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Archive for November 29th, 2008

Made In USA Furniture

My wife decided that rather than jewelry or some such personal gift, what she really wanted for her birthday was a new bedframe.  We have a decent one currently.  It’s about 7 years old but it takes up a lot of room and the foot board sticks out.  Also, there’s no way to store anything underneath.  My wife checked online and so a good design from West Elm for about $1300 plus a hefty delivery fee.  It also has to be assembled.  That’s not a bad price, especially with drawers under the bed and a wood frame.

So I checked the West Elm entry to see if it met my criteria.  The entry didn’t have any information on where it was made.  So I emailed them to find out.  They sent me an email the next day, saying that it was made of rubberwood from Vietnam.  This just kind of stuck in my craw, so to speak.  If it’s imported, don’t they have an obligation to inform their consumers that they’re buying a foreign product?  So I sent them an email blasting them on this account.

Next, we went to a local mom and pop furniture store in Culver City, called Naturaltique.  They make most of their furniture at a small local factory.  We’ve had a bookshelf and an audio/video cabinet made there before and were very happy with the result.  They came up with a similar design for approximately $1500 made of solid pine.  I was chatting with the owner, who happens to be Vietnamese-American, born in Vietnam.  I complimented her on the fact that rather than buying wholesale cheapo furniture from China, they make it right here in LA!  This is what she said: “Of course we make it here.  You can’t import everything.  Then how will anyone here have jobs?”  Just wants to make you slap your forehead, doesn’t it?  A foreign born Vietnamese woman gets it, but so many natives of the US don’t!  She’s a great example to us.  We need to support businesses like Naturaltique and steer clear of the likes of West Elm, Ikea, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware and similar such importation warehouse ilk.

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