A discussion that comes up on a daily basis in the shop is where things are made, how they’re made, and who makes them. These questions inform our sourcing and buying decisions- ensuring that we’re offering goods distinguished by the people, processes, and conditions under which they’re made. We should know the answers to these fundamental questions, and as a consumer you should feel comfortable asking them.
In an era where story and marketing are more important than ever, we continue to learn that story alone doesn’t produce the heirloom quality furniture we feel confident placing in your home. Price doesn’t always equate to quality, nor does it mean a product will be accompanied by a warranty, or good customer service for that matter.
If a company professes to have the best quality at the best price, how do you really know? And should the best quality have the best price?
As we continue to grow, we continue to ask ourselves these core questions. We value the dollars that you choose to spend with us and are committed to speaking to their worth.
Here are some guiding principles we use in our buying process that we’d love to pass on to you:
Support local artists!
It’s a passion of mine to discover artists and makers alike in our own backyard. With persistence and potentially some detective work, you can find dedicated craftsmen in the most unexpected places.
Quality is not exclusive to US made goods.
All of our upholstery is US made, and we stand for that. However, we work with many vendors from abroad that maintain the same dedication to employing artisans as we. Fair wages, environmentally sustainable practices, employment of women, and honorable labor laws are all considered when we’re sourcing abroad. Next, we look in places where attention to craft is generational, and passed down and preserved in order to create truly spectacular pieces that are unique to place.
Ask about the guts… especially with upholstery.
While the frame is extremely important (and should come with a lifetime warranty), you should also ask about the cushions. Sofas that have foam based cushions with springs encased in the middle allow the cushion to maintain the integrity of its shape. Down proof ticking with sewn channels keeps your feathers from escaping and allows for even distribution. The frame? It should be crafted and cut from sustainably managed forestland; for each tree harvested, another is planted in its place. Additionally, I prefer a frame that is double doweled, screwed and glued using water based wood glue. It’s this dedication to quality that will ensure your sofa achieves heirloom status.
Who are you buying from?
We have a rule that we like to buy from partners with whom we’d like to share a meal or a drink. We visit factories. We research practices. We ask a lot of questions. We have to be able to stand behind the people we’re buying from to extend that confidence to you, our client. We always seek to find a shared vision of delivering beautiful designs, superb craftsmanship and the very best service.
Know your craftsmen.
With custom projects, we generally work with small wood shops who construct each piece by hand, one at a time. Working locally not only supports our local economy, but also enhances the collaborative process. We always ensure that the wood used is sourced in a sustainable way from quality suppliers.
It’s with this jumping point—the interaction of who, what and how things are made, and supporting partners who espouse these values, that we bring a masterful mix to Dixon Rye.