Past & Present
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.
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.