The Amish Gallery at Home of Economy offers quality, handmade furniture built to last
By Marla DeFoe
“They just don’t make things like they used to.” This is something you hear every day about everything from automobiles, to appliances and furniture. Finding high-quality, American-made items gets more difficult every year.
Nestled in the back of the Grand Forks Home of Economy is a hidden furniture store that harkens back to the days when furniture was built to last and handed down from generation to generation. The Amish Gallery prides itself on high-quality, handmade furniture, paired with a sales staff that has years of experience in the home furnishings industry.
Store co-manager Glenn Fetsch has been with The Amish Gallery since day one. With 43 years of experience, he knows the industry better than most. He prides himself on the quality of the furniture he sells. “You are more comfortable when you can sell something you believe in. The quality of our furniture is second to none,” Fetsch said.
Co-manager Jason Carey, who has been with the Amish Gallery for more than ten years, agrees. “The workmanship of our Amish furniture is heirloom quality. Customers return again and again for the service and quality,” Carey said.
To best understand the furniture the Amish Gallery sells, one must understand the process of constructing each piece. The Amish Gallery gets their solid wood furnishings from Country View Woodworking, in the heart of Amish Country, Millersburg, Ohio.
This is no ordinary factory. Each piece of furniture is crafted, sanded, and stained by hand using the finest hardwood. That makes each piece unique. “Country View receives their pieces from around fifty families in the region, all working on their own farmsteads,” said Carey. “You will have one family that owns a sawmill, one who bends the wood, and one that constructs tables, chairs, or dining room sets.” Each of these small workshops employs about five people on average.
All the handcrafted furnishings are then sent to Country View Woodworking, where they are hand sanded, stained, and sealed, giving each item a uniform look. Each piece of furniture is delivered to the Amish Gallery fully constructed, therefore no assembly is needed.
The upholstered furniture sold at The Amish Gallery is constructed at Smith Brothers of Berne, Indiana. Smith Brothers is a family-owned business that has been making quality furniture for over 90 years. The framing of each piece is solid, Amish-built wood. Each item is hand tufted and upholstered.
Many people have the misconception that Amish furniture is old-fashioned. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Amish Gallery is full of sleek, modern dining room, living room and bedroom furniture. “Amish furniture is a process of construction, not a style,” said Carey. “Amish-made furniture harkens back to something worth owning.”
The quality of the furniture sold at The Amish Gallery is only a small part of the story. The customer experience is a large part of what brings people to the store and keeps them coming back. “We have an experienced sales staff here that have been trained to walk the customer through customized orders.” While a shopper can purchase furniture right from the showroom floor, most choose to customize their orders to fit their style. “For the hardwood furniture, we have a minimum of eight species of wood with over thirty finish options,” said Fetsch. There are countless fabric finishes available for upholstered furniture as well.
Both Fetsch and Carey pride themselves on their staff’s ability to deliver exactly what the customer desires. “We have been trained to walk the customer through the entire process, from selecting the style to the finished details,” said Carey. “We focus on what the customer needs, not what we need to get rid of,” added Fetsch.
The options don’t end when the furniture is ordered. The Amish Gallery can deliver furniture within a 100 mile radius of the store. “Our delivery crew is full-service. They will not only carry the furniture into the customer’s home, but they will set it up exactly where they want it placed,” said Carey. Customers can also have furniture delivered to any other Home of Economy store, free of charge, or have the furniture shipped directly from Country View Woodworking. “We have had our furniture shipped to almost half of the states,” said Fetsch. “Customers who have purchased furniture from us, then moved across the country, return to us to order their furniture because of the quality and service we provide.”
It’s difficult to talk about custom furniture without addressing the supply chain issue that is happening across the world these days. Because all the furniture at the Amish Gallery is American-made, custom furniture is usually delivered within three months of ordering. “We consider the Amish builders friends,” said Fetsch. “We know who to contact when we need a specific item and how long it will take to deliver.”
The showroom floor of the Amish Gallery is full of every piece of furniture or accessory needed to decorate the home. These are not just floor models. All items on the floor are available for purchase. “We understand that some customers have an immediate need for furniture,” said Carey. “Any item you see here can be purchased and brought home the same day.”
The staff at The Amish Gallery take pride in the quality of the products they sell, and the service they provide their customers. That’s why they enjoy what they do. “I came in and learned from wonderful people,” said Carey. “I stayed for the family environment.” It’s that environment the team extends to every customer who walks onto the showroom floor, and the quality of the furnishings that keep customers coming back. “I had a woman come in last week who purchased a bedroom set from us 43 years ago,” said Fetsch. “She came in because her husband finally said she could buy a new set,” he laughed.
Timeless quality, unique designs, beauty, and handcrafted styles are qualities you will find in every piece of furniture on display at Amish Gallery. “Every item here is an item I am proud to sell,” said Carey. “We are not a big-box store, so every item we sell is fine quality, American-made furniture at a reasonable price.” G
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From Issue 1, 2022
PHOTOS By Manstrom Photography & Amish Gallery