McCONNELLSVILLE, N.Y. - One of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the United States has resumed production after shutting down three months ago.
Harden Furniture, which began business in 1844, has resumed manufacturing at its New York plant. Corporate firm Ison Furniture Mfg. has acquired Harden’s equipment from Big Shoulders Capital and has a contract to buy the company's plant.
“We’re in production now, and we’ve brought back 35 people so far,” Philip Ison, CEO of Ison Furniture Mfg. told Furniture Today. “We’re finishing up upholstery and contract orders right now.”
The company's future has been in limbo since Feb. 1 when its assets were in a foreclosure auction to Big Shoulders Capital, a loan firm based in Northbrook, Illinois. After closing the plant briefly, Harden announced weeks later that it would resume limited production - recalling 82 employees back to work.
But on May 29 Big Shoulders suspended the company's operations - affecting 100 workers. Longtime Harden leader Greg Harden was also terminated as CEO. Harden remains on the advisory board, focusing on building the company's sales.
Joseph Radic, a former president of New Jersey-based custom wood manufacturer Emmor Woodworks and senior manager at Wynston Capital, has been named president of Harden.
More staff is expected to be recalled and production should continue to expand.
“Over the next few weeks, we anticipate recalling more staff and expanding production,” Harden said in a letter to customers. “We are enthusiastically accepting new orders, while focusing on elevating our service levels and restoring operations to support your needs.”
Ison primarily operates in OEM sourcing, importing, warehousing and ocean logistics management of the goods for 47 U.S. customers, says Furniture Today.
Harden Furniture has been in business since 1844. After turning down an acquisition bid in 2015 by an Asian firm, in 2016 the company underwent a leveraged buyout of 75 percent of the company by private equity firm Miramar Capital Partners. That move ultimately led to the Article 9 auction by Gencap Solutions, which had provided funding to Miramar for the acquisition.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.