An Exclusive Look into a Craftsman's Workshop

Our last Behind-the-Scenes post, we talked about our timber and the detailed process its takes to become furniture. Today, we want to share an special look into one of our vendors workshops. 

The Early Days

Twenty five years ago, KS* — then called Cannon Woodworking — started out as a roadside stand selling handcrafted water wheels made by Elam**. Within four years, the business expanded into wholesale, adding more furniture to their catalog each year. “Dad learned everything on his own. He started small and just worked his way in . . . as the years went on, he just kept adding more,” said Junior**, KS president. KS' founder taught his sons who, in turn, teach their sons.  '“I always had a passion for it . . . Dad would say he couldn’t get me to work on the farm but once he put me in the shop, I couldn’t stay away!” said Junior. Junior would work there before and after school, eager to learn and create. Junior’s five-year-old son feels the same passion; he would work everyday in the workshop if he could. And there was plenty to learn. KS started out with unfinished furniture and gradually moved onto staining and varnishing. Each new step is a process of mistakes and successes; learning what does and doesn’t work for their shop and product.

Today and the Future

Five of the six brothers are involved in the business in some capacity—management, sales, shipping or other.The workshop averages about 13 employees, ranging from 18 to 62 years old. Most craftsmen start out the same way: through hands-on training. The more experienced builders usually train the KS new employees for about six months. These months of training prove essential to the business; it teaches the builders not only the style of the furniture but also the quality the workshop demands.  “Everybody in their department is supposed to be doing Quality Control . . . [they’re] trained to see if it’s not what it’s supposed to be.”
The best part of this laborious work? Positive feedback. The craftsmen find great reward in knowing their hard work is appreciated and valued.
So what does the future look like for our many hometown, handcrafted shops? Hard work and steady growth. “There’s definitely things we could do but we don’t want to jump in . . . Where to go and what to do is always the constant battle,” said Junior. “Our next step would be to combine everything to one building.” Just like KS, our family at Peaceful Valley Furniture wants to show our appreciation for our customers by maintaining our Lancaster County quality. We want you not only happy but also completely satisfied with your furniture — from our home to yours!