Michelle Jennings Wiebe, founder and principal designer of Tampa, Fla., interior design firm Studio M, was selected as one of High Point Market’s Style Spotters, allowing her to get a curated firsthand look at today’s best showrooms at market.
Visiting Stanley Furniture was one of Wiebe’s memorable moments in High Point, because Stanley did something revolutionary this year. The company released its Heritage Collection, real midcentury modern furniture from the 1950s and 1960s, painstakingly restored and beautifully showcased for the design community.
In this second blog about the Heritage Collection, Wiebe talks with Randy Wells, vice president of marketing and brand communications at Stanley Furniture, about this collection, which Wells oversaw from its inception.
Heritage Collection Overview
All 40 pieces in this collection sold in a heartbeat. To the industry, this means that buyers are placing value on one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect a midcentury modern aesthetic. High-quality craftsmanship and an established history make these pieces unique and original for another generation of families to enjoy.
Which furniture piece from the Heritage Collection is your favorite?
That’s a tough one. We spent so much time with these pieces that we got really attached to all of them. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say it’s the Porta Lima Party Chair (circa 1963–66) and the Spade Handle Dresser and Chest (circa 1950–55). In the case of the Porta Lima chair, it’s really a sentimental favorite. It came in as this beat up little chair that had really been through the ringer, and by the time it was done, it was a real beauty. Plus, it is really, really comfortable. The spade handle pieces are just so timeless, and the original brass spade hardware is phenomenal.
How would you say Stanley Furniture has changed from then to now, and how has it remained the same?
Certainly style preferences change over time, but the thing that hasn’t changed is that we build furniture of enduring value. Furniture is a really personal thing, and we have always taken great pride in creating furniture that is built to last for generations and that will evolve with each owner’s aesthetic as passed down over the years. That’s one of the things that’s so great about the Heritage Collection pieces. They still look relevant 50, 60 years later. We take pride in carrying on that tradition today.
Each piece at High Point Market sold so quickly (One Kings Lane swooped up the entire collection right away) and was very well received throughout the entire design community. Is Stanley considering manufacturing reproductions of these pieces?
We were truly overwhelmed by the response that the Heritage Collection received. For us, it was a passion project that arose from our love of the products and from the history of the company. To have so many people support us was really rewarding. We started the search for more pieces the day after Market ended. We’ve found a few and are starting restoration next week.
All of our craftspeople are really excited and can’t wait to do more Heritage Collection pieces. It’s so time-consuming that we’ll be lucky to do another 70 or 80 pieces in all of 2014. We really want to protect the exclusivity of the Heritage pieces, so there are no plans for exact reproductions. However, we are looking at ways to do some pieces inspired by what we’ve done with the Heritage Collection.
Chest in Dove Gray finish with Alpine White Accents (1950–55)
Danish China Cabinet in clear lacquer finish (1950–55)
Spade Handle Dresser and Chest in dark walnut finish with Alpine White Accents (1950–55)
Arm Chair in Tomato Red finish covered in Schumacher’s “Crosstown Weave” fabric in navy from the Mix’N Match Collection (1958–62)
Triple Dresser in Alpine White finish from the Finnline Collection (1960–64)
Triple Dresser in clear lacquer finish from the American Forum Collection (1961–65)
Arm Sectional in light walnut finish covered Schumacher’s “Luberon Plaid” in indigo from the 1005 Occasional Chairs Collection (1962–66)
Credenza in clear lacquer finish from the American Crown Collection (1965–69)
Spindle Back Lounge Chair in Alpine White finish covered in Schumacher’s “Crosstown Weave” in navy (1966–68)
Spindle Back Lounge Chair in Stanley Blue finish covered in Schumacher’s “Crosstown Weave” in navy (1966–68)