Just like giant talking M&M’s and Santa Claus, American-Made Furniture does exist! This Labor Day, Crowley Furniture is honoring some of our manufacturing partners who provide American-Made Furniture, made possible through American workers!
As the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day represents the exit of warm, lazy days and long daylight hours and announces the return of cooler temps, school routines and fall sports. Traditionally it also stood as the last acceptable day to wear white and seersucker but since most younger generations don’t know what seersucker is let’s leave that whole fashion guideline securely in the past.
Many Americans think of Labor Day as a day off work to enjoy the last hurrahs of summer. You may have heard, however, that we need reminding of the true meaning of the holiday. If you are spending a happy day with friends and family eating great BBQ and taking the pontoon out for one last spin, we aren’t judgey and say good for you! But if you happen to be reading this Blog while eating a slab of ribs or filling up water balloons then kudos to you for both celebrating Labor Day and honoring its purpose all at one time. To make Labor Day more meaningful, let us take you on a journey to learn a little more about it while discovering a few examples of American labor at its finest.
Origins of Labor Day & American-Made Pride
While many countries around the world celebrate Labor Day in different forms, it has distinctly American roots beginning with the labor movement. The US Labor Movement grew out of a need to protect the common interests of workers. Originating in the formative years of the American nation, the Labor Movement led efforts to end child labor, secure reasonable hours and wages, improve safety of working conditions, provide health benefits and aid workers who were injured or retired. In the late 19th century a proposal was made to dedicate a day celebrating workers to improve morale and relationships between workers, unions and owners. The proposal was accepted and today, Labor Day pays tribute to the achievements and contributions that American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.
Making A Difference
At Crowley Furniture in Kansas City, “Made in America” is more than just a slogan. As an American-made family-owned business we believe in determination, hard work, pride in what we do and respect for others. Out of these values emerges a business philosophy that comes full circle: align yourself with partners that share your values, and they, in turn, will treat you with those very same values. Most people would call this a win-win and they would be right, but it’s actually a win-win-win since the end results of these successful relationships are quality products at value-minded prices backed by unparalleled service. This win is all for you, the consumer.
We’re proud of the relationships we’ve forged and would like to introduce you to some of the companies that manufacture American-Made furniture for our three Kansas City stores while playing a large role in their own communities through the people they employ. Here are their stories:
American-Made Furniture by Vaughan-Bassett
John Bassett of Vaughan-Bassett knows a lot about keeping jobs in America. So much that he literally wrote a book on it. Factory Man by Beth Macy shares an amazing account of how he fought to produce 100% of his products in America with American labor.
Based in Galax, VA, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company manufactures current but timeless bedroom furniture such as the Soho, Cottage and Harrington collections. In 1919, Vaughan-Bassett was founded by two men, B.C. Vaughan and J.D. Bassett, Sr., both of whom were from Bassett, VA.
Today, Vaughan-Bassett has many things going for it including their commitment to manufacturing furniture in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner. Through its “One for One” program, they contributed 150,000 tree seedlings in 2007 to the Virginia Department of Forestry. The planting of these 150,000 allows the replacement of every tree used in the production of the company’s bedroom suites. Since 2007, over 1 million trees have been planted by the Virginia Department of Forestry through this program. Vaughan-Bassett has also installed $2 million state-of-the-art systems to increase lumber yield by over 20 percent, thereby significantly reducing the number of trees needed to produce their furniture.
Vaughan-Bassett is also a leader in the “Buy Local” movement. Over 99 percent of its lumber comes from within 500 miles of its factories and 80 percent from within 200 miles, reducing the carbon footprint associated with the transport of primary raw material. But most of all, by employing approximately 700 people in factories based in Galax, VA and Elkin, NC, Vaughan-Bassett is extremely proud of the fact that 100 percent of their furniture is crafted here in the United States by American employees.
To learn more of John Bassett’s fight to save American jobs and keep all of his operation in the U.S., read his book Factory Man by Beth Macy: “In a world of blue-collar victims, where logging chains seal forever the doors of mills and factories from the Rust Belt to the Deep South, Beth Macy’s award-winning look at one furniture maker’s refusal to give in is a breath of hope-and a damn fine story to read. The book tracks John Bassett’s fight to keep American jobs on this side of borders and oceans, and keeps one American town from becoming a place of empty storefronts and FOR SALE signs.”—Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winner of The Most They Ever Had
American-Made Furniture by Justice
The word “justice” is defined by terms such as fairness, equity, moral rightness and genuine respect for others.
Justice Furniture & Bedding was founded in 1957 in Lebanon, MO by Bill and Lois Wampler. After searching in the dictionary for the right name, Bill came across the word “justice” and felt it reflected the beliefs and values on how to run a business. The company was founded on two core principles-quality and service-and today these are still closely adhered to by the third generation family-owned business. Today Dan Wampler and Angie Jackson (Bill and Lois’ son and granddaughter) carry on the quality and service that began in 1957.
Quality is easy to see throughout the American-Made Furniture line by Justice. Their sofas, loveseats, chairs, sectionals and other products feature craftsmanship that only comes from a company with dedicated artisans. Much of the Lebanon, MO community are long-time employees of Justice.
The Justice Bedding line boasts the same quality and attention to detail as their furniture line. Highlighted by their Latex collections, Justice adds a special touch to every layer of their mattresses resulting in some of the most comfortable mattresses in the market today. With a truly unique feel, you’ll want to be sure to experience the special effects of Justice’s Latex foam when you’re next in the market for a mattress.
American-Made Furniture by Oakwood
Oakwood Industries was started with the goal of supporting founder Clay Zimmerman’s family. Since 1987 it has not only done that but grown to provide quality jobs to many more.
The employees are a big part of what makes Oakwood successful. Their attention to detail, time honored techniques used in building quality hardwood furniture and their exceptional customer service has made a lasting impression on consumers from around the country.
Striving to exceed their customer’s expectations, Oakwood uses the finest Oak, Cherry and Maple woods with durable finishes to bring out the natural beauty of the wood. Only excellent grade wood is used in the construction of their solid wood furniture, each piece being hand-chosen for quality assurance.
With Oakwood furniture, customization is king. Once you’ve chosen your favorite pieces from their array of stunning bedroom and dining collections such as Edinburgh, Livingston, Mission and Lighthouse, you then choose from three wood types and a wide variety of finishes for true personalization. The artisans at Oakwood make your furniture when you order it exactly the way you want it. Oakwood furniture is not only beautiful but it lasts a lifetime and can be handed down for generations to come cause it just keeps getting better with age.
History, Roots and Pride
Like Crowley Furniture, Vaughan-Bassett, Justice and Oakwood are proud of their family-owned history, home-grown roots and pride in America which is why we trust them to provide us with the very best American-Made Furniture which we can then offer to our customers which in turn keeps American workers on the job!
Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labor Day
Whatever you choose to do this Labor Day, make it great because you’ve earned it. But don’t forget to squeeze in a visit to your nearest Crowley Furniture store in Liberty, Lee’s Summit or Overland Park to take advantage of our special Labor Day offers!