Summer is officially in full-swing and we’re hitting the road! So pack your bags, buckle up, and join us as we travel around this great nation of ours – exploring the people, places, and companies behind the quality furnishings found throughout our showrooms. The first destination in our month-long road trip is the southeastern United States:
HICKORY, NORTH CAROLINA
Rich with generations of craftspeople dedicated to creating quality, investment-grade pieces of furniture, Hickory, North Carolina, is arguably one of the most important regions to the American Furniture Industry. Whether you’re in the market for a new sofa, dining table, bedroom set, or console, there’s a good chance the piece you’re looking for will be manufactured in or around this area of western North Carolina. Companies like Henredon, Lexington, Hickory Chair, Hancock & Moore, Chaddock, Bernhardt, and Vanguard Furniture are just a few of the many manufacturers available at MDC that have deep roots in this area. So next time you visit MDC, have a seat on one of our custom sofas or chairs and take pride in knowing that you relaxing on a piece that was sanded, finished, tied and sewn by the fine craftspeople from “America’s Furniture Heartland.”
Our next stop brings us to northwest Georgia, an area that has been nicknamed the "Carpet Capital of the World," home to more than 150 carpet mills. In fact, more than 80 percent of the U.S. carpet market – which supplies 45 percent of the world's carpet – is controlled by mills located within a 65-mile radius of Dalton! Why are there so many mills in such a concentrated area? Near the end of the 19th century, a young Dalton woman, Catherine Evans Whitener, started making and selling bedspreads. Inserting threaded loops of yarn into blankets, she revived the handcraft of tufting and it spread like wildfire across northwest Georgia. Today, many of the carpet manufacturers available in MDC showrooms are headquartered in or around Dalton, including Milliken, and Mohawk Industries, which has become the world's largest flooring company by expanding into different flooring types such as hardwood, laminate, and tile.
THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS
Our final trip in the Southeast is a scenic one, taking us through the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. But instead of zip-lining through trees and hiking, we’ll be visiting two of America’s great tile manufacturers – Crossville and Florida Tile. Named after the small Tennessee town for which it is headquartered, Crossville is a leader and innovator in the tile industry. Not only did Crossville introduce the nation’s first large-format porcelain tile, they are the first and only net consumer of tile waste materials – meaning they recycle even more than they produce! Florida Tile, which is based in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, is a world-class manufacturer and distributor of porcelain and ceramic wall tile, as well as natural stone, decorative glass, and metal tiles. Taking note from Crossville, Florida Tile joined the large-format tile game by becoming the first company to produce large-format glazed wall tiles. In fact, Crossville and Florida Tile are two of only three American tile manufacturers that produce large-format tiles.
Check back next week as we visit the northeastern United States for the second leg of MDC’s “All-American Road Trip”, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as we feature more All-American products throughout the month.