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Farm Accident Led To A New Business
Viola Graber was a young Indiana farmwife with young children when her husband died in a 2002 farm accident. “The loss was devastating at first,” says her son Martin, now 26, “but we’re from a strong family that offered plenty of support. Mom sold the dairy farm and moved us in with her parents so she could work in her dad’s furniture shop for income. She learned upholstery from a neighbor lady and began refurbishing older chairs and couches.”
When her father, Henry, began making custom chairs and furniture frames, Viola handled the finishing and upholstery for items they sold in small volumes to the local community for several years.
“Grandpa Henry passed away in 2008 and in 2009 Mom married Bennie Graber, who quit his construction job to help with the furniture business,” says Martin. “Mom and Bennie got more serious and decided to expand by offering sofas, chairs, ottomans, and other living room items to the wholesale market. “We set up a sales department and now have about 60 different accounts.”
Currently, five Graber family members work in the business along with 15 other employees who form the company known as Country View Furniture. Martin manages day-to-day operations, his sister Vera runs accounting, Bennie heads the frame department and Viola runs the upholstery cutting department.
“We cut all of the frame wood ourselves and buy metal frames and springs from a supplier,” Martin says. “We do all the upholstery cutting and finishing and then ship floor models to stores. Customers can buy floor models or select custom items using a range of fabric swatches.”
Martin emphasizes that all their furniture is made one piece at a time and hand-crafted to high-quality standards. “Unlike a lot of name-brand furniture, we don’t use foam slabs, plywood, or sinuous wire springs. We make our heavy-duty frames out of solid hardwood, use steel coil springs, solid steel mechanisms with steel reinforced joints, and use high resiliency foam to ensure a durable, long-lasting piece of furniture.” That attention to quality and detail has paid off for the business.
“Before Covid, our lead time for product delivery was 6 to 8 weeks, but then consumers got government money and orders came in really fast,” says Martin. “Our suppliers, like a lot of others, couldn’t deliver, which led to backlogs. We’re about 40 weeks out on orders now and hope to get back to ‘normal’ within a year.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Country View Furniture, 8659 N 1000 E, Odon, Ind. 47562 (ph 812-636-5024; www.countryviewupholsteredfurniture.com).

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2022 - Volume #46, Issue #5