Believe it or not, one of the most innovative leaders in environmentally friendly furniture manufacturing, Lee Industries, was founded right here in the great state of North Carolina.
As part of Dickens Mitchener’s “Born in North Carolina” series, let’s take a closer look at why people across the country choose Lee Industries for all their home furnishing needs.
The history of Lee Industries
1969 marks the year that Lee Industries founders Bill and Dottie Coley first opened the doors of their furniture factory in Newton, North Carolina. Staffed by just a small team of 10 people, the company’s goal was to design and manufacture high-quality wood-framed upholstered furniture. They met this goal handily and soon began to expand on their success.
Growing to meet customer demand
Today, Lee boasts 670 skilled associates, four manufacturing plants, and an expanded product selection of furniture and home decor products, including slipcovers, outdoor furniture, leather furniture, and even a natural furniture line called NaturalLEE.
What sets Lee Industries apart from other furniture manufacturers is the company’s commitment to producing furniture made in the USA. As they explain on their website, “98 percent of the components in [Lee] products are supplied domestically, and most suppliers are in our home state of North Carolina. This includes the frames, foam, springs, cotton ticking, decking, fabrics, and packaging. Local suppliers mean local employment and reduced transportation costs and CO2 emissions.”
In addition to meeting the ever-changing needs and wants of their customers, Lee Industries is also highly active in supporting charitable community organizations — from national efforts involving the United Way and the American Red Cross, to local initiatives like Keep Catawba County Beautiful and the Clean Air Carolina 5k. Lee also facilitates a college scholarship program for students in the Newton area.