As the daughter of Michael Younger, the founder of Younger Furniture, Meredith Spell has seen the company grow over the last 30 years. She was kind enough to talk to us about what makes Younger tick, why they’re awesome, and what they’re doing to remain a quality American company.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I’ll start out with this one: if you had to try and boil down Younger to a single idea, what would it be?
We have built our business with the idea that we want to offer a unique value. To us, that means offering a price/style/quality combination that you truly will not find anywhere else. Our expertise and passion of efficiency and clean lines allows us to offer such high quality and expert tailoring for a price that is truly amazing.
A bunch of furniture companies in North Carolina packed up and outsourced in the 90s. You guys stayed home. What do you hope that says about your company?
I hope it says that we are committed to our local and US economy and that we are passionate about our quality and will not compromise our quality or our raw materials.
Younger’s sofas have a staunchly Mid-century Modern aesthetic. Where does that inspiration come from?
We love all things midcentury and definitely draw a lot of inspiration from that era. The exposed wood, the lines, the tailoring and the innovation–Midcentury is alive with creativity!
Younger sofas are manufacture using a bench-built process. What exactly does that mean?
Bench built means the raw frame with all the components goes onto one upholsters bunk, then comes off that bunk fully complete. One skilled craftsman takes the piece from a raw frame, to a finished product.
How does the bench-built process enhance the quality of your furniture pieces?
Bench building furniture allows for the highest quality and most attention to detail. When one craftsman uses his skilled hands to build the piece from the ground up, we can guarantee the quality, attention to detail, and tailoring of that piece.
Do you ever feel like you’re proving people wrong by continuing to manufacture high quality and affordable sofas in North Carolina?
Honestly, no. More than “proving people wrong” we feel that we are making people proud and providing them with goods they are truly asking for. One of the first questions out of all new buyers mouths is ”where is this furniture made?” Consumers really care about the story, quality and craftsmanship of the goods they are investing in for their homes.
Do you have a Younger sofa in your home? If so, which one?
I have a living room, den, sunroom and office full of Younger Furniture! Every piece of upholstered furniture in my home is Younger. I have a Grace Sectional, a Smith Sectional, an Alex Sofa and a Spencer Sofa. I have the Muse Chair, Lincoln chair, Jack Chair and the Coco Chair. So I am our biggest customer! But my father, who owns Younger, my best friend, my sister, and many of our friends and family also own the grace sectional. You won’t find a more comfy and family friendly piece of furniture and we all represent that in our own homes!
What would you tell someone who’s on the fence about purchasing a Younger sofa vs. one made elsewhere?
I would go back to the opening question about the unique value we offer. You make things the old fashioned way and never cut corners, but we offer it at a price that families can afford. And we are truly a family business. My dad owns the company and our VP of operations has been with us from the start. She is like family. Then our plant manager is my uncle, our quality control and PD manger is my other uncle. Two of my brothers work with us. My sister owns and operates a small store in town where we clear our inventory and support the local economy. When you buy Younger, it truly comes from our family, to yours!
Lastly, what piece of advice would you give to someone in the market for a new sofa? Any tips or tricks during the buying process?
Research who really makes it and what expertise and reputation that source represents. Pieces you invest in for your home for your family to live with should be a well thought out and well researched investment.