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Mebane furniture maker shutting its doors

MEBANE — After more than 66 years weathering changes in the furniture industry and consumer behavior, Craftique Furniture couldn’t survive the current economy and will end its manufacturing and retail operations this year.“It is with deep sadness that we announce Craftique will shortly cease all operations,” said co-owner John Erwin in a news release. “For years now, the entire Craftique team has worked diligently to withstand the challenges of today’s global economy. For this, I am extremely grateful and appreciative.” wholesale furniture The company did not say how many employees would be impacted by the closure.The challenges Erwin referenced were detailed in a 2004 Times-News article, which stated the unique, high-end furniture business was trying to drum up a market during a time when consumers were becoming more interested in price than in quality.Since its founding in 1946 by L.P. Best, Craftique has manufactured high-end, mahogany furniture. Described on its website, Craftique maintained the same quality when it was sold to Virginia-based Pulaski Furniture in 1989, adding more detailed carvings, a “starting price point collection,” and licensing program with the Thomas Day Restoration Foundation. contemporary furniture Craftique was once again privately owned when Pulaski Furniture sold the business to Erwin and Craig Shoemaker in 1997, and the two expanded Craftique’s repertoire to include additional programs and furniture choices. The 2004 article said those changes were in response to a shrinking high-end market, where consumers weren’t as concerned with how a piece was made — or its longevity — as they were with how much it cost. furniture suppliers One of the changes Erwin and Shoemaker made was to give customers the choice of ordering any piece in one of six finishes. Craftique also began a “build your own bed” program, where consumers chose their favorite Craftique head boards, foot boards and bed posts and had them assembled into a custom product. project furniture Almost a decade ago, the business began making more furniture types, like end tables and night stands, to appeal to a larger market. Since Craftique did not want to be like other furniture manufacturers and purchase machinery to do the labor, the company bought unfinished mahogany overseas and performed the Craftique finishing process.Still, the business had to cut costs, and in order to maintain better prices for customers that sometimes meant becoming stricter with employee benefits, reducing workers’ hours and eliminating certain positions. Source