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Thomas Russell

Furniture industry veterans chart new courses

 Bill Cubberley is showing product geared for the U.S. market at Nathan Furniture USA.Bill Cubberley is showing product geared for the U.S. market at Nathan Furniture USA.
 John Wampler stands in the High Point Market showroom of his newly launched JGW Furniture.John Wampler stands in the High Point Market showroom of his newly launched JGW Furniture.

HIGH POINT — Industry veterans don't fade away. They just form their own companies.

That's what's happened with several former case goods executives who spent their earlier years at companies such as Pulaski, Stanley, Bassett, Drexel Heritage, Excelsior Designs and Vaughan-Bassett.

Now they are running startups that made their debuts at the October High Point Market, offering product lines built on their years of industry knowledge and experience.
Gene Clark, a former Bassett, Vaughan-Bassett and Ligna USA executive, has formed youth furniture resource My Home Furnishings with James Millner. Millner has years of experience in youth furniture at resources such as Stanley, Opus Designs and Lea Inds.

Clark said he saw a window of opportunity to create fresh styles in youth furniture. My Home's line includes four new collections in youth and second bedroom, with three-piece groups retailing from $799 to $999.

Clark said his team has more than 90 years of collective industry experience, a factor he believes will help develop and service the youth category well into the future.

"We have the right people, and there was a void in the market we went into," he said, adding that he still has a passion for the industry and likes the idea of controlling his company's destiny.

John Wampler, who worked for Pulaski for about 30 years, said he believed the timing was right to start his new company, JGW Furniture. His focus is to provide design-driven case goods and upholstery at affordable prices.
JGW's initial launch of about 125 SKUs included upholstered beds, dining sets, curio display cabinets, occasional tables, benches, sofas and ottomans. Fully upholstered beds start around $169 and top out at $799, while dining tables retail from $299 to $899.

"We are still very price-conscious, but the customers we talk to are price-conscious," he said. "I think we have some things that you will not find in other showrooms."

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