East meets West

48_oow_1Chandler 4 Corners, a home furnishings company based in Manchester, Vt., is gaining sales and attention with a new furniture line launched earlier this year. Established in 1991, the company is an importer and wholesaler of hand-hooked wool rugs and pillows. Now it also offers a new Hickory Furniture line of benches and stools set on Amish bases and featuring hand-hooked upholstery from India.

The new addition is a result of brainstorming by company president Henry Chandler and operations manager David Chandler, who were both looking for an attractive product to sell in a down market.

The brothers decided the line would be appealing and marketable if it featured woodworking skills handed down through the generations in Amish workshops and combined it with hand-hooking artistry. They went through friend and colleague Steve Trainer, owner of Genesee River Trading Co. in New Wilmington, Pa., who has connections in the Amish community. The hand hooking is done by an artist who makes hook and braid designs for the company’s other products.

48_oow_2“The Amish craftsmen designed a strong, balanced, rustic base of unpeeled hickory, which enhances the sophisticated upholstery from our designer, Laura Megroz. It’s wonderful to combine the long tradition of textiles from India — where beautiful rugs have a long lineage — with Amish furniture making, which also has a long and esteemed history,” says Henry Chandler.

The company sends Megroz’s designs to its long-term Delhi partner. The designs are produced from pure New Zealand wool and shipped to a warehouse in Vermont where the bases and tops are combined. The company ships product to retailers nationwide.

“These new benches are selling strongly year-round. We’ve added a second size of both benches and stools this year, doubling our styles because there is such a demand for them,” says Chandler.

The line includes a footstool, bench and barstool, ranging in price from $190 to $650.

Contact: Chandler 4 Corners, Tel: 800-239-5137. www.chandler4corners.com

This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue.