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Made in the Midwest: Fashion Pieces for the Office

Posted at: 11/14/2012 7:30 AM
Updated at: 11/14/2012 7:34 AM
By: Ellery McCardle

(ABC 6 NEWS) --  Lets say you've got a long meeting at work, you'd want to be comfortable right? What about stylish?

One local manufacturer creates what they call fashion pieces for the workplace.

"If it's wood and it's going into an office, we've got a good shot at making it and doing a good job," said Dan Tuohy, CEO of Tuohy Furniture.

Working with wood has been in the Tuohy family for three generations. Over the years its built a reputation for helping seat executives from all over.

"We're helping create the environment people are working in...it's elegant it's a sophisticated look and it has to be done well," said Tuohy.

It's a pretty simple process, cut the wood, sand it, finish it, assemble and ship out.

Conference tables, chairs and cabinets are all made in Chatfield and used in major cities across the U.S. and as far away as Saudi Arabia.  

Technology plays a big part in the process but so does the old fashioned by-hand method, every piece of wood is machine and hand sanded.

Tuohy isn't afraid to admit, he's looked at Asia for manufacturing but is more happy with what's going on at home base.

"We have the opportunity to see good people, great employees come in that want to work. We can compete by doing things smarter, faster, becoming more agile, better engineering," said Tuohy.

Dave Vogen, whose been putting on the finishing touches for 36 years sees the importance of staying local.

"For a community to have a business like that...it's huge," said Vogen.

Despite layoffs during the recession, Tuohy is slowly re-hiring, keeping the family business alive and growing.

"We've been here a long time and we plan on being here a long time," said Tuohy.

Tuohy Furniture started in the 1950's. The company originally made furniture for churches.