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Hearth & Home September 2019

Richard Wright
Hearth & Home Magazine

Past & Present

Glen Raven’s company motto is, “Let endless possibilities begin.”

That’s precisely what Allen Gant Jr. did when he hired architect Calvin Tsao, of the architectural firm TsAO & McKOWN, to re-purpose the 119-year-old textile mill built by his grandfather and known as Plant One.

That building had been in constant use since then, with the exception of a two-year period prior to becoming known as Sunbrella HQ. Through all of those years, Plant One was tied to the history of the Gant family, their struggles and their successes. So it’s understandable that Gant wanted to preserve much of the original structure.

On one morning in July, writer Tom Lassiter interviewed a number of key players in the Glen Raven hierarchy, while Dan Routh photographed the interviewees, employees, and the building itself – area by area.

"Where Creativity Thrives" is a mini-documentary of the merger of past and present, with a strong nod to that company motto.

Back to School

Up in northern New York – Granville to be precise – is another company with a long history, and a strong connection to the patio furniture industry. Telescope Casual Furniture has been around for 116 years, and according to CEO Kathy Juckett, “There was a lot of stuff that we did just because that is how we always did it.” (How true for all of us!)

Juckett has been CEO of the company for about 16 years, and she has worked in the company for about 40 years, having started at the ground level out in the factory. She had watched various manufacturing styles come and go; The Toyota Way was the one that grabbed her attention.

“We just sat down and immersed ourselves in the whole process for six months,” she says. “It was what we did all day, every day, right here in the factory. We had someone come in and work with us, but the basic premise of it is so, so simple.”

Bottom line? Everything is running much smoother today, and the bottom line has increased.

Exit Interview

Karen Galindo is well known in the patio furniture industry. She started selling patio furniture when she was 11 years old, and will end that portion of her life on October 27 when her going-out-of-business sale ends. Her next incarnation will be as the proprietor of a lady’s retail boutique in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Hearth & Home had a frank discussion with Galindo about many things related to the patio industry, and what she did for her 50th birthday.

Galindo made a list of 50 things she had never done before, then set out to do them all, e.g., holding a tarantula, driving a military tank over a beat up car, flying in a glider, etc.

Karen Galindo will be missed.

More Stories in this Issue

Where Creativity Thrives

By Tom Lassiter

Allen Gant, Jr., had a vision, of retaining Glen Raven’s past while taking it into the future; his goal was to stimulate employee collaboration and innovation.

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That Entrepreneurial Spirit

By Richard Wright

Karen and Paul Galindo have made a success of their marriage, and of three stores they ran under the names Greenhouse Mall, and Outside in Style, based in Texas. Now they’re closing those stores, and opening a women’s fashion shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Back to School

By Richard Wright

CEO Kathy Juckett takes 116-year-old Telescope Casual Furniture back to school; the results are impressive.

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2019 Apollo Awards

Finalists for the 2019 Apollo Awards have been named. On the night of Wednesday, September 11, at the Hilton Chicago hotel, the two winners will be named and recognized – not least by their peers.

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2019 July Business Climate

In early August, Hearth & Home faxed a survey to 2,500 specialty retailers of hearth, patio, and barbecue products, asking them to compare July 2019 sales to July 2018. The accompanying charts and selected comments are from the 206 usable returns.

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