Lee Academy

Last week, John and I had the fabulous opportunity to attend Lee Academy in Hickory, NC!

Lee Industries is an American-made upholstery company that creates custom pieces whose style and frames are sure to last a lifetime!  After visiting this family business, I am even more adoring of their final product.  Not only that, I am also an admirer of the journey the pieces take before they arrive in a client’s home or a showroom floor.

I loved getting to see the behind the scenes of Lee’s factory floor – upholsterers, woodworkers, and seamstresses, oh my!  When you receive a Lee piece and look under the seat, you’ll notice a pleasant surprise.  A label with signatures from everyone that worked on your sofa lets you know that people who take great pride in their work made it with care.  Meeting these wonderful people only made me appreciate that label even more.

Here are a few images of our journey through the factory at Lee Industries!

First, we have some upholsterers working their magic!

An expert hammers in nailhead, and I try my hand at the nailgun.  I have a long way to go before they will let me near a piece of furniture!

Check out these steps to create a stunning 8-way hand-tied spring for a sofa!  Isn’t that amazing?  We asked him how much had changed in the 20+ years he had been doing this, and he replied simply, “Well, maybe a few tools.”  What an incredible, age-old process to watch.

This is one of the awesome machines that cuts the fabrics to be sewn for the upholstery.  Watching this sucker work was so neat!

These women are some of the delightful seamstresses that make each and every piece with care.  Many have been working for Lee for 15 years or more!

The next day, we had the opportunity to tour a local textile mill that creates many of Lee’s fabrics for their line.   This was such an awesome learning experience.

Check out these bold fibers that have been dyed in-house to be woven into breathtaking fabrics!

Now, I don’t want you to think this was all work and no play.  We had a fabulous time bowling the night away our final night!  Needless to say, we were quite terrible, but we had a wonderful time getting to know the incredible team at Lee Industries over a few gutter balls!   If you are ever interested in owning one of these comfortable, durable, classic pieces, Nandina Home & Design would be happy to help you select just the perfect sofa, chairs, settee, daybed, ottoman, or whatever meets your needs!

Have you ever toured a factory?  What kind of experience was it for you?

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