.

“Receiving recognition as a manufacturer of one of the top three chairs in the inaugural Chair Design Competition is very special to our associates at Taylor King. The four points of emphasis in the judging process (originality, appearance, comfort and salability) are given equal importance each and every day in our manufacturing processes and merchandising decisions. Receiving recognition as a winner in this competition is humbling, considering the outstanding entries from our neighboring companies and talented craftsmen. This competition showcases the creativity and craftsmanship that have long been a part of our local heritage, and, also speaks to the validity for a bright future for ‘Furniture Well Crafted’ here in the foothills of western North Carolina.”
Del Starnes, President/COO

Third Place – Ethan Allen of Maiden, NC in Catawba County
Third Place received a trophy, $200, and will be in the November 21 Hickory Christmas Parade.

“Ethan Allen considers it a privilege to be selected in the top three winners of the first Chair Design Contest in Hickory. Design is fundamental to our heritage at Ethan Allen, and being selected among our peers amongst such esteemed competition is an honor. Thank you for the opportunity to participate! We look forward to competing in this annual event.”
Randy Rose, Plant Manager

The 20 chairs that did not make the top three were also top-quality and are from these companies in the Hickory Metro.

Century Furniture
Classic Leather and St. Timothy Chair, Inc.
Designmaster Furniture
Hancock and Moore
Sherrill Furniture
Studio Q
Wesley Hall
Sutter Street
LEE Industries
Southern Furniture Company
Vanguard Furniture
McCreary Modern
Old Hickory Tannery
Geiger International
Lexington Home Brands
Craftmaster Furniture
Salmagundi
Fairfield Chair Company
Individual Artists:
Evan Rubins
William Meyer

“All participants in this friendly competition are winners in my book,” said Zagaroli, who is also a member of Hickory City Council. “It was excellent that we had good participation in the first competition, and the positive conversations between furniture companies is spectacular. Every chair is unique and all are top-quality and it makes me proud that they are all designed and crafted in our community.”

The chair competition compliments the current “Furniture. Well Crafted.” exhibit at the Catawba Science Center, as well as dovetails with Catawba Valley Community College’s Furniture Academy, and Innovate Catawba, which is a county-wide initiative in which one subgroup is focused on workforce development.

For more than 110 years the furniture industry has been a major employer in the Hickory Metro. Their reputations are built on quality furniture that can be passed from generation to generation.

“Many of our local furniture companies have actually grown in recent years. They have been able to streamline their processes and take advantage of the latest technologies in order to quickly provide customized pieces of the highest quality for their customers,” said Scott Millar, President of the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation. “The furniture industry has always been, and will continue to be, a large and important part of our local economy.”

The “Furniture. Well Crafted.” exhibit, along with the 23 chairs, will continue to be on display with the exhibit until November 16. The Catawba Science Center is located on the SALT Block 243 3rd Avenue, NE, Hickory, and is open Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. CSC members are free, non-CSC member admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors 62 and older, and youth 3 – 18 and children under 3 are free.

“The chairs will go on tour throughout the Hickory Metro after their debut at the Catawba Science Center, and more details will be available in the next two weeks,” said Mandy Pitts, City of Hickory Communications Director and “Life. Well Crafted.” Brand Manager.

More information and photos can be found on www.HickoryNC.gov andwww.HickoryWellCrafted.com.

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