Unsolicited Endorsement: Cottage industries

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by Jordan Green

It came as a revelation to me when I visited the Red Egg showroom as part of my reporting about the High Point after-market trolley tour [see story] that the furniture business sources all of its wood furniture — with the exception of rattan pieces, which are imported from the Philippines — from US manufacturers. What’s more, the wood furniture is made by small manufacturers — or “cottage industries,” as Red Egg owner Carol Gregg put it — mostly around the Triad.

To put this in perspective, we’re talking about a paradigm shift from mass production in Chinese sweatshops to small-craft manufacturers who are selling their handiwork to buyers who could be as near as 25 miles away. It’s kind of the home-furnishings equivalent of choosing to shop at farmers markets instead of buying produce harvested in Chile, warehoused in Arizona and delivered to Harris Teeter.

I was particularly smitten by a sturdy set of shelves made by Brand Mojo Interiors, a High Point-area furniture-maker that specializes in salvaged, repurposed wood, that’s on display at Red Egg. Craft manufacturing, like craft food, allows for consideration of values, like sustainability. The pieces have character and a history. Many of us, my family included, are living on the thin margin of economic survival. But we should be willing to pay more for a piece of furniture that is made with care and with lasting quality, just as we’re willing to pay a premium for craft beer and a well-made meal.

I’ve been dreaming of the day when I’ll be able to afford to buy some locally made furniture and local art. Someday.

  • Jordan, sorry we just saw this post. We really appreciate the shout out and have loved working with Carol Gregg and Red egg all these years. She is wonderful about celebrating local furniture.

  • Jordan Green

    I guess I could have given you a heads-up, Marisa. I’m just gratified that our work came across your radar, just as I stumbled across yours.