Hotel Suppliers reporter interviews Old Hickory Furniture to learn all about their sustainable wooden furniture for hotels.
Can you provide a brief overview of Old Hickory Furniture’s history and journey?
In the 1890s, Billy Richardson started selling hickory chairs and rockers on Saturdays on the town square in Martinsville, Indiana. Legend has it that Richardson and his father had made hickory chairs and rockers for the President Andrew Jackson’s home, The Hermitage many years earlier.
Others in the Martinsville area studied Richardson’s products and banded together in 1892 in an abandoned church, producing hickory sapling furniture as a full-time business. They chose the name “Old Hickory” for the new company, the same nickname as the late President Jackson. When the company incorporated in 1899, a full line of products were available for shipping across the country to homes and resorts.
Today, Old Hickory combines designs from the company’s history along with more contemporary applications for home. Yet the process of handcrafting each piece remains very much the same. Attention to detail, the careful matching of parts, the assembly with mortise and tenon, and the meticulous hand weaving process, make Old Hickory Furniture’s products unique, stylish, comfortable, and extremely durable. After one hundred years, old-fashioned care continues at Old Hickory Furniture Company, the home of America’s genuine, original furniture.
What sets Old Hickory Furniture apart from other suppliers of hotel furnishings, particularly in terms of sustainability and materials used in your products?
We are the largest hickory furniture dealer in the United States. it is not uncommon to see hickory furniture that is 100 years old or more in great working condition even in highly trafficked commercial environments our furniture is Handcrafted from sustainably sourced solid wood and Designed to preserve nature’s true beauty
Could you describe some iconic projects or installations where Old Hickory Furniture has made a significant impact?
Old Hickory furniture became so popular that it was going to the new National Park Lodges in the West as well as Great Camps and resorts in the Adirondack Park. The most famous installation was the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. The original dining chairs that were shipped in 1904 are still in use today over 110 years later. Recently, our furniture is now featured in a very popular show called “Yellowstone”.
In an era where sustainability is a growing concern, how does Old Hickory Furniture ensure its products are not only beautiful but also eco-friendly?
Old Hickory’s sustainable materials, expert craftsmanship, are turned into timeless pieces. As a company we follow regulations and standards that apply in the United States. .
Can you delve into the specific techniques and processes that go into handcrafting your high-end hotel furniture, such as mortise and tenon assembly and hand weaving?
To protect the consistency of the design and longevity of the furniture pieces, our wood is only harvested in the winter. Logs used in the manufacturing of our furniture can take up to two years to be ready for production. Skilled craftsmen prep the logs to meet design and engineering specifications through unique processes that have been fine-tuned for decades. After nearly two years of waiting, the wood is ready to be tested, boiled, steamed, bent, and molded. Each log is prepped in a way that minimizes waste and enhances strength and durability of the finished piece of furniture. Each log has characteristics that necessitate special care during assembly. Parts are cut and fitted by hand to achieve tight tolerances. Each joint gets special care from a highly skilled craftsman. Our assembly method was designed to guarantee strength and longevity. It’s the fine details that separate good quality from exceptional quality. After taking such special care during the furniture building process, you should expect nothing less as the Hickory Furniture team prepares your special piece for delivery. The stains and finishes that are offered are carefully selected to enhance the beauty of the furniture and protect it for years. Designers are consulted to provide guidance on design trends. Fabrics and leathers are chosen to enhance the natural beauty of each furniture design. When it meets the exacting standards of our quality control team, only then is it sent to our valued customers worldwide.
Can you share any insights into the future of Old Hickory Furniture and what innovations or developments the company isexploring in the realm of hotel furnishings?
Travelers seek to immerse themselves in everything a destination has to offer. There’s something magical about spending the day with nature before retiring to a room that matches the experience. Old Hickory has honed its craft through generations of continuous improvement. The results are seen in every piece of furniture we proudly send to you. We are always looking for ways to expand our product line to keep up the trends in today’s society.