Factory Tours & Our Quest for Quality
At Chestnut Hall, we not only stand behind our products, we stand in front of the people who create them and watch how these American-made case goods and upholstered items are crafted one piece at a time, lovingly and by hand.
Factory tours are an important part of what our team does at Chestnut Hall. We want to be sure we’re offering products of the highest quality that our customers will be proud to place in their homes … and that will endure for years, or even generations, to come. To be sure that happens, we get to know our manufacturers and travel to their workrooms to watch the exciting process of furniture-making come to life.
Michael Baty examines freshly cut, solid maple furniture parts with Century Casegoods Plant Manager Brandon Mallard.
Not only do factory tours allow our team at Chestnut Hall to witness the manufacturing process in action, they offer other benefits that ultimately help our customers:
- Inside knowledge of construction techniques and materials helps us understand quality. As Michael Baty, Chestnut Hall co-owner and general manager, puts it, when a customer visits the store and asks why one sofa costs $4,000 and another costs $2,500, it’s the team’s extensive knowledge of the construction process that provides the answer. “If we’re going to do our job right, if we’re going to be able to do what we’re supposed to do for the customer, we’ve got to be able to explain those differences,” he says.
Chestnut Hall Designer Elizabeth Masterson examines eight-way hand tieing at CR Laine.
- Factory tours help us hand-pick manufacturers that are dedicated to excellence. While conducting a tour, our team is able to meet with management and assess the company’s passion, processes, competence and focus. Says Baty, “These craftsmen have to be very good to make a finished product that you would want to have in your home.” Through our travels, we’ve found companies whose artisans are talented, dedicated and highly skilled in the traditions of their craft, and these are the manufacturers we choose to work with.
Michael Baty stands with master medalsmiths whose fine craftsmanship can be found on the Chestnut Hall showroom floor.
- We’re able to see firsthand the materials that go into the products we sell. “We review all their raw materials and the quality of those raw materials,” Baty explains. From the wood to the springs to the batting and foam, our team is able to examine every element that goes into a finished piece of upholstery – and watch it come together. “Everything is done by hand,” Baty says. “The frames are connected by hand – glued, nailed, screwed, blocked. All of the springs are installed one at a time by hand. All of the upholstery that’s put on the frame is put on by hand, one piece at a time.” And thanks to factory tours, our team can attest to it.
Chestnut Hall Designer Kay Black watches a craftsman apply polypropylene mesh to a chair at Taylor King with President Del Starnes.
Last but not least, we conduct tours of our manufacturers’ facilities because we know that what our customers don’t see on the showroom floor is just as important as what they do see. A great deal of love and labor goes into each piece that makes it into our store. “What the customer doesn’t see is actually extremely important to their happiness,” Baty says. Watch this video for your own insider’s glimpse at our store’s American Journey.