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“From the forest and the forge”

February 15, 2017

"From the forest and the forge"Cliff Pierce - Founder of Manchester Wood and Pierce Industries

It wasn’t long ago when Cliff Pierce set out on a mission. To bring design, product distinction, and “the dream” in its simplest yet golden form.

Pierce Industries was started in the most positive of ways. Cliff always seemed to see life that way, and my grandmother would attest to the early days of the punch press hammering away in the basement. They were simpler times, I’ve been told, and the “Parisian Flower Cart” became his Model T.

“We’d make 1,200 a day on a 6-day work week at the height of it,” those who still remain state with a sense of pride. After all, it wasn’t just Cliff at his punch press anymore.

As Manchester Wood got started up in 1976, in many ways it was a reprise, back in a small shop… this time with wood.

“All we had back then was a rotary shaper, 8″ table saws, an overarm pin router, and 4′ x 4′ spray booths” Cliff’s son-in-law and now Company President Ed Eriksen proclaims. “As we got more business, the building grew and so did our machines and operating systems.” It was becoming a more complex time, China was really entering the market in a bigger way, the “TV Tray Table” became the new Model T.

“We used to manufacture 60,000 sets a year back in the day,” Ed informs, “we were selling a ton of items, the #602, #250, #100…” he rattles off the SKU numbers.

Since then the business model has evolved; the days of manufacturing at such a high volume shifted into now finding ourselves making less quantity, but at a wider variety with even higher quality and customer care. We’ve become more of a retailer, as well as the maker, of some of the finest solid wood furniture made in the USA on the market today.

Cliff’s ultimate culmination in the reprise was merging the two companies together: “from the forest and the forge” he would market the line of both metal and wood products. This past year, in our 40th year of business, we decided to re-introduce metal and wood products with the items below.

Metal & Wood Shaker Furniture - Manchester Wood

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Our L.L. Bean Adirondack Chair featured in Oprah Magazine!

January 24, 2017
Awesome to see @Oprah enjoying the Adirondack chair we make for @llbean in her latest magazine issue! Shop it now at LLBean.com #madeinusa #llbean #oprah

The Adirondack Chair we make for L.L. Bean is featured in the latest Oprah Magazine! That’s pretty cool!

We were delighted to find Oprah enjoying the Adirondack chair we make right here in Upstate New York for L.L. Bean.

If you’ve followed our blog at all, you know how much we love to tell the story of how our folding Adirondack chair was started with L.L. Bean (read The Legacy of the Adirondack Chair and the Rebirth in Local Family Business).

Whenever anyone features our product like this, whether as L.L. Bean, Manchester Wood, or any other company we make products for, we feel truly grateful. It provides us with acknowledgement and praise, something to tack up on the wall in the mill for all of us to get behind.

On behalf of Manchester Wood, we want to thank Oprah, L.L. Bean, and whomever else was involved in making this happen. We have many great catalog covers around our office featuring our products, and I’m sure this one will make its way as one of them.

To our customers, thank you for supporting quality, American made furniture. We enjoy everyday making products for you that are both beautiful and long lasting.

An American-made solid wood furniture maker and retailer since 1976.

Manchester Wood is a family owned business that designs and crafts honest, beautiful solid wood furniture for your home. And we we do it well. Each piece we make at our mill nestled between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack foothills of New York is a source of pride for us. We have been a long time home furnishings manufacturer for a bevy of prominent leading retailers.

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40th Anniversary!

October 18, 2016
Today (a day early) we celebrate 40 years at the mill! Here is Bev Hewes getting her corsage this morning, a tradition on the day we celebrate 10, 20, 25, 30, 35 year, and now for the first time this year... a 40 year employee!

Today (a day early) we celebrate 40 years at the mill! Here is Bev Hewes getting her corsage this morning, a tradition on the day we celebrate 10, 20, 25, 30, 35 year, and now for the first time this year… a 40 year employee!

In typical anniversary fashion we started off the morning with Mrs. Murphy’s donuts and coffee (our old morning spot when still in Manchester, VT), lunch prepared, “Vermontsters” for dessert, and a special presentation for employee milestones.

Charlie Curtis, celebrating 10 years (almost 11) at Manchester Wood.

 

Debbie Murphy, not in attendance, was honored with an antique block plane and plaque given to 20 year employees.

Debbie Murphy, not in attendance, was honored with an antique block plane and plaque given to 20 year employees.

 

John Thomson, celebrating 25 years of dedicated service to Manchester Wood.

John Thomson, celebrating 25 years of dedicated service to Manchester Wood.

 

Bev Hewes, our one and only, day one employee. Celebrating 40 years at Manchester Wood.

Bev Hewes, our one and only day one employee (Ed started 6 months after her). Celebrating 40 years at Manchester Wood.

 

We wouldn’t be anywhere without these fine folks, and the 40+ others (with half of them being with us 10+ years) at Manchester Wood. It’s because of them we produce the highest quality American made furniture. Thank them with us in the comment section below!