• Ray Allegrezza

These tigers prove business is out there

Maybe it's the Philadelphia address, but the management team of Home Line Inds., a domestic manufacturer that also imports case goods and upholstery, has a work ethic and unflappable corporate spirit that makes the movie's Rocky Balboa look like a slacker.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the company and came away so pumped up that I felt ready to go 10 rounds myself. What did I see at their Philly facility that put me in such an upbeat mood? Perhaps I should answer that by telling you what I didn't see.

For openers, I didn't see the slightest trace of apathy or boredom on anybody's face at the company. Everyone, from the production workers to the executive team, had that eye-of-the-tiger look.

There was no talk of a half-full glass, or how business is as soft as a Philly cheese-steak hero. Instead, the company exudes a tangible energy that literally hits you in the face the minute you walk through the door.

Everyone there is on a mission. And thanks to tremendous communications efforts on the part of Co-Presidents Bret Vernekoff, Josh Verne and Verne's brother-in-law Josh Block, everyone knows exactly what his or her mission is at the company.

The 40-year-old family business, situated on a sprawling, 23-acre Philly site, in no way resembles its humble beginnings — a single used furniture store called Chuck's Bargain House, started by Chuck Vernekoff, a down-on-his-luck businessman who'll tell you how he struggled in those days to make the rent.

Today, the company is doing in excess of $100 million a year, imports product in just about every furniture category, produces upholstery here, just bought a second upholstery facility in North Carolina and has next-day delivery to some 15 major markets.

Home Line, which sells via full containers or single orders, will make its High Point debut this March in a permanent showroom.

More than anything else, this company proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the business is out there.

I guess you need a tiger's eye to find it.

Ray AllegrezzaRay Allegrezza | Editor in Chief, Furniture Today
rallegrezza@furnituretoday.com

Each week in my Editor's Desk blogs, we'll take a look at interesting news or events in the furniture industry. The most important part of this whole process will be your input. So, take a look at my posts below and weigh in with what you think by clicking on "Add Your Comment" at the bottom of each blog.

Digital Edition

Furniture Today Digital Edition

See the digital edition of Furniture/Today, which allows you to flip through the pages, click on any underlined area to visit a website or send an e-mail, search to find content in the magazine, or share pages with your friends. See the latest issue!