November 30, 2022


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A match made in furniture design heaven | Brand Ave. Studios


Much too typically furniture seems to be snazzy on Tv set or in a retailer’s showroom, but turns rickety quickly. Occasionally the outcome is not only immediately fraying cloth, but a literal ache in the rear from improperly built springs and minimal cushioning.

Savvy shoppers are developing a new pattern.

Out: low-cost imported furniture destined for the dump. In: resilient U.S.-manufactured furniture.

Richmond-primarily based u-fab interiors and North Carolina’s LEE Industries are collaborating on this flight to high quality as the period of nesting sparked by the pandemic continues to prosper.

Travis Hamilton, u-fab president, established his corporation in 2008 with a 1,000-sq.-foot material and upholstery store in Richmond and has grown it to a 28,000-sq.-foot showroom and fabrication middle, along with a 2,500-sq.-foot satellite in Charlottesville.

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LEE started off in 1969 with a 7,500-sq.-foot manufacturing unit in Newton, North Carolina, and has grown to 4 producing plants with a wide array of furnishings for just about every space in the home. The company’s products have been featured in Household Stunning, Veranda, Decor, Luxe and Southern Living magazines.


LEE’s household furniture populates u-fab’s showrooms with an array of variations, from modern day and coastal to patterns match for a mountain lodge. LEE tends to make parts for dwelling rooms, bedrooms, bars, eating and outside.

As portion of its #ufabulous makeovers, u-fab also fabricates customized window treatment options, bedding/quilting, pillows and cushions. When it delivers in-residence consultations, most customers’ journey starts in the retailer.

“People occur in and get a sense for what we offer you. They sit on things. Fabric is pretty tactile,” explained Hamilton. “A good deal of our buyers come to us looking for LEE. They know the manufacturer and the top quality.”

LEE resources 98% of its goods from the United States and employs strong hardwood for frames. Its 8-way, hand-tied springs are the highest common in the sector.

“We reupholster LEE parts all the time. We can make them new once again due to the fact the frames are designed for that,” Hamilton explained. The u-fab team consists of 10 staffers who focus in upholstery and slipcovers.

LEE is also popular for a a lot more than 25-yr aim on sustainability, this sort of as making use of recycled fibers in cushions, Hamilton notes.


The collaboration between u-fab and LEE presents lots of alternatives for consumers to opt for their own fabrics and cushions, no matter whether it’s the neutral tones that are nonetheless in vogue or anything more adventurous. LEE also has a RapidLEE initiative that can deliver some of its most common styles in three to four months, although quite a few household furniture firms can take 6 to 10 months, Hamilton notes.

As section of the nesting craze, massive sectionals go on to be well-liked, somewhat than combos of sofas, love seats and chairs, Hamilton finds. Swivel chairs with extra oomph and comfort are also in vogue.

u-fab’s buyers want their furniture to look very good and truly feel great. They also recognize good quality substantially much better than they did even four or five decades back. “They are earning their households nicer and I feel they are recognizing throwaway home furniture is not the best selection,” Hamilton stated.

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