Four years ago, a group of people in North Carolina determined that furniture manufacturing should not fall between the cracks. They took over a closed factory in Valdese, N.C., according to WBTV.
Then, only 29 people worked in the factory cutting fabric, and building chairs and sofas. Now business is strong, according to company owners, and 129 people are employed at the plant. They say the key to their success is hiring quality employees and offering quality products.
Bob Crane was the first employee at Kellex Seating four years ago. For decades, he had been in the furniture industry, and was not confident the new company would be successful. "I really didn't think so," he told WBTV. Now that he has seen the company’s growth, he believes there is a chance for the furniture industry to make a comeback in western North Carolina.
Donald Gray, plant manager, said that many of the employees came from plants that had closed or companies that made massive layoffs and they were determined not to go through it again. He said the key to success is commitment to customer service. “The best way to compete with overseas manufacturers is in the quality and timely delivery of the product,” he said. “If a customer can dream it up, we can build it," he said.
Employees recently shut down the factory for an hour to assemble on the loading dock and celebrate all they have been through in the past four years. The company survived the recession, which they attribute to hard work. "We are here, we're alive, and we're growing," said one official.
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