December 11th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Over the last 30 years, almost all the big American furniture manufacturers (including La-Z-Boy, Vaughan-Bassett, Broyhill, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Lane, Thomasville, Ethan Allen and so on) have moved their operations overseas to China, Vietnam and other third world countries. The result has been cheaper prices, lower quality and the emergence of what we call "curbside furniture".
But there are still many companies that make high quality fine furniture right here in the USA and Vermont has more than it's share of them. That's why we call Vermont the Fine Furniture Capital of America. Throughout the off-shoring movement, only one Vermont furniture company I know of moved it's operations overseas. The rest stayed here in Vermont remaining true to their values of quality, integrity, sustainability and community.
We've profiled a number of these great American furniture makers including Vermont companies like Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture as well as many small, custom, fine furniture makers including Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Chad Woodruff and Greg Goodman.
Today I wanted to highlight the work of Kit Clark, a consumate craftsman who specializes in luxury custom rocking chairs. "Furniture that fits you" is Kit's mantra and he makes custom rockers much like a tailor would make a custom suit. Each rocker is designed specifically to fit its owner. Kit studies a customer's posture, records their measurements and interviews them to understand any subtleties that could be used to enhance the comfort of their rocker. Then he goes back to the shop and eventually emerges with masterpiece in hand. Stop by Kit's shop in Ferrisburgh, VT if you get a chance. I can't think of a more luxurious Made in America Christmas present than a Kit Clark Rocker.