Built in the Blue Ridge: Bassett Furniture

Built in the Blue Ridge
Built in the Blue Ridge (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

(WSLS 10) - The rebound of the housing market has allowed Bassett Furniture to expand its operations.

“We recognize that we could make a new product here in Bassett and sell it in our stores, which frankly is a more premium product, a more expensive product than we have normally manufactured, all solid lumber from the Appalachian region, said President and CEO Robert Spilman.

Gone are the days of mass producing pieces.  Everything is now made one at a time to fulfill an order.

“We have now started to build furniture differently,” said Spilman.  “We build it one at a time instead of in big batches.  We offer multiple shapes, size and finish, so we give the consumer what they want.”

With operations returning to Henry County, thirty people are now coming back to work for the company, some of them former employees.  The furniture they make will be sold in the company’s retail stores.

It's the retail store that will allow the company to grow in the future, by giving customers the casual comfort they desire.

“If you could sum it up in a word it's casual, relaxed,” said Spilman.  “People are not into the formal furniture that their grandparents were.  That shows with seating comfort.  They want softer finishes, maybe a rub through, an older, relaxed look.  This is pervasive throughout the market today.”

Today's trends are made by people working for a 114 year old company with a true American story.

People seem to enjoy something with a story, a true story,” said Senior Vice President Jeb Bassett.  “The bench made product line seems to fit that bill.”

Jeb Bassett is the fourth generation in the family business.  He says past generations have laid the foundation for a strong company, which he's working to continue.

“I want to do everything I can to make sure everything is alive and well to continue for generations in the future,” said Bassett.

For the future, the company plans to add five to six retail stores across the country each year.