"I do not short the shop end of this business for anything. Period. Building furniture at our own high level is our operant reality, and we set the standards, not follow them." Greg Aanes
1. Is every piece made by hand? Yes, every piece of furniture we sell is built by hand in our shop on Queen Street. We do use state of the art technology when it enables to create a better product.
How long have you been making furniture? 2. Greg started this in 1981. Our shop employee roster has gone up and down over the years depending on a combination of our workload and available talent.
What are the woods we use in our furniture? 3. Cherry, Mahogany, Figured Western Maple, Rock Maple, Mango, Black Walnut, White Oak, and Bubinga.
The number of options and models are confusing. Why do you offer so many choices? 4. Because you are smart and discerning in what you want. I can't dumb this down for the sake of the average person (ever met the average person?). My marketing guy says it need be simpler. I agree. We are working on slimming down the choices to a more manageable size and then allowing those who operate to move outside the box to ask for what they want.
Do you stock all those fabrics and leathers? 5. No one does except a supply house. With an average of 2k fabric selections we order as needed. Our suppliers are Charlotte fabrics and Robert Allen, with Leather hides from Elmo (Sweden). Elmo does not even stock their color selections anymore as they go lean also. We are a lean company and learned decades ago that despite inventorying finished goods (fabric and leather are finished goods which only need to be applied), we never seemed to have what was being ordered. Despite complex spreadsheets looking back at sales history for different periods, even for our furniture suffered the same plight. Never the right model in the right wood in the right dimensions. Other than wood, we now keep our inventories low and build to order and order to order. Yes, we batch up whenever possible to share costs and resources.
How big is your showroom? Do you have an example of everything you make? 6. 550 Sq feet. I have always kept my focus on furniture making and allocated resources on a conservative basis to marketing. Our furniture is made by pros and our design is lovingly engineered. Excellence in those areas will bring success in all others. Marketing fluff is just that. We have had three dealers go out of business this year. In each case it was the showroom costs which took them down. See below.
I have plans to rejuvenate the showroom this winter. It has become a storage for several large orders which have been held up on the customer end to take delivery.
What if I order furniture from you and you go out of business in the meantime? That happened to me recently with another furniture company. 7. I know who you're referring to. They pumped us for more chairs and more credit and suddenly shut down owing us thousands of dollars. They branded my chairs as their own, something I would never do out of respect for the people who create them. My business is owned and operated by furniture makers whose focus is on our designs, woods and product quality. We do not operate on credit or ego and all our machinery is paid for. But as a mental exercise, pretend we went out of business. We then finish all our uncompleted orders, even if I am the last person in the shop. I started this almost 40 years ago working alone in my garage and have always been the master woodworker and designer here. We never ask for more than a 50% deposit, and your deposit means we owe you. Your trust in my business engenders a responsibility in my soul.
I am now in my sixties and still jump into the shop and build chairs or tables from start to finish, just to stay connected and keep my sanity. Rupturing the connections between us all is not an option, and I have designed this operation so I can fulfill my commitments to my customers and employees. And that commitment is great design at fair prices.
Showroom-Office 2109 Queen Street Bellingham, Washington 98229 1+360.389.2714 US 1+604.670.0502 Canada
The Shop 2115 Queen Street Bellingham, Washington 98229 1+360.389.2714
Choose the email name you wish to send to below and add it in front of @nwchairs.com - Greg, Orders, Office, Marketing, Mfg
Why this format? To foil the heartless spammers who want to make money by other peoples sweat.