Art and Susan Barber, Founders of Charleston Forge
I really enjoy telling the story of how Susan and I started our “official” business lives in 1974 by opening a retail store when I was only 23 and she was even younger. Charleston Forge actually evolved from that store ten years later. Mouths drop open and eyes get bigger (some with tears) when we share the tales of those humble beginnings.
It’s a pretty incredible story of pride, determination, gambles and sacrifices, and how we surrounded ourselves with talented craftsmen and women who share our creative spirit.
Perhaps someday we’ll write a book and call it “We Don’t Do Ordinary.” For now, we’ll just share tidbits with you through our social networking buttons. We hope you will enjoy them and pass them along to your friends.
Making beautiful furniture in America is our passion. Not a day goes by that we don’t recognize how fortunate we are to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and come to work along side true artisans who take great pride in everything they do. Whether they are forging hot metal or hand planing a solid wood tabletop, you can see and feel a “sense of hand” in every piece they make. There are no high-speed production lines―each piece is made one at a time, by hand. Our furniture is beautiful, but it is designed to be used―not pampered.
And speaking of “not pampered,” not only do we make residential furniture, we make furniture for restaurants, hotels, resorts, assisted living facilities, offices, conference rooms, kitchen cabinet suppliers, granite and marble fabrication houses (who need strong bases to support their heavy tops).
We’ve made furniture for well-known retailers such as Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, and Bloomingdales, just to name a few. We even made a custom bed for a famous boxer who had a body almost as big as his ego! Our customers love the fact that we offer customization along with a multitude of wood and metal finishes and a nice selection of designer leathers and fabrics.
Our current products and newest designs are sold through a network of retail dealers and professional interior designers. We encourage you to click on “Where to Buy” to find a dealer near you.
Since we are in the fashion business, we are challenged to create new designs on a regular basis. We have a selection of “retired” pieces as well as prototypes and one-of-a-kind items that we offer factory direct to consumers through our Charleston Forge Direct website.
Our CF Home Store is yet another interesting facet of our business that focuses on handmade items by carefully selected artists. Check it out here.
Please visit our website often, sign up to receive our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We thank you for your interest in Charleston Forge.
Our best to you,
Art & Susan Barber